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;
  • Pursuing an alternative career path if you are an internationally trained professional in healthcare, information technology or management;
  • 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.

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 an international exam.

What content does the CA (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.

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. Please see here for details on eligibility.

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. Alternatively, if you do not meet these prerequisites, Digital Health Canada offers Digital Health Canada Core HI Education courses (online and on-demand), the annual e-Health conference, and new career development tools. Digital Health Canada study materials are great tools that cover several areas around clinical health services, the information ecosystem and management opportunities. The Health Informatics Professional Career Matrix, provides further information on various job areas within health informatics and details on potentially qualifying for those positions.

How do I write the exams?

If you are writing at your local testing centre, you may register through their website: the CPHIMS exam is available through Prometric and the CA exam is available through AMP. If you prefer to write both exams in one location, you may do so at one of the Digital Health Canada scheduled sittings available throughout the year across Canada. Members receive their member pricing for exams when registering for scheduled sittings through our website.

When can I write the exams?

You can write them at upcoming 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 eight eligible exam candidates can arrange with Digital Health Canada to host an onsite group sitting. Organizations with fewer than eight candidates may join with another organization to arrange a joint sitting. Email education@digitalhealthcanada.com to inquire.

Are the exams paper or electronic?

If writing at testing centres, both exams are electronic. At this time, when writing at Digital Health Canada scheduled sittings, the CPHIMS exam is electronic and the CA exam is paper-based.

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 Resources for details.

When will I receive my exam scores?

If writing at testing centres, you will receive results immediately following the completion of the exam. If writing at a Digital Health Canada scheduled sitting, CPHIMS results are displayed immediately and CA exam results are mailed to candidates two weeks following the exam.

What happens if I pass one of the exams, but fail the other?

If you fail to pass the Canadian Supplemental portion of the 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. Certificates are also viewable/printable through the HIMSS portal.

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

CPHIMS-CA.

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. However, Digital Health Canada members pay less for exam registration fees, courses, and study materials. You can join Digital Health Canada here. 

Do I need to renew my certification?

Yes. Your CPHIMS-CA certification must be renewed every three years through the HIMSS portal. More information on the renewal process can be found here.

For more information, please email education@digitalhealthcanada.com.