Becoming a certified healthcare facility manager provides many benefits. Here’s what you need to know about the process and why it’s helpful.
The healthcare industry is changing, and there is a wide range of opportunities for professionals at all levels. This is especially true in the area of facilities management, because more advanced and patient-centric facilities have led to the need for more informed, capable staff members. As a facility manager, demonstrating that you can keep up with the most pressing and current needs of modern healthcare is essential to your career. The American Hospital Association (AHA) offers a certified healthcare facility manager designation that can help you stand out in the market. Here’s what you need to know about certification.
What Certification Means
A facility manager is crucial to an efficient and patient-centered healthcare facility. As a manager, you need to be familiar with standards set at both the state and federal levels, as well as requirements set by outside organizations and legislation, including the National Fire Protection Association, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Americans with Disabilities Act. Getting certified shows that you’re educated on all the latest rules and regulations. Keeping your certification current shows current and potential employers and colleagues that you’re up to date with how a healthcare facility should be managed.
Healthcare is a highly competitive employment market — job candidates who are certified stand out among the competition, and facility managers who are certified stand out among their peers. Certification sends a clear message to a prospective employer that you’re driven in your career and that your experience is credible and verifiable.
Benefits of Certification
Becoming a certified healthcare facility manager will bring you multiple benefits:
- You’ll stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
- You’ll be confident that your existing expertise has been validated by a trusted source.
- You’ll be able to network with other experts in the field of healthcare facilities management.
- You’ll gain exposure to real-world tasks and challenges through role delineation studies you’ll work through during your certification process.
To become a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM) by the American Hospital Association, you’ll need associated engineering experience, such as facility management; operations and maintenance; safety and security; environmental management; clinical engineering; or safety, design and construction. You’ll also need to meet one of three education requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, plus three years of associated engineering experience in the healthcare industry and three years of healthcare management experience.
- An associate’s degree from an accredited university, plus five years of associated engineering experience and five years of healthcare management experience.
- A high school diploma, plus seven years of associated engineering experience and seven years of healthcare management experience.
The CHFM Examination and Certification Renewal
The CHFM examination consists of 110 multiple choice questions focusing on five content areas. To prepare for the exam, you can purchase self-assessment examinations from the AHA – there’s also a free demo. The CHFM designation is good for three years. To renew your certification, you can either retake the exam or complete 45 hours of continuing education, which could include taking professional development courses, attending seminars, teaching courses and other professional activities. Additionally, the AHA’s self-assessment exams count toward certification renewal. For more information, see the CHFM handbook.
If you or any of your staff are considering taking steps toward getting certified as a healthcare facilities manager, consider starting the process today. This not only benefits the employees who obtain certification, but also the facilities and the patient populations they serve.