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CCCS NCE guide

The Canadian College of Health Information Management is the certifying body for health information national certification examinations in Canada. CHIMA, Canada’s health information management association, is the examination host and responsible for delivering an online proctoring service to all candidates. 

Please read this Certified Classification and Coding Specialist (CCCS) national certification examination (NCE) guide in full before applying. 

Section 1: About the CCCS NCE 

The CCCS NCE consists of 45 questions (42 multiple choice questions and 3 case scenarios) and is 132 minutes in duration. Each correct question is worth one mark. 

A passing grade is based on the following requirement: 

  • An overall grade of 70% or higher 

The examination covers six practice areas: 

Practice Area
Fundamentals
General medicine
Neoplasms
Interventions
Obstetrics and newborns 
Iatrogenic disorders, trauma, and other related conditions and disorders 

Re-examination 

A candidate who is unsuccessful in writing the CCCS NCE on the first attempt may re-write the examination twice more(for a total of three times). Regular pricing applies for subsequent attempts. The exam candidate must complete the entire examination each time. If a candidate has failed all three attempts, a further review will be conducted.

Section 2: Examination application  

Quick links 

Please review the following information before applying for the CCCS NCE: 

Submit application and payment 

In order to register for the CCCS NCE, candidates must submit an application and provide payment. Payment must be received on or before the application deadline. To access the CCCS national certification application, please follow these steps: 

  1. Sign in to your CHIMA account, accessible in the top right corner of the screen 
  2. Click on your name to access your dashboard 
  3. Scroll down to ‘Canadian College of Health Information Management’ and select ‘Manage’ 
  4. Navigate to ‘National certification applications’ and click learn more 
  5. Navigate to ‘CCCS’ and select ‘Apply here’ 

Applicants are responsible for reviewing all information to ensure it is correct in both the application and the CHIMA membership profile. 

Application supporting documentation requirement 

This is a one-time submission to the Canadian College of Health Information Management. 

Application supporting documentation is required to be received on or before the application deadline.  

Experienced professionalClassification and coding specialty
program graduate
Current resumeTranscript
Reference letter from the current employer outlining the
candidate’s classification and coding work experience
Submit documentation to [email protected]

For transcript submission, choose from one of the following methods: 

Electronic 

Electronic transcripts are accepted only when received directly from an institution. They must be scanned individually as a PDF, saved as ‘lastname_firstname_institution,’ and emailed to [email protected].  

Mail-in 

Both an institution and exam candidate can mail a sealed, original copy to the following address: 

CHIMA 
Attn: Examinations  
201 King St. 
London, Ontario 
N6A 1C9 

CHIMA unable to request a candidate’s transcript from an institution as they contain personal information. It is suggested that candidates confirm their program’s policy for submitting transcripts to CHIMA. Candidates will not be notified of the receipt of their transcript. 

Section 3: Preparing for the examination

Studying

The following resources may help prepare candidates with writing the CHIM NCE:

Other study resources 

  • ICD-10-CA/CCI Classification Primer by Joy Fletcher has practice questions with an answer key and highlights coding principles throughout the chapters 
  • The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) offers informational and educational resources on their website to assist coders

Meeting technology requirements 

Section 4: Writing the examination 

Examination candidates are responsible for purchasing or arranging access to the following resources, which must be preinstalled on the computer prior to the examination date: 

  1. Canadian Coding Standards (v. 2018) 
  1. ICD-10-CA/CCI Folio (v. 2018) software 

IMPORTANT: Examination candidates are responsible for purchasing or arranging access to ICD-10-CA/CCI Folio software. The Folio software and Canadian Coding Standards must be preinstalled on the computer being used to access the examination. Examination candidates must not access any other websites or documents during the entire examination. 

Booking an examination date and time 

Approved candidates will receive an email from CHIMA to schedule an examination date and time. The time slots will be based on availability during eastern standard time business hours (Monday to Friday, with the exception of statutory holidays). This email is sent out 2–3 days following the application deadline. 

What to bring 

Paper 

Candidates may use pencils and a piece of scrap paper during the examination. Candidates must dispose of all scrap paper immediately following the examination. 

Important steps for examination day 

Due to COVID-19, many candidates will be writing from home with other household members present. We ask that you limit the number of people who are connected to the internet to ensure there are no interruptions to the examination.  

The following are six important steps that must occur the day of your examination:

  1. Make sure the computer is connected to a power source.
  2. Re-download the proctoring software 15-minutes before your examination start time. This proctoring software is only valid for the time that it is open on your device. Please do not close this software. Candidates must enter their name when the session box comes up so that the proctor can recognize it. Please see the example below:
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  1. Conduct the quick tests for internet speed, microphone, camera, and proctoring software found on the CHIMA NCE online proctoring guidelines page. 
  1. Arrive prepared with one form of valid (not expired) government-issued photo identification for the proctor. It must contain the candidate’s photograph and signature. 
  1. Sign in to the CHIMA dashboard at the scheduled appointment time 
  1. Ensure the phone with the number associated with the CCCS NCE application is charged and ready to accept a call from the proctor to start the authentication process. The proctor will call you at the exact time of your appointment. 

The proctor will provide access to the examination once a recording has begun. The proctor’s video screen will be turned off during examination writing as to not distract the candidate. Candidates can get the proctor’s attention by using the chat function or by calling CHIMA’s proctoring support number.  

Email questions on examination day to [email protected] or call 1-519-800-8300. 

Section 5: Receiving results 

Candidates will be able to view their grades by signing in to their CHIMA dashboard. Please select ‘Canadian College of Health Information Management’ and navigate to ‘Examination history’. Grades are posted approximately 20 business days* after the examination period ends. Candidates who passed will receive an official certificate from the Canadian College of Health Information Management and a welcome letter in the mail within 45 business days*. 

* At times, the College could run outside of these service level agreements due to extenuating circumstances.  


Last updated 2021-06-07