CREDENTIAL AND PROFESSIONAL TITLE

Upon successful completion of the National Certification Examination, the designation of CHIM is awarded. The CHIM credential denotes that the individual is certified in Health Information Management. The professional title of the occupation is certified Health Information Management professional or HIM professional. The credential and professional title are protected entities and must only be used by those certified through the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM). HIM® is a registered trademark.

Certification is the process by which CCHIM grants recognition of competence to an individual. In professions where licensure is not required or available, such as the HIM profession (due to no direct hands on contact with the patient), it is in the interests of the public to ensure that people completing the work within a profession meet certification based on the highest standards in the areas of competency and education.

ELIGIBILITY

There are two routes to become eligible to challenge the National Certification Examination.

1) Graduation from a CCHIM Accredited HIM Program. Graduates of a CCHIM accredited HIM program are eligible to challenge the National Certification Examination.

2) Advanced Standing Program.

Based on a candidate’s previous education and experience, three advanced standing program options may provide an opportunity for individuals to prepare for and challenge the National Certification Examination. The three advanced standing program options include: External Graduate, AHIMA/CHIMA Reciprocal Agreement, and International HIM Graduate.




EXTERNAL GRADUATE PROGRAM

Who is eligible to apply through the External Graduate program?

The External Graduate* program is an advanced standing program designed for individuals who have a minimum of an undergraduate degree in a related field and who have worked in a Health Informatics (HI) or Health Information Management (HIM) related role for a minimum of three years. Examples of the types of roles that would qualify for the External Graduate program include: Clinical Data Specialist, Decision Support Analyst, Health Systems Analyst, Team Lead – Data Standards, Business Intelligence Analyst, Director of Health Information Management, Privacy Specialist, Program Lead – Health Analytics, Information Management Policy Analyst, Manager – Privacy & Security or Privacy & Risk, Provincial Lead – Cancer Registry, Professor – HIM or Informatics, Lead – eHealth, Risk Analyst, Business Health System Analyst, Manager – Clinical Care.

*Please Note: Graduate of an International Health Information Management or Health Record Science program, may be eligible for the International Graduate Program Option. Please review the International graduate program option prior to applying for the External Graduate Program Option. 

What are the minimum acceptable qualifying requirements for the External Graduate program?

The acceptable qualifying requirements include proof of:

  • A minimum of an undergraduate degree including formal courses in human anatomy and pathophysiology;
  • A minimum of three years work experience in the last five years within the HIM, HI, or eHealth field in an intermediate position or higher (see examples of roles listed above); and
  • Combined education and experience to meet, at a minimum, 70% of the HIM educational learning content.


There are two stages of application for this program – Stage 1, initial assessment of core requirements and Stage 2, submission of completed gap analysis and supporting documents.

Stage 1: What do I need to submit within two weeks of applying to support my Stage 1 application for the External Graduate program?

To support application to the External Graduate Program process, the following documentation must be emailed to jessica.macdougall@echima.ca within two weeks of your application.

  • A letter of intent that outlines the reasons for the application (if the intent is to become a Medical Coder or Coding Specialist in Canada you will be directed to take an accredited HIM program);
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency (overall IELTS test score must be 7.0 with no individual score lower than 6.0; an exception may be made if studied University in an English speaking country; however, CCHIM reserves the right to request formal IELTS scores at minimum 7.0 overall);
  • Undergraduate transcript or equivalent (a copy is fine here, but please note that an official transcript or document authenticated by the educational institution will be required for those who progress to stage 2);
  • Course outlines for the completed program of study. These are usually available from the graduating institution however there may be exceptions from certain countries – please contact jessica.macdougall@echima.ca for questions related to course outlines;
  • Official evidence of professional certification where applicable;
  • A minimum of three (3) professional reference letters confirming HIM related experience within the past three (3) years; and
  • Professional resume outlining HIM work experience.


If eligibility is approved, candidates will receive an email informing them that they have progressed to stage 2 of the external graduate process. A link to pay the remaining non-refundable $650.00 plus applicable taxes will be provided in the email. If eligibility is not approved, other options for certification will be provided.

If eligibility is denied, candidates will be informed of the decision and they must then complete a formal HIM program of study in order to be eligible to apply to write the CCHIM National Certification Examination.

Stage 2: What happens if I am approved to move to stage 2?
Once the remaining fee is paid, candidates will be sent the Prior Learning Assessment-Gap Analysis tool for completion. The completed document will support the application for eligibility to challenge the National Certification Examination. The gap analysis must be filled out completely and in detail.

Upon completion of the Gap Analysis, all documentation will be assessed by the Advanced Standing Education Committee. Once the gaps have been determined and feedback provided by the Committee, the candidate must fill all gaps to the satisfaction of the Committee before they are eligible to apply to write the CCHIM National Certification Examination. Gaps in content are usually filled through completion of one or a combination of the following: successful completion of formal course requirements, through readings, and/or through submission of a research paper.

Once gaps have been filled as outlined, and upon notification of approval by the Committee, an application to write the CCHIM National Certification Examination and payment of the examination fee must be submitted. For further information on exam dates, exam fee, and how to apply to write the National Certification Examination, please review the exam information.
 

What is the fee structure for the External Graduate program?

The total fee for the External Graduate program option amounts to $750.00 plus applicable taxes, divided into two progressive stages.

Stage 1: The initial non-refundable application fee of $100.00 plus applicable taxes is to determine eligibility for the External Graduate program. While the applicant is expected to complete a cursory review of the learning content document to assess their match of 70% education/experience, and three years of related HIM work experience, the final determination of eligibility into the program is completed by the CCHIM Advanced Standing Education Committee.  

Stage 2: Upon approval by the CCHIM Advanced Standing Education Committee, the remaining non-refundable fee of $650.00 plus applicable taxes is due in order to become an Active External Graduate candidate. The formal gap analysis process will begin once the fee is paid.

How do I apply for the External Graduate program?

Once applicants review ALL qualification requirements and have deemed themselves to be a suitable candidate, they will use the following link to apply for the External Graduate program




AHIMA/CHIMA RECIPROCAL AGREEMENT

Who is eligible to apply through the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program? 

The AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program option is designed for individuals who hold active certification and membership with AHIMA as an RHIT or RHIA.

CHIMA and AHIMA have a reciprocal agreement that allows HIM graduates from the respective countries to apply to challenge the applicable National Certification Examination consistent with the academic level achieved. 

What are the minimum acceptable qualifying requirements for the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program?

The minimum acceptable qualifying requirements include:

  • Graduation from an HIM program at the associate, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, or Masters Degree level approved by the designated accrediting agency of the AHIMA, and
  • Current certification with AHIMA at the RHIA or RHIT level.

What is the fee structure for the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program?

The application and assessment fee for AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal agreement program option is $250.00 plus applicable taxes. This fee is non-refundable and does not cover the cost of the national certification examination. 

How do I apply for the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program?

To apply for the AHIMA/CHIMA Reciprocal agreement option, candidates must complete the AHIMA/CHIMA Reciprocal Agreement application.

What do I need to submit within two weeks of applying to support my application for the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program?

The following documentation must be provided within two weeks of submitting the application fee. All documents should be sent to jessica.macdougall@echima.ca.

  • Proof of graduation from an HIM program at the associate, baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, or Masters Degree level approved by the designated accrediting agency of the AHIMA, and
  • Proof of current certification with AHIMA at the RHIA or RHIT level.

Once the final approval has been confirmed, an application to write the CCHIM National Certification Examination and the applicable examination fee must be submitted. For further information on exam dates, exam fee, and how to apply to write the National Certification Examination, please review the exam information.


If you are CHIM certified and an active member of CHIMA in good standing you may be eligible to apply under the reciprocal program to challenge the RHIT or RHIA certification examination.

For more information including how to apply to AHIMA under the AHIMA/CHIMA reciprocal program please see the following links or contact certification@ahima.org

RHIT - http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIT

RHIA - http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIA




INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (HIM) GRADUATE PROGRAM

Who is eligible to apply through the International Health Information Management Graduate program?

The International HIM graduate program is specifically designed for individuals who are graduates of an International HIM or Health Record Science program. These individuals may be eligible to challenge the CCHIM National Certification Examination upon proof of graduation and an assessment of program content.

NOTE: If you have NOT graduated from an International HIM or Health Record Science program but have a related degree and three years related work experience, please review the External Graduate program option above.

What are the minimum acceptable qualifying requirements for the International HIM Graduate program?

The minimum acceptable qualifying requirements include:

  • Graduation from an International HIM or Health Record Science program.

How do I apply for the International HIM Graduate program? 

To apply for the International HIM Graduate option, complete the International HIM Graduate application. The non-refundable fee for the International Graduate program is $500.00, plus applicable taxes.

What do I need to submit within two weeks of applying to support my application for the International HIM Graduate program?

The following documentation must be provided within two weeks of submitting the application fee. All documents must be sent to jessica.macdougall@echima.ca.  

  • Proof of English Language Proficiency (overall IELTS test score must be 7.0 with no individual score lower than 6.0) (exemption if studied University in an English speaking country; however, CCHIM reserves the right to request formal IELTS scores at minimum 7.0 overall); 
  • Evidence of graduation from an HIM or Health Record Science program;
  • Official HIM transcripts authenticated by the educational institution; 
  • Course outlines;
  • Evidence of HIM certification within country of origin, where applicable; and
  • Current professional resume.

An assessment will be completed based on the submitted documentation. Additional educational content may be required.

Upon approval, an examination application and applicable fee must be submitted. For further information on exam dates, exam fee, and how to apply to write the National Certification Examination, please review the exam information.