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Certification is a three-part process assessing education, experience and an exam. The FAQ outlines brief answers to commonly asked questions. Please consult the candidate guide for in-depth explanation.

AMIA established the AMIA Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) program to address the needs created by the growing number and expanding role of health informaticians and to acknowledge and certify individuals working in healthcare delivery, public health, and consumer health.

The Health Informatics Certification Commission (HICC) manages the AHIC program with impartiality and objectivity. The HICC is independent and autonomous with respect to certification and recertification decisions, policies, and procedures. HICC is a committee of AMIA.

AHIC assesses competence of health informatics professionals whose work may impact organizational performance or affect public safety. As a result, the AHIC program emphasizes operational, rather than research-focused dimensions of informatics. Mastery of core and cross-cutting health informatics knowledge is a major element in determining eligibility.

AHIC certifies health informaticians. AHIC is intended for professionals who

  • come from a range of educational and training pathways including, but not limited to, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, health informatics, and computer science
  • use informatics concepts and tools to design solutions to complex problems or identify opportunities for improvement in health care, public health, or consumer health at the individual, unit, organization, or system level
  • have health informatics experience that includes critical thinking and analysis; independent decision-making; project management; managing personnel, resources or partner relationships; leading or supporting teams; policy development; or strategic planning

The Clinical Informatics Subspecialty is limited to American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) board-certified physicians. AHIC is for health informatics professionals that come from a range of educational and training pathways including dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, health informatics, computer science, and non-boarded physicians.

Each certification program is unique. AHIC is for health informatics professionals with a master’s degree or higher that spend a significant portion of their time using informatics concepts and tools to improve health care, public health, or consumer health.

An individual who applies for AHIC and passes the exam is certified as an AMIA Certified Health Informatics Professional™ (ACHIP™). AMIA also refers to these individuals as diplomates.

Eligibility  

There are two tracks of AHIC eligibility – a graduate degree in health informatics or a related field, and qualifying health informatics experience. The amount of required experience is determined by type of graduate degree as noted below.

Track Academic Degree % Work Time in Health Informatics Qualifying Health Informatics Experience
1 Master’s or doctoral degree in health informatics or a degree with a focus in informatics from an accredited program, college, or university

Examples of qualifying degrees include (but are not limited to) those associated with: Clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, public health informatics, clinical research informatics, or translational bioinformatics
50%-100% 4 years within the past 6 years
20%-49% 6 years within the past 8 years
2 Master’s or doctoral degree in a health informatics related field from an accredited program, college, or university

Examples of qualifying degrees include (but are not limited to): Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, Computer Science, and other health professions
50%-100% 6 years within the past 8 years
20%-49% 8 years within the past 10 years

Professionals who are primarily research-focused should review the detailed eligibility criteria to assess their eligibility or contact AMIA for a free eligibility check.  

Qualifying experience includes work that aligns with AHIC™ Outline of Exam Topics and includes evidence of critical thinking and analysis; independent decision-making; project management; managing personnel, resources or partner relationships; leading or supporting teams; policy development; or strategic planning. Qualifying experience may be gained prior to the completion of the qualifying graduate degree.

No. A master’s degree is the minimum academic requirement as noted in the eligibility criteria.

Yes. Individuals residing outside of the US that meet eligibility criteria are eligible.

Application

The AHIC application is available on AMIA website. The application includes four primary sections – education, experience, continuing education (for those without an informatics degree), and agreement to follow the AMIA Code of Ethics. Additional information may be requested if questions arise during the application review or the application is selected for audit.

Once the application has been submitted, please allow 10-15 business days for the application to be processed. You will receive an email from certification@amia.org that informs you of one of the following application statuses: eligible, ineligible, selected for audit, or additional information needed.

 

Initial Certification Fees:

  • Exam – AMIA Member: USD $899
  • Exam – Nonmember: USD $1,199
  • Exam Retake: USD $499 per retake
  • Supplemental International Exam: USD $100
  • Eligibility Extension: USD $150

To be a part of the inaugural examination group that will be testing from October 1 – October 31, 2021, you must complete your application by September 20, 2021. Applications will reopen in late 2021 for testing in early 2022.

Ensure that you add certification@amia.org to your address book so that the message isn’t flagged as “junk mail”. If you have checked your spam filters and still haven’t received a message after 15 business days, please contact AMIA at the certification email address above.

Examination

The AHIC exam is administered at hundreds of test centers in the US, and across the globe. For a complete list of US and International testing locations, please visit www.pearsonvue.com.

Eligible candidates receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) Notice via email, which will include an Eligibility ID number and instructions on how to schedule an exam appointment on the date and time of the candidate’s choosing (subject to availability at the selected test center). Candidates have 6 months (180 days) from the date of the ATT Notice to take the exam.

If you fail to appear for your scheduled exam appointment, you forfeit all fees. If you arrive late for a scheduled exam appointment, admission to the test is at the discretion of the Test Center staff. Candidates arriving late may not be allowed to test, in which case all fees will be forfeited, and the retake fee is required to reschedule the appointment. Refunds will not be given to candidates who fail to appear or arrive late for their exam appointments for any reason.

Each candidate has four hours to complete the 150-item exam.

The AHIC certification exam is based on the AHIC™ Outline of Exam Topics, which is rationally based on the results of the Health Informatics Practice Analysis Study performed by AMIA and facilitated by ACT ProExam in 2019.

Testers should receive their scores via email from the testing provider within a few hours of completing the exam.

** If you are testing as part of the inaugural group of testers from September 13 – October 31, 2021, you will receive your result approximately 4-6 weeks after the close of the inaugural testing window.

 

If you do not achieve a passing score, you can retake the exam as many times as necessary during a two-year period. Your certification eligibility determination remains valid for a two-year period following the date of your original ATT notice. If you do not pass the exam within the two-year period, you must re-apply as a new applicant (and pay the then-applicable exam fee, rather than the retake fee). All required documentation will need to be submitted and eligibility determined.

**If you are testing as part of the inaugural group of testers from September 13 – October 31, 2021, the HICC is offering one FREE retake of the exam if you do not pass the exam during the inaugural testing period.

 

Recertification

AHIC diplomates seeking recertification need to accrue 60 PDUs during the 4-year certification period. Alternatively, diplomates may retake and pass the AHIC exam within the last year (365 days) the certification is valid as a way of demonstrating they have maintained health informatics competence.

The HICC uses professional development units (PDUs) as a means of measuring and reporting continuous learning activities. Two categories of activities qualify for AHIC PDUs – coursework/continuing education and scholarship/professional service. Diplomates are encouraged to accrue credits in both categories. A complete list of activities that qualify for AHIC PDUs can be found on the AMIA website.

The cost to recertify is USD $499 for AMIA Members (USD $699 for nonmembers). The cost to recertify by exam is the same as the then current examination fees.

Keep track of your PDUs as you accumulate them. Please do not submit your recertification application until you have accumulated all of the required 60 PDUs (unless you are recertifying by exam rather than by PDUs) AND you are within 365 days of your credential expiration date. If you have questions about recertification, please email certification@amia.org, with “Recertification” in the subject line.

You will only be asked to provide documentation of activities if you are audited (at least 10% of all recertification applications, randomly selected) therefore, please keep a file of receipts, certificates of completion, syllabi, transcripts, and other proof of completion of your PDUs for at least twelve (12) months after you have submitted your AHIC recertification application. For conference attendance, keep a list of the specific education sessions you attended, and their descriptions if available. If you are unable to provide the documentation requested during the audit, your certification will be considered lapsed.

Yes. Instead of accumulating 60 hours of PDUs, you may retake and pass the exam before your four-year certification cycle ends. You must pay the AHIC recertification fee applicable at the time of your application to take the exam for recertification purposes. To recertify by exam, the exam must be taken prior to expiration of your ACHIP™ credential, in the last twelve (12) months of your certification period.

If you do not submit your recertification application or retake the exam by the end of your four-year certification period, you will lose your certification and must begin the initial certification process again, with all applicable fees. We strongly recommend that you do not let your certification expire. If your credential expires, you are no longer allowed to use the ACHIP™ designation and can face disciplinary action for doing so.

AMIA will send email notifications when your deadline is approaching; therefore, please ensure that your email is up to date in your website user profile. Please add certification@amia.org to your email address book and whitelist @AMIA.org on your email account (or server), so you do not miss important communications related to the ACHIP™ credential. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to keep track of your certification cycle end dates; failure to receive AMIA communications regarding recertification opportunities or certification expiration is not an acceptable basis for appealing the expiration of a certification.