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CHIM NCE guide

Please read this guide in full before completing the application.

Section 1: Becoming certified

Information on the health information management (HIM®) certification, including eligibility, professional designation, and examination information may be found here. The objective of the Certified Health Information Management (CHIM) national certification examination (NCE) is to assess a minimum level of competence in health information management that an HIM professional is expected to have upon entry to the profession. Certified HIM professionals must:

  • Maintain membership with the CHIMA, Canada’s health information management association;
  • Maintain continuing professional education (CPE) credits with the Canadian College of Health Information Management; and
  • Uphold the code of ethics.

Section 2: Code of ethics

The code of ethics and the interpretation guidelines to support it are available here.

Section 3: Examination application

To register for an examination, candidates must submit an application and provide payment. The CHIM NCE application guide can be found here.


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

  • Name: This information is used to prepare certificates for successful candidates. Please contact [email protected] to include a middle name or initial if it is to be included on the certificate.
  • Address: Applicants are responsible for ensuring a current address is included in the application and is updated in the online membership profile.
  • Email address: An applicant must provide a primary email address. Please ensure it is correct, as correspondence following receipt of a candidate’s examination application, including the provision of an examination password, will be carried out via email once the application is approved. If a current email address is not provided, the applicant will not receive any follow-up information.

CHIM certification application

  • Health information management school and year of graduation: Please complete all details, including the name of the health information management school (not the program) and year of graduation.

Please note: Candidates re-writing the examination or who are active associate members of CHIMA do not require transcripts.

Section 4: Examination content

The examination consists of 154 multiple-choice questions and is 210 minutes in duration. The examination covers seven content areas:

  1. Biomedical sciences
  2. Health information science (including coding theory)
  3. Health information analysis
  4. Technology and health information
  5. Access and security
  6. The health care system in Canada
  7. Ethics and practice

Content areas on the examination may not be presented in the sequence outlined above.

Section 5: Studying for the examination

Examinations can be a stressful experience, and preparation can help minimize stress by re-affirming the knowledge that a candidate has while assisting in the identification of areas that may require additional review. It is best to study one subject area/topic at a time. Focus time (ideally a significant period, such as a few hours over several days) to that subject. Do not try to review multiple/different subjects in a shorter period. Take frequent short breaks to provide both mental and physical separation from the topic and workspace, allowing for the opportunity to ‘recharge.’

Study well in advance of the examination. Do not wait until the week or night before the examination.

Examination primer

An examination primer is a valuable tool to assist any individual preparing to write an examination. Based on the
learning outcomes for HIM programs, this primer identifies a few examples of the knowledge content being tested. It
also provides some practice questions and helpful tips for preparing for the exam. Examination primers are available on the CHIMA website.

Section 6: Writing the examination

Candidates writing the CHIM NCE may bring battery-operated, non-programmable, non-scientific calculators into the
examination (i.e., those with basic arithmetic functions). Candidates may use pencils and a piece of scrap paper during the examination. Candidates must dispose of all scrap paper immediately following the examination.

Approved calculator for the CHIM NCE

Section 7: Grading the examination

All multiple-choice questions are computer graded. Each correct multiple-choice question is worth one mark. The examination score will be the total of correct answers.

Pass requirement

The CHIM NCE passing grade is based on the following two requirements:

  • An overall grade of 60% or higher, and;
  • All sectional grades to be 50% or higher.

These are the following three sections:

Section 1:
Biomedical sciences
Health information science (including coding theory)
Ethics and practice

Section 2:
Health information analysis and presentation
Technology and health information
Ethics and practice

Section 3:
Access and security
The health care system in Canada
Ethics and practice


A candidate who is unsuccessful writing the CHIM 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.

Questions related to examination administration and processes should be directed to CHIMA at [email protected]