Frequently Asked Questions
Established in 1976, IBFCSM is an independent non-profit certification organization that oversees professional healthcare, safety, and emergency related certifications in accordance with requirements published in ISO/IEC Standard 17024:12, Certification of Persons. IBFCSM does not restrict certification opportunities based on association membership, unrealistic eligibility requirements, exorbitant costs, or completion of board mandated education and training. IBFCSM encourages all individuals meeting eligibility requirements to apply for certification
IBFCSM offers seven safety related healthcare certifications: (1) Healthcare Safety Professional (CHSP), (2) Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP), (3) Patient Safety Officer (CPSO), (4) Healthcare Fire Safety Professional (CHFSP), (5) Healthcare Safety-Nursing (CHSN), (6) Healthcare Safety-Environmental Services (CHS-EVS), and (7) Healthcare Safety-Longterm Care (CHS-LTC).
IBFCSM offers the following safety related certifications: (1) Hazard Control Manager (CHCM), (2) Hazard Control Manager—Security (CHCM-SEC), (3) Emergency & Disaster Professional (CEDP), and (4) Product Safety Manager (CPSM).
IBFCSM does not require candidates to purchase educational materials or attend any education/training sessions. IBFCSM does not endorse any person, product, resource, or service as a means of exam preparation. Candidates must plan their own course of study by reviewing the exam blueprint, identifying weak areas, and obtaining resources to adequately prepare for an exam.
IBFCSM adheres to principles of fairness and due process in all certification activities. IBFCSM never discriminates on basis of age, disability, race, national origin, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, sex, gender, veteran status, parental status, or marital status in employment practices and certification activities. All certification decisions are made impartially based on information obtained during the application process.
IBFCSM does not release any information regarding any individual application status or exam performance to any employer, regulatory agency, supervisor, other person, or entity unless obtaining written permission. IBFCSM maintains an online electronic directory in the certification management system of current certificants that only describes name and certification status. IBFCSM also responds to inquiries about the certification status of individuals who achieved certification and makes public on its website a list of certificants in good standing
Applicants must complete the online application process and provide a legal online signature indicating that all information is true and accurate. IBFCSM applicants not meeting eligibility criteria receive a notice explaining any reasons for disapproval. Applicants submitting insufficient information may submit additional documentation for consideration. Applicants must provide contact information for two persons that would recommend them certification. Applicants must consent to abide by the Code of Ethics and other required certification agreements. Candidates must achieve a passing score on a closed book certification exam. Certification is a continuous process requiring certificants to meet ongoing requirements such as the Annual Renewal and Five-Year Recertification.
Applicants complete the online application to document eligibility. Applicant must provide contact information on two persons recommending certification. Applicants must consent to abide by the Code of Ethics and other required certification agreements. Candidates must make a passing score on a closed book certification exam. Certification is a continuous process requiring certificants to meet ongoing requirements such as the Annual Renewal and Five-Year Recertification. Certification is passing the exam and earning a one-time certificate.
Certification fees provide the revenue to operate all certification related processes. Application fees cover costs associated with processing, assessing, validating, and evaluating information provided by applicants and reference evaluators. Examination fees cover costs associated with exam delivery, reporting of results, analysis of exam performance, psychometric exam analysis, test maintenance and development, and related maintenance costs. Annual renewal fees cover costs related to organizational governance, staff, facility, equipment, supplies, operational support services and expenses, as well as promotion and improvement initiatives. Please review the current fee schedule posted on the IBFCSM website.
IBFCSM bases all certification decisions solely on information collected during the formal application process and a candidate’s exam results. IBFCSM never delegates certification decisions to other entities. The application process and certification exam results provides audit trails to permit IBFCSM management personnel to make an objective certification decision. The decision to award or deny certification is based solely on established criteria. When certification is awarded candidates have access to the certification management system to print or electronically retrieve certificates and/or identification cards issued by IBFCSM. The board retains ownership of credentials including certificates and cards.
Certification is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that requires certificants to meet certain requirements that ensures continued competency. Maintaining your certification consists of some key requirements: (1) maintain current contact information with IBFCSM, (2) adhere to code of ethical conduct, (3) adhere to all certification agreements, (4) renew each credential annually by remitting an annual renewal fee, and (5) complete the recertification process every 5 years by documenting professional job practice and professional development activities.
IBFCSM encourages candidates to review the appropriate exam blueprint before preparing for the examination. Each blueprint contains sample practice questions and a list of study materials and references. Each candidate must decide how he or she plans to prepare for the examination. IBFCSM does offer voluntary self-study materials that provide an overview of key concepts and principles. Obtaining a self-study or attending an independent review session does not ensure a candidate will pass the formal examination. Exam candidates can take their certification exams by arranged personal proctor or sit for an online with a remote proctor. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-664-8412 for additional information on scheduling a certification exam. Candidates engaging in misconduct during an exam will have the session terminated. Candidates cannot access any materials or devices during any exam administration. Talking with others during an exam is prohibited. IBFCSM copyrights all exams and candidates cannot copy, reproduce, record, memorize and share, or display in any way exam related information. Exam misconduct can also result in termination of the certification process.
A candidate failing an examination may schedule a retest after a 90-day waiting period. IBFCSM can waive the 90-day requirement on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances and overall exam results. There is no appeal for an exam failure. Factors and circumstances which hindered the candidate taking an exam may be appealed with substantiating evidence. IBFCSM never releases the names of individuals failing an exam. Failing candidates must reschedule their exam and pay the current retest fee. IBFCSM does not release or discuss any individual test items with candidates. The board reports exam results to candidates as Pass or Fail. The board documents scores using a Standard Scaled process based on total points earned. Passing scores are based on the performance of each candidate and not on the performance of other candidates taking the exam.
Candidates requiring exam accommodations must declare such during the application process. Reasons for accommodation require ADA recognition. The Board must receive a written validation report from a qualified professional confirming a candidate’s need for accommodation. IBFCSM maintains documentation in the candidate record. All accommodations may not be available for every exam session. Basic accommodations include:
- Extended testing time (since all exams are timed)
- Additional rest or bathroom breaks
- Reader of exam items
- Recorder or writer of answers
- Sign language interpreter (for spoken directions only)
- Selectable background and foreground colors
- Alternate test formats such as larger font sizes
IBFCSM uses an online management process to ensure recertification. This process serves as a foundational element continued certification. IBFCSM uses a five-year recertification process. Recertification candidates must complete and sign an online application. The online certification system permits certificants to manage and document recertification professional practice and achievement. Each certificant must acknowledge that they have attained 5,000 hours of professional practice and 50 clock hours of professional achievement for five-year period.
Professional development activities can include:
- college credit courses
- non-credit certificates
- professional workshops
- relevant scope related training, etc.
Certificants can opt to take and pass the current certification exam in lieu of documenting professional practice and achievement.
IBFCSM can take actions to suspend or revoke certification for individuals failing to maintain established certification requirements including recertification, annual renewal, and certificant misconduct. Certificants must adhere to all certification agreements published by IBFCSM. This includes adhering to the elements of the Code of Ethics.
IBFCSM can respond to public inquiries about the certification status of all credential holders. The board only releases information about the current status of a person’s certification. No other personal information is released.