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The Value of the CPHQ Credential in a Slow Economy

Forget about a quick global economic rebound, it’s just not going to happen. The financial crisis of 2008–2009 saw a lot of people lose their jobs and, contrary to popular belief, the healthcare industry was not immune.

How do we know? In addition to articles such as this and this, we’ve also come across highly qualified healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, healthcare administrators) from all around the world—Australia, Singapore, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, North America, England, etc.—looking for jobs in places far from home. We continue to receive unsolicited job applications in large numbers. And we also know that employers, whom we meet on a regular basis, are being prudent in their hiring practices.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise to us that many people are pursuing the CPHQ credential for one sole purpose: to land a job.

Of course, there are other reasons why individuals join the CPHQ program but in many cases, priority understandably lies in satisfying the most basic needs in Maslow’s pyramid.

Will the CPHQ Credential Help Me Get Hired?

The CPHQ credential is the international “gold standard” for the healthcare quality profession. It is what employers look for when they want to fill positions to handle:

  • Quality Management & Improvement
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Patient Safety
  • Risk Management
  • etc.

In many countries these types of positions are indispensable—hospitals and other healthcare organizations need the right people to fill these positions. Put another way, without qualified people to be responsible for these functions, organizations will be worse off than if they hired. So the question is not whether there is a hiring opportunity, but rather who to hire!

Various sources, including recruiters (aka headhunters), people who are looking to attain CPHQ status to keep their jobs, and of course the employers (our clients) themselves have told us repeatedly that employers are looking to hire CPHQs because, as the Healthcare Quality Certification Board states, “(t)he CPHQ designation provides the healthcare employer and the public with the assurance that certified individuals possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience in healthcare quality management to perform competently.”

Try placing yourself in the shoes of the hiring employer, especially one with a limited salary budget. All else being equal, you’d probably pick someone who has been independently assessed in a well-respected certification program (read: the CPHQ program). Like everyone else, you’ll be seeking bang for your buck. You’ll want great value.

CPHQs come in all forms. We’ve met some outstanding ones and also (unfortunately) some who are very ordinary. Without knowing a lot about a candidate, the CPHQ credential offers some reassurance for hiring employers.

Being a CPHQ gives you the chance to build your personal brand, something that will set you apart from a sea of (highly qualified or more qualified) candidates in this buyer’s market. As I tell my students, the CPHQ qualification opens doors, i.e. it helps put your CV on tables where it would not have reached earlier. Whether you land the job or not still depends on your experience and skills and how well they come through during the interview.

Another piece of evidence that supports the notion the CPHQ credential will strengthen your job application comes from Simply Hired, the world’s largest online database of jobs. If you type in “CPHQ”, you’ll get these results—there appears to be a lot of (recently-placed) ads for CPHQ-preferred jobs online but, trust me, this list is only the tip of the iceberg.

Simply Hired also provides an estimate of the average salary of CPHQs:

The figure ($58,000) above compares rather favorably, in my view, to the average employment income in the United States.


The CPHQ designation improves a healthcare professional’s prospects of finding employment in a tough economic and job climate, not only in the US but also in other countries.

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