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The Definitive Guide to Earning a CHC Credential (With FAQ)

October 14, 2021

The Certified Health Care Constructor credential can be useful for companies and individuals that want to compete for contracts in the health care field. Regardless of your background and experience as a constructor, earning the CHC credential can significantly boost your career options. Knowing what you need to do to earn CHC certification can be a valuable career step and you can get relevant information by researching the subject.

In this article, we discuss what CHC certification is, who can benefit from it, how to earn it and answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject.

What is CHC certification?

The Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) certification is awarded by the American Hospital Association in conjunction with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering. Its main purpose is to offer health care facilities an assurance that the people and companies they hire for various construction works are knowledgeable in the particularities of health care construction. Holders of the CHC certification can work in various capacities, such as engineer, architect, project superintendent, construction manager, planner, estimator, engineer designer or marketer.

Some of the individuals and entities that can boost their operations by earning CHC certification are:

  • Health care facility managers: Managing a health care facility requires deep knowledge of state and federal standards, as well as knowing how to make the hiring organization comply with them.

  • Health care contractors: Independent contractors that are looking to get clients in the health care field can prove their specific expertise and knowledge by earning a CHC certification.

  • Construction project managers: Earning a CHC certificate can help project managers working in the construction field comply with all codes, standards and other regulations at all stages of construction or renovation.

  • Companies looking to enhance their reputations: Construction companies that are looking to gain more clients in the health care industry can hire CHC certified candidates or certify their existing employees to increase their reputation in the field.

Related: The Top 9 Medical Certifications You Need and Why

Who can benefit from the CHC certification?

Candidates who wish to qualify for the CHC certification exam must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited educational facility, five years of relevant construction experience in the health care industry, three years of management, supervisory or administrative experience and practical experience in working on health care-related construction projects within the last three years
  • Have an associate degree from an accredited educational facility, seven years of relevant construction experience in the health care industry, three years of management, supervisory or administrative experience and practical experience in working on health care-related construction projects within the last three years
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent, ten years of relevant construction experience in the health care industry, three years of management, supervisory or administrative experience and practical experience in working on health care-related construction projects within the last three years.

Related: 17 Certificates for Construction Professionals

How to get the CHC credential

Consider following these steps to earn CHC certification:

  1. Earn a high school diploma or equivalent. The main prerequisite for being eligible to take the CHC certification exam, regardless of other criteria, is having a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Earn an associate or bachelor's degree. After graduating high school, you can pursue a construction career of your choice by completing an associate or bachelor's program. You can also earn a management-related degree if you plan on managing a health care organization.
  3. Earn the necessary relevant health care industry experience. The number of years of relevant experience required varies depending on your educational level, with high school graduates needing ten years of experience, associate program graduates needing seven years and bachelor's degree holders needing five years. To qualify, the role must be within a health care organization and related to construction or project management, marketing, planning, estimating, project superintendent or foreman, design architect or engineer or a design and construction-related role.
  4. Prepare for the CHC exam. You can find all classes and materials that prepare you for the CHC exam by visiting the American Society for Health Care Engineering's resource website. The four major areas of the exam are health care industry fundamentals, planning, design and construction process, health care facility safety during construction projects and financial stewardship.
  5. Take the CHC exam. You can take the exam at over 200 locations throughout the U.S. and also from another country, by submitting a formal request for an international examination form. The exam consists of 115 multiple-choice questions and takes two hours, with judges estimating the passing probability of each question and determining a passing score.
  6. Regularly renew your CHC certification. After earning the CHC credential, you can renew it once every three years by either documenting 45 contract hours during that time or passing the CHC examination again.

Related: What Are Certifications? Definition, Benefits, Types of Certifications and Examples

FAQs about the CHC certification

Consider these frequently asked questions regarding the CHC certification:

How are the CHC exam questions categorized?

The exam questions are categorized by the following cognitive levels:

  • The ability to remember or recognize specific information
  • The ability to understand, relate or apply knowledge to new or developing situations
  • The ability to analyze and synthesize information, and to use it for finding solutions to various issues or for determining if a particular solution is useful

What are the professional standards of conduct for CHC certification holders?

A professional who holds a CHC certificate automatically adheres to a set of professional standards. They agree to:

  • Display high levels of professional competence
  • Be an example of proper work behavior regarding performing tasks in a safe, competent and intelligent manner
  • Show honesty and integrity in all professional activities
  • Avoid any form of discrimination against individuals based on race, gender, age, color, ethnicity, religion, disability or marital status
  • Avoid any conflicts of interest
  • Always comply with the laws, rules and regulations set by authorized agencies

Related: Certificates, Certifications and Licenses: Differences and Jobs That Require Them

What happens after I take the CHC exam?

If you pass, you receive a certificate of recognition, a pin and information about renewal requirements four to six weeks after the exam. If you fail, you can reapply within a 90-day period by using a shortened application form, or after 90 days by resubmitting the entire application.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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