New Requirements for CPHQ Recertification

CPHQs whose certification expires on December 31, 2023 or later are now required to complete at least eight NAHQ-approved CE activities and take the NAHQ Professional Assessment at least once per recertification cycle.

Three days ago, the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) sent out an email to inform current CPHQs about two new requirements for recertification.

For the past 15 years (the period I’ve been certified) and longer, CPHQs have had to meet the following two recertification requirements:

  1. 30 hours of continuing education (CE) in each 2-year recertification cycle.
  2. Payment of the recertification fee.

Thirty CE hours might seem demanding to some, but I’ve found convenient and approved ways of meeting them (By the way, my application for recertification last September was randomly selected for audit. I passed.)

Effective immediately, for those CPHQs whose deadline for recertification falls on December 31, 2023 and beyond, the recertification requirements are:

  1. 30 hours of CE in each 2-year recertification cycle, of which eight must be “NAHQ-approved CE activities.
  2. Completion of the “NAHQ Professional Assessment” at least once during the biennial cycle. This assessment is considered an NAHQ-approved CE activity – 2 CEs are earned per completion.
  3. Payment of the recertification fee.

(Source: Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality 2022 Recertification Handbook)

CPHQs whose certification is due to expire on December 31, 2022 are unaffected by the changes above.

The Professional Assessment is accessible online via the NAHQ website and is free of charge to CPHQs.

Below is the email I received telling me about the changes to the recertification requirements.

NAHQ Email Announcing New CPHQ Recertification Requirements
Email from NAHQ, dated March 9, 2022, announcing the new CPHQ recertification requirements.

I completed the NAHQ Professional Assessment yesterday. The entire process, including the assessment and the post-assessment survey questionnaire, which is mandatory for the two CE hours, took about an hour. I intend to give a review of the Professional Assessment in a separate article, so I won’t say more about it here.

What Do the Changes Mean Practically?

For those CPHQs whose CEs have always been pre-approved by the NAHQ (I fall in this camp), the latest changes simply mean they have to take the NAHQ Professional Assessment once some time during their 2-year recertification cycle. Because the assessment contributes two CEs, I consider it a replacement for other CE activities I would otherwise have to do. Therefore, the total amount of time I need to set aside for earning CEs won’t be much different to that in the past.

On the other hand, CPHQs who earned most or all of their CEs by non-NAHQ-approved means in the past may find the new requirement of eight NAHQ-approved CE activities per recertification cycle inconvenient and/or more costly.

The economic burden of recertification has never been trivial – the recertification fee alone starts from $175 (applicable to NAHQ members) and costs of CE activities can quickly add up. I suspect the cost of an NAHQ-approved CE activity, on average, is significantly higher than one that is not, adding to the net cost of recertification if you had not pursued CEs approved by NAHQ only before now. With inflation being at its highest in nearly 40 years and hitting household budgets hard, I wonder if introduction of the requirement for eight CEs to be NAHQ-approved could have been better timed and perhaps with more notice.

CPHQ candidates, i.e. those who have not been certified yet, should also take note of the recertification requirements if they intend to recertify and prepare for them accordingly.

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