The Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) designation is one of the most recognized and prestigious healthcare compliance certifications, and for good reason.

Unlike other compliance certifications, the CHC designation demonstrates a professional’s expertise in understanding and applying healthcare compliance laws, regulations, and best practices. This expertise is crucial for promoting organizational integrity and mitigating compliance-related risks.

This blog will define the CHC designation, explain what is required to earn certification, and discuss the value certified compliance professionals bring to enterprise healthcare organizations.

What Is the Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) Designation?

The Certified in Healthcare Compliance designation is offered by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) and numerous educational, professional, and business entities. Unlike other certifications that may cover compliance across numerous industries, the CHC is specifically tailored to the healthcare sector.

As of 2024, there are over 12,000 professionals who hold the CHC designation. Obtaining certification requires more than taking an exam. To achieve certification in healthcare compliance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Work Experience: You must have either one year of full-time work in a compliance position or at least 1,500 hours of work experience in a compliance-related position within the last two years.
  • Education: You must earn and submit 20 Compliance Certification Board (CCB)-approved continuing education units (CEUs), of which at least 10 must come from live training events. These CEUs must be earned within the 12 months preceding the exam date.
  • Apply for the Exam: Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you must submit an exam application with the appropriate fee.
  • Pass the CHC Exam: The exam is multiple-choice and you have two hours to complete the text; passing requires applying and analyzing compliance knowledge. The exam covers seven main content areas:
    • Standards, Policies, and Procedures
    • Compliance Program Administration
    • Screening and Evaluation of Employees, Physicians, Vendors, and other Agents
    • Communication, Education, and Training on Compliance Issues
    • Monitoring, Auditing, and Internal Reporting Systems
    • Discipline for Non-Compliance
    • Investigations and Remedial Measures

After passing the exam, certification is valid for two years. You must earn and submit 40 CCB CEUs and a renewal fee every two years to maintain certification.

You can bypass the work experience requirement if you have completed a graduate certificate program from a CCB-accredited university within the last two years. In that case, you must apply for the exam within 12 months of completing the program.

What Sets CHC-Certified Compliance Pros Apart?

The Certified in Healthcare Compliance designation substantially benefits professionals by offering enhanced credibility, career opportunities, and a comprehensive skill set in healthcare compliance. Additionally important are the benefits a CHC-certified compliance pro brings to the healthcare organizations they serve.

Familiarity With Healthcare Compliance and Program Expectations

The CHC exam is the starting point of a deeper dive into various aspects of healthcare compliance. CHC professionals are equipped to promote organizational integrity through effective compliance programs. This includes skills in developing, implementing, and overseeing comprehensive compliance initiatives.

CHC holders have expertise in compliance processes sufficient to assist healthcare industry organizations in understanding and addressing legal obligations. This practical know-how is crucial for implementing and managing effective compliance programs.

Proven Ability to Apply Compliance Best Practices

You don’t pass the CHC exam by simply answering questions. Compliance professionals must demonstrate their ability to evaluate and analyze relevant laws, regulations, and best practices — and continue doing so for their employer.

The knowledge required to apply compliance best practices is complex and ever-changing. For example, CHC holders must show they can “define the scope of compliance program consistent with current industry standards” and “verify the governing board understands its responsibility as it relates to the compliance program and culture,” among other vital duties.

Possess a Strong Network To Stay Up-To-Date

CHC certification requires continuous education, ensuring compliance officers stay current with the latest regulations and industry trends. Being certified often provides opportunities for networking, mentorship, and professional development.

Their professional network becomes a valuable source of information on compliance and regulatory change. Certified professionals are likelier to be invited to industry events, conferences, and seminars. They are likely connected with compliance software and service vendors who can support your organization.

Skilled at Improving Operational Efficiency

A certified professional’s expertise in identifying and addressing compliance-related risks impacts a healthcare organization’s operational efficiency in many ways:

  • Process improvement: Their specialized knowledge allows them to identify inefficiencies in existing compliance processes and suggest improvements that can save time and resources.
  • Risk mitigation: Their expertise in identifying and addressing compliance-related risks helps prevent costly errors, fines, or legal issues that could disrupt operations.
  • Technology integration: With their up-to-date industry knowledge, CHC professionals can recommend and implement compliance technologies that automate processes and increase efficiency.
  • Audit preparedness: By maintaining robust compliance practices, CHC professionals help organizations stay audit-ready, reducing unexpected audits’ disruption and resource drain.

Instant Credibility With Stakeholders and Regulators

Employing CHC-certified professionals enhances an organization’s reputation. The CHC is accredited by the CCB and developed through a combined effort of qualified content experts and testing professionals. This rigorous development process ensures that CHC holders are well-prepared for the healthcare compliance challenges facing their employers.

Pursuing and maintaining the CHC certification demonstrates a serious commitment to the healthcare compliance profession, which stakeholders and regulators appreciate. The designation verifies that the professional has the necessary knowledge and skills to manage compliance issues effectively. It shows they are committed to ethical standards, crucial for building trust with stakeholders and regulators.

CHC Professionals Are More Likely To Adopt Technology

The CHC Candidate Handbook used to prepare for the exam highlights a compliance professional’s duty to “Advocate for compliance resources that are scalable for the organization’s needs (e.g., financial resources and systems).” Exam topics cover policies and procedures, communication, education, and internal reporting systems — all of which technology can streamline.

Certification can help compliance professionals evaluate and recommend technology solutions to organization leadership and governing boards. A comprehensive understanding of healthcare laws and regulations helps compliance pros better evaluate new technologies and how they align with organizational needs.

CHC professionals must maintain their certifications through continuing education. This ongoing learning may expose them to new technologies and innovations that can help them more effectively identify, assess, and manage compliance risks.

Free Checklist: Things Your Governing Board Wants to Know About Compliance

Software Enhances CHC Certification Knowledge

The widely recognized Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) certification offers numerous benefits. However, the most effective compliance officers master compliance software to go beyond certification.

Expertise in healthcare-specific learning management systems, online policy management, and incident reporting can set you apart. MedTrainer’s all-in-one compliance platform, trusted by over 1,500 healthcare organizations, streamlines training processes, improves policy management, and brings incident reporting online to significant impact.


Use this checklist to ensure you're shining in your compliance role.