237205 Past and future perspectives on voluntary certification in public health: Data on perceptions and motivations from Certified in Public Health examinees

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:17 PM

Donna Petersen, ScD , School of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Molly Eggleston, MPH, CHES, CPH , National Board of Public Health Examiners, Pittsburgh, PA
Barbara Pavliakova, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Since the Inaugural Certified in Public Health exam was offered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), examinees have completed a voluntary exit survey about the certification process. Data from more than 1,500 respondents will be analyzed and presented.

To-date, more than half of the CPH examinees learned about the exam through their school or program, consistent with where much of NBPHE's outreach is directed. A major motivation for taking the exam was to improve their credibility as a public health professional. Perhaps surprisingly, salary potential was not the major motivation. The NBPHE continues to engage with academic public health in encouraging students to complete the CPH exam, and only about 10% said that their public health degree program did not prepare them adequately for the exam. Beginning with the 2012 exam, students from all schools and programs accredited by CEPH are eligible to complete the CPH exam. Some of these schools and programs are considering the exam as a graduation requirement. Data on perception of fees will be presented, as well as an update on third-party support for registration fees for the CPH exam. The exam was considered challenging and fair by the majority of examinees. Pass rates have exceeded 70% for each annual exam, and exam difficulty is consistent across administrations. Passage of the exam is an accomplishment that helps to advance the public health profession. Implications for the future of voluntary certification will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify examinee’s primary motivations for seeking the CPH credential. Describe the perceived difficulty of the CPH exam as reported by examinees.

Keywords: Certification, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a masters of public health student who has worked on analysis of the CPH exam surveys.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.