Classification and Coding: Why are they important?

The classification and coding process of health care data is an already-complex function that will only continue to increase in complexity. The classification and coding of health care data in a standardized format makes it easy to store, retrieve, and catalogue for statistical and individual uses on an aggregate or granular basis. The accuracy of the coded data affects health care decisions, planning, funding, research, and more. The data is transformed into meaningful information to accelerate improvements in healthcare, health care system performance, and population health across many jurisdictions. Government policymakers use coded data to make policy decisions about our health systems and the care within them.

Career Progression: Who should hold the certified Classification and Coding Specialist (CCCS) credential?

The Classification and Coding Specialty certification is being developed with two certified Health Information Management (CHIM) professionals in mind:

  1. Early career CHIMs to those with 5-years of coding experience who are interested in deepening their knowledge in the field of classification and coding to advance their career path, and
  2. Experienced coding and classification professionals (5+ years of experience) who want to challenge a specific exam and have a credential that is specifically aligned to the classification and coding segment of the CHIM profession. 

Regardless, this certification will give CHIMs who are interested in continuing their education a competitive edge in their job search, as well as greater job satisfaction. It creates a greater assurance for high quality and accurate coding that encourages continuous quality improvement. This credential, along with experience, can be a catalyst to progress your career into roles including, but not limited to, auditors, analysts, and leadership positions.

 Becoming Certified in Classification and Coding

The Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM) is the national credentialing body that holds the requirements for the CCCS designation (Certified Classification and Coding Specialist).

Credential: Certified Classification and Coding Specialist (CCCS)


The 2019 CCCS National Certification Examination are as follows:

Examination dates

Deadline for application, including transcript submission


(Not including tax)

June 17-21, 2019

May 27, 2019


November 18-22, 2019

October 28, 2019


*This fee covers administration of the CCCS Exam and online writing service.

Eligibility criteria: A candidate must be a graduate from a CCHIM-accredited HIM program, hold an active CHIM credential, and either:

  • Be currently working in the field of coding and classification; or
  • Be a graduate from a CCHIM approved Classification and Coding Specialist Program

Maintenance requirements for the credential:

  • A CHIMA Certified Active Membership is required in order to hold this credential. More details of the value of membership can be found here:

  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements: To maintain your certification in HIM, members must complete and claim 36 CPE credits over a three-year period. To maintain your CCCS credentials, members must obtain 12 CPE credits in addition to your 36 credits in your current three-year cycle.

  • Continued work experience in a coding and classification field of practice, which may be asked for during our standard CPE audits

Note: There are no additional fees to your CHIMA Membership to hold this credential.

CHIMA will be accepting applications starting in spring 2019. CHIMA will provide updates on the progress as we finalize the details for this project.

Coding Specialist Program: HealthCareCAN/CHA Learning

HealthCareCAN/CHA Learning has partnered with CHIMA/CCHIM to offer a preparatory course for the Classification and Coding Specialist Certification. The online Coding Specialist Program is estimated to take approximately 120 hours, can be completed flexibly over the course of up to 12 months, and offers participant support from expert coaches from the field.

The HealthCareCAN/CHA Learning program is not a requirement for challenging this exam and gaining this credential, but it is recommended for people in the field.

The Coding Specialist Program provides current coders in the field with the tools and skills to improve their accuracy, consistency, and efficiency. If you have recent acute inpatient care coding experience but think you require further educational training, the Coding Specialist Program could assist you in improving your coding skills in preparation for the Classification and Coding Specialist National Certification Exam.

For more information on the Coding Specialist Program, please visit the CHA Learning website.


Educational Partner: