Healthcare Accreditation Certification Program (HACP)
Knowledge you need, Recognition you deserve!

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to take the HACP examination?

Unlike many certification programs, HACP is not about your title, or how many degrees you have after your name, or even what your job is. HACP is about proving your knowledge of accreditation standards and key CMS regulations.
There are no eligibility requirements. We do recommend that you be actively or recently employed in a hospital setting with at least two years experience. We’ve also found it helpful to have a good knowledge base of clinical and support processes in a hospital setting.

How long do I have to take the examination once I apply?

You must take the online examination within one year once your application is approved. If exams are not taken within the allotted time period, the application is nullified.

Are there tools to help me prepare for the examination?

A study guide and practice exam is available for purchase. The study guide and practice exam focus directly on the content of the exam.
*Note: There is also a combined preparatory course and in-person proctored exam offered annually. When the event is scheduled a notification will be placed on the CIHQ-HACP website.

How long is the HACP certification good for?

Certification is good for a full two year period. You would then need to recertify either by taking the examination again, or by submitting evidence of continuing education in the accreditation / regulatory arena.

What happens if my certification expires?

There will be a 30 day grace period after your expiration date. If you have not renewed your certification by that time, you will no longer be considered certified and will have to reapply for a new certification.

Will you notify me when my certification is due to expire?

Yes, we will send an email approximately 90 days before your expiration date.

What are the continuing education requirements?

You will need 24 continuing education units for re-certification in lieu of re-taking the examination. One unit is equivalent to one hour of study or instruction. Continuing education must address areas consistent with accreditation standards and/or CMS Conditions of Participation. Contact hours can be obtained free of charge through the CIHQ education resource center.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

Initial Examination Fee
Standard On-Line Exam Fee = $275
Employee of CIHQ Member Organization On-Line Exam Fee = $225
Check if your organization is an ARS member or accredited by CIHQ.
Recertification Fee
Recertification by CEU = $180
Recertification by On-Line Exam = $205
HACP is listed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as meeting criteria for inclusion in a hospitals Demographic Data Collection Tool™ for Magnet Status.