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HICA 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 is responsible for delivering an online proctoring service to all candidates.

Please read this Health Information-Certified Associate (HICA) national certification examination (NCE) guide in full before applying.

Section 1: About the HICA NCE

The HICA NCE consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and is 60 minutes in duration.

A passing grade is based on the following two requirements:

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

The following table outlines each practice area:

Practice areas
Clinical knowledge
Professionalism in health care
Health care office management
Health care technology
Health care system
Ethics, equity, diversity, and inclusion*
* Ethics, equity, diversity, and inclusion will be included across each practice area.


A candidate who is unsuccessful in writing the HICA 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

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

Ensure CHIMA membership is active

An active membership with CHIMA is required during both the application process and when writing the HICA NCE. 

Submit application and payment

In order to register for the HICA NCE, candidates must submit an application and provide payment. Payment will need to be received on or before the application deadline. To access the HICA 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 ‘HICA’ 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. 

Approved candidates will receive an approval email from CHIMA 2-3 days* following the application deadline. Please see Section 5: Writing the examination for additional details.

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

Transcript requirement

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

Transcripts are required to be received on or before the application deadline. CHIMA is not able 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. 

Eligibility pathwayTranscript required
Accredited health information associate programYes

For transcript submission, choose from one of the following methods (Please note that electronic transcripts are preferred):


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


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

Attn: Examinations 
301-50 Ottawa Street South
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 3S7

Section 3: Studying for the examination


The following resources may help prepare candidates for writing the HICA NCE:

Section 4: Preparing for examination day

Preparing for examination day

Here are a few things you will need to bring:

Government issued photo ID

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

Proper technology

Conduct the quick tests for internet speed, microphone, camera, and proctoring software found on the CHIMA NCE online proctoring guidelines page.


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

Please reach out to for any questions that you may have related to the technical requirements in preparation for your examination.

Section 5: Writing the examination

Booking an examination date and time

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 prior to the application deadline.*

Once candidates book their time slot, an email will be sent out with additional details and reminders when preparing for examination day. Please check spam/junk folders for this email. 

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

Section 6: Receiving results

Candidates will be able to view their grades by signing in to their CHIMA dashboard. Please select ‘National Certification Examinations’ 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.

For those who pass, click here to see when you are required to pay your upcoming membership dues with the CHIMA.
For those who do not pass, your current membership with CHIMA will remain the same.

Last updated 2022-10-18