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Am I Eligible to Take the CPHQ Examination?

A common question that I get is: “I have (ABC education credentials and XYZ number of years of experience). Can I sit the CPHQ exam?”

The Healthcare Quality Certification Commission’s statement on the eligibility requirements for the CPHQ examination can be found in the CPHQ Examination Candidate Handbook (Page 4 of the current, i.e. January 1, 2013 issue):

All candidates have complete access to the examination process. Those who aspire to excel and demonstrate their competency in the field of healthcare quality have a chance to do so and achieve certification.

After years of extensive experience in testing research and development and after observing the extraordinarily diverse backgrounds of exceptional candidates who have been successful on the examination and as CPHQs, the commission is confident that the carefully crafted CPHQ examination will differentiate between candidates who are able to demonstrate competence and those who are not. It is with this confidence that HQCC celebrates the elimination of barriers such as minimum education and/or experience requirements that are not objectively linked to success on the examination and effectiveness as a healthcare quality professional.

Our plain-English version of the statement is that anyone, regardless of their education credentials or work experience, may sit the exam.

This, however, should not be misconstrued as meaning that it is appropriate for anyone with some experience in healthcare quality to apply for the exam. Although each case should be judged on its own merit, persons considering CPHQ certification should be aware that the historical pass rates for the CPHQ exam, especially among international candidates, have been quite poor. On average, about 75% of US candidates pass the exam within a calendar year (with reattempts included), while the pass rate among international candidates is only around 37%.

In summary, “anyone” can sit the CPHQ exam. But, based on past data, only about two in every three candidates will pass the certifying exam.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • tharwat Elsayed December 13, 2014, 7:49 am

    I think that who have experience in quality implementation in hospital X will be one of the( two in every three candidates ) . what is your advice to increase this experience through reading and raise his information in the field of healthcare quality. Can you help me with soft copy of q solution book 2014, Memory Jogger I & II,CPHQ secrets , Team book and Janet brown book 2014. thanks in advane.
    Dr. tharwat
    [email protected]

    • Andy Teh December 15, 2014, 2:40 am

      @Tharwat Elsayed—Teh & Associates will NEVER knowingly violate copyright or participate in illegal activity. We are a leading global healthcare consulting firm and have always conducted our business professionally and ethically. If you are trying to acquire valuable resources without paying your dues (and thereby depriving authors and publishers of their rightful income), you’ve come to the wrong place. We suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Evangel March 19, 2016, 11:18 am

    I want to buy the materials for study guide, Please where can I go and buy them am 350kilometres away from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia .

    • Andy Teh March 20, 2016, 6:11 am

      @Evangel—I presume you are interested in materials to help you succeed in the CPHQ exam. A member of our team will contact you via e-mail to provide further information.

  • ubaid August 4, 2016, 10:23 am

    I want to buy the materials for study guide, Please where can I go and buy them am 350kilometres away from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia .

  • ubaid August 4, 2016, 10:24 am

    I want to buy the materials for study guide, Please where can I go and buy it in uae.or India.

    • Andy Teh August 4, 2016, 10:32 am

      @ubaid—No matter where you are in the world, e.g. USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, etc., you can purchase CPHQ exam preparation materials at the CPHQ Tutor website.

  • Dr Kareem November 3, 2016, 6:35 am

    Hi there
    where is the nearest place from KL that i can sit for this exam after completed your preparation course?
    Please help me and update asap
    Thank you

    • Andy Teh November 5, 2016, 2:26 am

      @Dr Kareem—I believe one of my associates has provided the information you requested.

  • Krish December 3, 2016, 1:44 am

    I completed my Masters in pharmacology. Can you help in career path. And could you please let me know if I am eligible to take the test.

    • Andy Teh December 3, 2016, 5:51 am

      @Krish—Yes, you are probably eligible. I’m not sure what you mean when you asked about help in your career path. I’d be comfortable providing advice on career choices to people I’ve worked with, either on a consulting or educational and training engagement. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have sufficient information to assist.

  • KIRUBA THOMAS S December 9, 2016, 4:15 pm

    Kindly share the details of the course fees and exam date.

    • Andy Teh December 10, 2016, 5:58 am

      @KIRUBA THOMAS S—We offer a variety of programs that assist CPHQ exam candidates to pass the exam. The fee varies depending on the program being offered. The CPHQ exam fee is $399 for NAHQ members and $469 for non-members, as of today. Your IP address tells us you are not based in the US, in which case you will have to apply to take the CPHQ exam during one of the four window periods in 2017:

      • March 19–April 1, 2017; application period is November 19, 2016–March 3, 2017
      • July 9–22, 2017; application period is March 4–June 23, 2017
      • September 5–19, 2017; application period is June 24–August 18, 2017
      • December 3–16, 2017; application period is August 19–November 17, 2017
      • Sabrina Newell March 1, 2017, 4:10 pm

        Can you please send me information on training and testing to become CPHQ, thank you!

  • Weiling Xiong March 2, 2017, 4:40 pm

    I have been working as an RN for many years in nursing, and I recently think if I could achieve my career more in quality preformen in healthcare. Please help me to get where I can start for CPHQ.

    Thank you!

    • Andy Teh March 2, 2017, 6:24 pm

      @Weiling Xiong—There are a few ways to skin a cat. A reasonable and efficient way of approaching the CPHQ exam is to identify your areas of weakness first—this can be achieved by attempting a lot of realistic practice questions. One way we do not recommend is to “study” a book from cover to cover—this method of preparing for the CPHQ exam is not only inefficient, but will also likely be associated with much pain and frustration, and average or below-average results. These days we espouse a customized approach—see our article “What Is the Best Way for Me to Pass the CPHQ Exam?

      • weiling xiong March 3, 2017, 10:02 pm

        Thank you so very much for your reply. I still need a book as my reference to study. Do you have any book that you can recommend?
        Do you think anyone can take this CPHQ test without any requirements?

        Thanks again!
        Weiling Xiong

        • Andy Teh March 5, 2017, 7:54 am

          @Weiling Xiong—We cannot recommend any one particular book for CPHQ exam preparation, simply because there isn’t one that offers content that is great for “everything”. However, many people find Janet’s Handbook covers the material satisfactorily and it can be used as a reference. I’m not sure what you mean by “requirements”—there are no minimum education or experience requirements to apply for the CPHQ exam. Even though there are essentially no prerequisites, we don’t recommend people with zero education and experience in healthcare quality management attempt the exam. Although we can help such persons achieve CPHQ certification, we choose not to because we don’t believe CPHQ certification for such individuals will add value to themselves or others in the medium term. Our resources are not unlimited; hence, we aim to do as much meaningful work as possible with what we’ve got.

  • Andrea March 10, 2017, 1:45 pm

    Hello Andy,
    I am considering taking the CPHQ exam. I have been working in the healthcare Credentialing/Provider Relations setting for 10 years. I recently passed my CPCS exam which has given me the confidence to continue to advance my skills by becoming certified in other related areas. I am interested in possibly taking the in-person course offering in Albany in May 2017. Do you think that I should have been studying for some time before attending the in-person course since it is only two months away? Do you know when the next course will be scheduled for the Albany, NY location?
    Thank you,

    • Andy Teh March 13, 2017, 4:22 pm

      @Andrea—Based on the information you’ve provided, I’d suggest you begin reading now. You should probably focus on areas in which you are less familiar first. Two months should be more than adequate time to read up on those topics, ahead of a live exam prep course. I don’t know of any course which will be held in Albany in May—you might like to check with the New York Association for Healthcare Quality about upcoming courses.

  • Anie Abraham March 15, 2017, 12:28 pm

    I have completed my MBA in health care services after my BSC Nursing course and one year of experience.Am I eligible to attend this test?
    I am interested.can u tel me the details please

  • Farhad March 22, 2017, 1:51 pm

    I’m considering taking the CPHQ exam as I’d like to start my carrier in health care quality improvement. I have ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt, Master degree in quality systems and PMP with extensive knowledge of quality improvement tools. However I’ve not been working in healthcare industry. Could you pleaese advise if there is any chance for me to pass this exam and what’s your suggestion in this regard?
    Thank You,

  • Farhad March 22, 2017, 1:56 pm

    I’m considering taking CPHQ exam as I’d like to continue my carrier in health care quality improvement. I have Master degree in quality systems, ASQ Black Belt and PMP with extensive knowledge in quality improvement tools. However I’ve not been working in Health care industry. Could you please advise if there is any chance for me to pass the exam and what’s your suggestion un this regard?

    • Andy Teh March 23, 2017, 7:52 am

      @Farhad—Thanks for reaching out to us! I believe you may be able to pass the CPHQ exam, though it may take some additional work than if you had been working in healthcare for a number of years. Although a role in healthcare quality management is not always possible, the experience may help you tremendously in preparing for the exam, especially if it is in a US setting. Also consider trying as many practice questions as possible, such as those by CPHQ Tutor, to (a) assess your level of preparedness for the exam’s content and (b) identify any gaps in knowledge or skills. The latter is helpful because it is something actionable and, provided you take appropriate action, will help raise your total CPHQ exam score.

  • KRISTINE April 23, 2017, 9:21 am


    im a nurse but working as a Medical Secretary for 6years.
    i have been involved in Quality works of our department (quality improvement plans, performance indicators,etc) as our hospital is in accreditation process.

    i really do not have any background (in terms of study) in quality but doing quality works gives me an idea about it,,and iwant to learn it in the right way bcoz of the feeling that there is a missing puzzle. i am curious how this were planned, monitored, interpret,etc.. Id like to be certified in quality also.

    what training can you recommend me that suits my need?

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