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National certification examination policies, rules & regulations

Any breach of the following NCE policies, rules, and regulations set out by the Canadian College of Health Information Management constitutes a breach of the code of ethics and could result in disqualification from writing an examination, automatic failure of the examination, or a professional conduct inquiry. All candidates and other persons associated with College examination(s) will comply with all NCE policies, rules, and regulations and the code of ethics in the period leading up to, during, and following the examination(s).

1. Any form of reproduction (verbal or physical) of the examination is contrary to the NCE policies, rules, and regulations and a breach of the code of ethics. All information with respect to the examination remains the property of the College. Candidates who apply to write a national certification examination (NCE) enter into a confidential relationship with the College. To ensure confidentiality, all candidate inquiries about the process before, during, and after the examination will be dealt with directly between the candidate concerned and the College registrar or designate.

2. Candidates will not access or use materials that constitute illegal aids during the examination. Illegal aids are any items other than what is acceptable as stated in the NCE policies, rules, and regulations unless the items are approved by the College prior to the commencement of the examination. Illegal aids during the examination include, but are not limited to the access or use of: cellphones, electronic devices (including USB drives), dictionaries, briefcases, purses, or coats.

3. Items such as paper, calculators, study notes, pens, and external resources are prohibited unless specified in the individual examination guide pertaining to the credential being challenged. If paper is permitted, these materials must be destroyed immediately following the examination. Absolutely no test material or miscellaneous notes are to be shared. 

4. A candidate is not permitted to ask a proctor, colleague, or any other person any examination related questions during the examination. If an online proctor is present, technical issues are the only circumstance whereby a proctor may intervene. 

5. If an online proctor is required during the national certification examination and witnesses or suspects behaviour that contravenes the ‘NCE Policies, Rules, and Regulations’, or which constitutes the use of an illegal aid, the proctor will document the allegation clearly, including such particulars as the examination part number, time of misconduct, student response, and full description of misconduct. Upon receipt of an allegation from a proctor during the examination process, the Registrar, in consultation with legal counsel, will:

i. Ensure that marking of the candidate’s examination is withheld;

ii. Notify the candidate of the allegation in writing, indicating that the candidate has 30 days in which to appeal the allegation by presenting facts; and

iii. Review the evidence from the proctor and the candidate to determine if:

– The allegation will not be upheld, and the candidate’s examination will be marked; or

– The allegation will be upheld.

6. If any person involved in or associated with the certification examination witnesses or suspects behaviour that contravenes the NCE policies, rules, and regulations before or after the national examination, the person will notify the College registrar immediately. Upon such notification, the registrar, in consultation with legal counsel, may:

i. Withhold the writing of the examination; or

ii. Withhold the marking of the examination and notify the affected candidate(s); and

iii. Conduct a full investigation and make recommendations to the appropriate body.

7. The College is responsible for the validity and integrity of the reported scores. On occasion, occurrences such as computer malfunction or misconduct by a candidate may cause a score to be suspect. The College reserves the right to void or withhold examination results if, upon investigation, violation of the College’s regulations is suspected. Candidates are expected to fully cooperate with the investigation.

8. If any allegation is upheld, the registrar reserves all rights to reissue the examination, disqualify the candidate, and refuse entry to the Canadian College of Health Information Management, or present the circumstance to the Professional Ethics Committee. Should the registrar disqualify a candidate, the candidate will have no privileges to write the certification examination at any other time. The registrar will notify the candidate/person(s) involved of the results of the misconduct determination and action in writing.

9. Personal information and individual exam results are not shared with HIM programs accredited by the College. To support quality improvement opportunities at the program level, and only when sample size is appropriate, aggregate pass/fail rates are shared with the program from which the examination candidate graduated.

Accessibility policy

Accessibility needs, as defined for the College policy, refers to a candidate with any documented temporary or permanent physical impairment or any persistent mental, psychological, sensory, or learning impairment. For testing purposes, these individuals are considered to be disadvantaged in relation to other candidates because of:

  • Visual disability;
  • Hearing impairment;
  • Motor disability;
  • Learning disability;
  • Limited physical tolerance; or
  • Other disabling circumstances.

Candidates with accessibility needs who would like their needs taken into consideration when writing a national certification examination must fill in the appropriate section of the application form. All formal documentation of an examination applicant’s disability must be received in writing prior to the national examination application deadline. This documentation must include a final report from an educational psychologist, physician, or equivalent professional detailing the diagnosed disability and recommendations.

Please scan and send formal documentation to [email protected].

Cancellation policy

In the event of any weather or other occurrence beyond the control of the College, the examination may, at the sole discretion of the College, be cancelled, postponed, or administered on an alternate date. Every effort will be made to notify candidates by telephone or email of a cancellation or change of date. All efforts will be made to hold the examination as scheduled. Only the College can cancel the administration of the examination.

Appeal policy

In order to appeal a national certification examination grade, a completed application form (including processing fee of $200 plus applicable taxes) must be submitted within 30-days of grades being posted.

Upon receipt of the above, the College will complete the following:

  1. The candidate’s examination grades will be reviewed within two (2) weeks of receipt of the appeal;
  2. The results will be communicated to the candidate within one (1) month of receipt of the appeal;
  3. If the original outcome is reaffirmed, options for a re-write will be relayed to the candidate if applicable;
  4. If a new outcome indicating certification status is proven, the candidate will be notified and reimbursed the appeal processing fee.