CHIM external graduate pathway

CHIM external graduate pathway


To be eligible for the external graduate pathway, the Canadian College of Health Information Management (College) requires proof of the following:

  • A minimum of an undergraduate degree, including formal courses in human anatomy and pathophysiology;
  • A minimum of 3 years of recent (within the last 5 years) work experience in the HIM, HI, or eHealth field in an intermediate position or higher; and
  • Combined education and experience to meet, at a minimum, 70% of the Learning Outcomes for Health Information Management (LOHIM) document 

Assessment process 

Step 1: Purchase the Certified in Health Information Management (CHIM) external graduate assessment for $750 + applicable taxes.

Step 2: The College will send a competency gap assessment directly to the email address provided. Complete this document by highlighting formal education and relevant work experience.

Step 3: Upon purchasing the CHIM external graduate assessment and completing the competency gap assessment, please submit the following required supporting documentation to [email protected] to initiate the review process.

  • Letter of intent 
  • Proof of English language proficiency (overall IELTS must be 7.0 with no individual score lower than 6.0; the College may make exceptions for applicants who studied university in an English-speaking country)
  • Undergraduate and or graduate transcript(s)
  • Course outlines for the completed program of study (generally available from the graduating institution)
  • Two (2) professional reference letters confirming HIM-related experience within the past three (3) years
  • Professional resume outlining HIM work experience
  • Completed competency gap assessment

Step 4: The College reviews all required documentation. The time frame for review can vary depending on the number of assessments being processed. 

Step 5: The College emails the candidate a letter outlining outstanding gaps in education and experience. Gaps must be filled by taking a formal course(s) from one or more online HIM programs accredited by the College. Once complete, a transcript showing completion can be sent to [email protected] 

Step 6: The College emails the candidate a final letter confirming eligibility to write the CHIM national certification examination.  

Frequently asked questions

The external graduate pathway is meant to recognize previous formal academic and work experience. Applicants must be able to demonstrate, through supporting documentation, that they meet a minimum of 70% of the content specified in the LOHIM document. Applicants who demonstrate significant gaps and cannot achieve 70% will be required to enrol in a full accredited HIM program.

The minimum has been set at 70% to ensure applicants are directed into the correct program. Applicants who have large content gaps and do not meet the 70% will be directed to take a full HIM program. This advanced standing pathway is not meant to replace taking a full accredited HIM program.

The College developed the competency gap assessment to identify gaps between an HIM program accredited by the College and a candidates’ formal education and experience. 

Prior to applying to the external graduate pathway, a candidate should meet at minimum 70% of the LOHIM content. The competency gap assessment is included as part of the application package. The applicant must provide, in the form of specific work related or educational examples, evidence of experience within a specific area. The reviewer will identify where there are gaps missing from the LOHIM content and identify which, if any, formal courses may be required to complete to meet 100% of the LOHIM content.

The College will provide a list of required courses from HIM distance education programs accredited by the College. If the gaps are too large, the College will recommend that the applicant take a full accredited HIM program.

The external graduate pathway recognizes specific and related formal HIM work experience of the applicant. Entry level positions may not provide the required level of exposure and responsibility across multiple practice areas to reach the minimum 70% of the LOHIM.

The letter of intent is an outline of why the candidate is purchasing the external graduate pathway. It may highlight education and work experience and explain how this background has prepared the candidate for (or offers support for) certification in the HIM field. It gives the College an understanding of what the candidate plans to do once certified (e.g., what type of job the candidate will be seeking).

The College requires that candidates submit official or documented authentic transcripts, sealed and sent directly from the academic institution. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. 

A course outline is a detailed outline (generally 3–7 pages) of what content will be covered on a weekly basis in a course. It contains information the College requires to award an applicant credit for prior learning. A course description does not contain enough information and is not considered equivalent to a course outline.

Academic institutions usually keep course outlines on file. While they may not have the course outline from the candidate’s exact year of study, a more recent course outline is also acceptable.

Candidates whose first language is English or who have completed academic studies in English are exempt from providing test scores. Candidates who do not speak English as their primary language or who have not studied in English must achieve an overall IELTS test score of 7.0, with no individual score lower than 6.0. The College reserves the right to request formal IELTS scores during the review of all candidates, including those who have studied in English, if there is evidence of a lack of language proficiency.

A reference letter should include any direct work experience with the candidate and outline any projects or significant accomplishments. It should explain how or why the reference believes the candidate would be a good fit for the health information profession.


Please direct any further questions to [email protected] and someone from our national team will be able to assist you.