Do you have questions about the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems-Canada credential? We have answers!

What is CPHIMS-CA?

CPHIMS-CA, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems-Canada credential, is the first credential of its kind for Canadian health informatics professionals. The CPHIMS-CA credential is awarded to eligible candidates who successfully complete the related exams.

What are the benefits of attaining CPHIMS-CA?

The benefits include:

  • Providing evidence of professional competency to globally respected criteria;
  • Building confidence in the public, patients, employers, government and others;
  • Providing students and junior practitioners with goals for career and professional development;
  • Enhancing patient safety and the consistency of health informatics (HI) professionals’ skill and practices;
  • Contributing to accountability in healthcare spending;
  • Enhancing the profile of HI as a profession, along with the salaries;
  • Creating professional development opportunities and working conditions to attract qualified people and address the current shortage of competent HI professionals.
Do employers recognize CPHIMS-CA?

Yes. The credential tells employers that a candidate has been tested and found to meet respected measurements of what it means to be a competent health informatics professional. CPHIMS-CA also flags other important characteristics for hiring and performance evaluation – commitment to professional development and interest in learning and improvement. Leaders from across the industry – from government health agencies and universities to the vendor and clinician sectors – support the credential as a valuable resource.

I am a physician. What does CPHIMS-CA offer me?

This credential will benefit physicians who are using or in the process of acquiring an electronic medical record system, as well as all others who are participating in EHR stakeholder consultations and working groups. The presence of credentialed physicians who are involved in health informatics will accelerate the reality of an interoperable EHR across Canada.

How is HIMSS involved?

CPHIMS-CA was developed through a partnership between Digital Health Canada and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The CPHIMS Exam, the exam for the globally-respected HIMSS Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification, is one of two exams that candidates must pass in order to earn the CPHIMS-CA credential. They must also pass the Canadian Supplemental Exam developed by Digital Health Canada.

Is the CPHIMS Exam international?

Yes. The CPHIMS Exam is now an international exam. This is one reason Digital Health Canada is using it for CPHIMS-CA. All specific U.S. references were removed from the CPHIMS Exam when the content outline was updated in 2007-08. However, it is helpful to remember that the exam was written by Americans and may have terminology used primarily in the U.S. It may be useful to have a general idea about the U.S. healthcare system.

What content does the Canadian supplemental exam cover?

The Canadian Supplemental Exam covers competencies that aren’t part of the CPHIMS Exam, plus competencies that require a higher level of understanding for the Canadian context. Major subject areas for this exam are: standards, information management, the Canadian health system and analysis and evaluation. This exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. It may also include up to five test questions.

Who is eligible to write the CPHIMS-CA exams?

Candidates must have a baccalaureate degree plus five (5) years of associated experience, with three (3) of those years in health informatics OR a graduate degree plus three (3) years of associated experience, with two (2) of those years in health informatics. Associated experience includes the following functional areas: administration/management, clinical information systems, eHealth, information systems or management engineering.

I don't have a baccalaureate degree. Can I obtain the certification?

At this time, no. The CPHIMS-CA eligibility requirements are not intended to be exclusionary, but have been harmonized with those for the widely-recognized and respected CPHIMS professional certification. Candidates must meet the educational and professional experience requirements before they register for the exams. If you do not meet these prerequisites, Digital Health Canada offers a range of professional development opportunities through the Health Informatics Professionalism Program. These include the Digital Health Canada Core HI Education courses (online and in-person/classroom), the annual e-Health conference, HealthAchieve, and new career development tools.

How much do I need to know about hospitals and physician and other healthcare practices in order to write the exam?

You will want to understand the legislative foundations, governance and financing of healthcare, the challenges and issues facing healthcare, clinical practice settings, clinical workflow and documentation and trends in clinical practice. The study materials are great tools to cover these topics. In relevance to the Health Informatics Professional Career Matrix, you would want a sufficient degree of competency.

How tech-savvy do I have to be to write the exams?

You will want to understand information governance, privacy, health information standards and categorization, the frameworks and concepts that surround e-Health architecture, point-of-service systems and the standards and implementations of electronic health records. The study material are great tools to cover these topics. In relevance to the Health Informatics Professional Career Matrix, you would want a sufficient degree of proficiency.

When can I write the exams?

You can write them at upcoming public exam sittings. See Exams for dates.

What is a special administration?

A special administration is a Private Group Sitting of the CPHIMS-CA exams. Organizations with at least 10 eligible exam candidates can arrange with Digital Health Canada to host an onsite group sitting. Organizations with fewer than 1o candidates may join with another organization to arrange a joint sitting. Email to inquire.

Are the exams paper or electronic?

Paper exams are usually used at group exam sittings.

Are there study materials I can use to prepare?

Yes. The CPHIMS-CA Canadian Supplemental Examination Review and Reference Guide and Preparing for Success in Healthcare Information and Management Systems: The CPHIMS Review Guide can be purchased from Digital Health Canada. Digital Health Canada also offers the CA Review Course and free Canadian Exam Candidate Handbook. See Study Materials for details.

When will I receive my exam scores?

Results are mailed to candidates immediately after completion of the exam.

What happens if I pass the CPHIMS Exam, but fail the Canadian Supplemental Exam?

You will hold the CPHIMS credential, but you will have to re-take the supplemental exam in order to attain the full CPHIMS-CA credential. Conversely, if you fail the CPHIMS exam but pass the Canadian Supplemental Exam, your Canadian credential will be “held” for one year. If you pass the CPHIMS Exam during this time, you will attain the full CPHIMS-CA credential. If you do not re-take the CPHIMS Exam during the one-year period, you will have to re-take the Canadian Supplemental Exam.

Will I receive a certificate?

Yes. Candidates who successfully complete both exams will receive a certificate issued jointly by Digital Health Canada and HIMSS.

What designation can I use after my name once I successfully complete both the CPHIMS and Canadian Supplemental Exams?


Do I need to be a Digital Health Canada member to write the exam?

No, you don’t have to be a Digital Health Canada member to write the CPHIMS-CA exams. Qualified non-members are encouraged to write.

Do I need to renew my certification?

Yes. Your CPHIMS-CA certification must be renewed every three years. This can be done by re-taking the exam or participating in approved health informatics training and education activities. More information on the renewal process can be found here.

For more information, please email