FAQs

Who? What? Why?

What is CHIA?

CHIA (Certified Health Informatician Australasia) is a unique credentialing program in health informatics, and is collaboration of ACHI, HIMAA and HISA.

CHIA formally recognises the knowledge and skills for those working in health informatics and e-health. Once certified, a CHIA can demonstrate they have broad expertise in health informatics principles, concepts, methods and skills, and the ability to apply these in the workplace.

CHIA is bestowed on those individuals who successfully complete the CHIA exam. The examination covers a wide range of topics, within six major areas of competence considered essential to a health informatician in Australasia.

Why is certification important?

Certification is the process that allows the candidate to demonstrate that they possess the knowledge to a standard required by the certifying bodies (HISA, ACHI and HIMAA).

Can anyone sit the CHIA exam?

Eligibility requirements in order to be able to sit the CHIA exam:

  • A degree+ plus three (3) years of associated experience*

OR

  • Five (5) years of associated experience (no degree required)*

+ Degree can be any degree and does not have to be in health informatics.
* Associated experience includes the following functional areas: health informatics, health administration/management, clinical information systems, e-health, health information systems, health information management.

I’m not eligible to take the exam – what can I do?

If you don’t meet the criteria but believe you have enough relevant experience in the workforce, please contact us to state your case and we will get back to you.

Compliance with the experience and education requirements will be assessed through the registration and audit processes. Individuals who don’t meet the above criteria can apply to be reviewed by the CHIA Examination Committee on a case by case basis.

If a candidate is found to not meet the eligibility requirements the registration fee will be refunded and you will not be able to sit the exam.

If you are a student or early in your health informatics career and don’t have the required work experience yet, we suggest you become a member of HISA/ACHI or HIMAA and proactively use the networks you become part of to gain the experience you need.

How do I pronounce C-H-I-A?

chee – ah

What does CHIA certification involve?

Certification tests whether a candidate has the knowledge and skills that are identified in Australia’s Health Informatics Competencies Framework to perform as a health informatics professional.

I don’t live in Australia – can I sit the CHIA exam?

Absolutely!

What’s the difference between a degree/certificate in health informatics, and CHIA?

CHIA is Australia’s industry professional certification in health informatics. A professional certification means that by attaining CHIA you have achieved competency measured against a defensible set of standards set by the health informatics profession. A CHIA has competency across all 6 domains of health informatics (see the competency framework) and is measured by the successful passing of the CHIA examination.

A degree in health informatics results from undertaking an educational process and indicates successful completion of a course of study. An undergraduate or post graduate degree is a qualification that may provide the basis for further education qualifications.

A breakdown of the differences between a Certificate/Degree and an Professional Certification is in the below table, which has been lightly adapted from http://www.asha.org/CE/CEUs/Professional-Certification-vs-Certificate-Program/ CHIA is a “certification”. For “certificate” you can substitute Vocational or Higher Education or a Continuing Professional Learning and Development program.

 

Certificate /Degree (vocational or higher education) Certification (CHIA)
Results from an educational process. Results from an assessment process.
For both newcomers and experienced professionals alike. Typically requires some amount of professional experience.
Awarded by educational program providers or institutions. Awarded by a third party, standard-setting organization.
Indicates completion of a course or series of courses with specific focus. Indicates mastery/competency as measured against a defensible set of standards, usually by application or exam.
Course content set a variety of ways (faculty committee, dean, instructor). Standards set through a defensible, industry-wide process (job analysis/role delineation) that results in an outline of required knowledge and skills.
Usually listed on a resume detailing education; may issue a document to hang on the wall. Typically results in a designation to use after one’s name (CCC-SLP, CCC-A.); may result in a document to hang or to keep in a wallet.
Is the end result; demonstrates knowledge of course content at the end of a set period in time. Has ongoing requirements in order to maintain; holder must demonstrate he/she continues to meet requirements. For example, SLPs, audiologists, and other allied health professionals are required to complete annual CEUs to keep their certifications.
May provide the basis and gateway for further educational qualifications. No relationship with attaining higher education or degree.
Designed to meet educational requirements – complies with AQF, meets nationally legislated training requirements Designed to meet workforce requirements, not educational requirements

Study Prep

What should I study to prepare for the exam?

On registration, candidates will be given a copy of the CHIA Student Handbook. Anything you could possibly want to know is in that handbook.

Candidates will also receive a CHIA Examination Study Guide. This guide provides a list of resources that address each of the 52 health informatics competencies tested. Candidates are advised to review Study Guide in conjunction with the CHIA Competencies Framework.

The study guide is intended as a basic guide to assist and support the candidate through the provision of supplementary information, and is not an exhaustive text. Reading references and resources are intended to give general knowledge on the competencies. To keep current in this dynamic area we encourage candidates to do further research and reading, and seek information beyond the scope of this list.

Are there courses I can take to help me study for the exam?

It isn’t necessary to enrol in a training course to pass the exam. All the reading materials you need are given to you when you register.

What system requirements do I need?

Candidates can now access the exam with the following operating system or browser:

  • Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Chrome OS/Chromebook
  • Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Opera

Please ensure you have good internet access prior to sitting the exam.

Sitting The Exam

What is tested on the CHIA exam?

This exam covers 52 health informatics competencies over 6 domains of expertise.

The Australian Health Informatics Competencies Framework contains information on what is required to perform as a health informatics professional.

How do I sit the CHIA exam?

Register on the CHIA website and you will be sent the information to help you prepare for the exam and the instructions for how to login to sit the exam.

How long do I have to complete the exam?

Once you start the exam, you will have 2.5 hours to complete it. When the exam is being timed all your other applications will be locked out so you won’t be able to use other programs whilst you are sitting this exam.

What happens if I don’t pass the first time?

If you do not pass on the first attempt you can sit the exam a second time (with a different set of questions). We recommend not leaving it to the last minute to sit the exam. If you leave it too late you may not have time to study and re-sit the exam again.

What if I think more than one of the multiple choice responses is correct?

You must provide the most correct response. In some cases more than one response will be partially correct.

When can I sit the exam?

The exam is an online exam, so you can take it at your will. You may sit the exam at any time within 90 days of registering for the exam online at the CHIA website.

What is the pass mark for the certification examination? Do all competencies need to be passed?

The pass mark is 65% in total. You may pass the examination without meeting 65% in every competency.

Is the exam open book?

The CHIA online exam takes 2.5 hours and you may consult your text book. 2.5 hours after the exam begins, the exam will close and you will be locked out. If you spend time referring to study material you will not be able to complete the exam in time.

What happens if I don’t pass within the 90 days?

There will not be any extensions after the 90 day period. If you do not pass the exam within 90 days you will have to register and pay the registration fee for an exam re-sit.

You will need to go through the application process again and your new application will be re-assessed by the Examination Committee. Assuming the Examination Committee re-approves your eligibility, you will again be invited to sit for the examination.

If you don’t attempt your first AND/ OR second attempt of the exam within the 90 days you will be deemed to have forfeited the exam.

When will I find out if I passed the exam?

You will be notified of your result immediately following exam completion. If you fail on the first attempt, you will be emailed new instructions to re-take the CHIA exam. Candidates who fail twice will not be awarded the CHIA certification. You may re-apply for certification. If you do, you will need to go through the registration process again.

Paying For The Exam

How much does it cost?

To sit the CHIA exam the fee is $395 for full financial members of HISA/ACHI or HIMAA*. For non-members the fee is $510.

*Applicable membership categories for HISA/ACHI – FACHI, MACHI, Ordinary, Organisational, Honorary
*Applicable membership categories for HIMAA – Full, Fellow, Senior Associate, Associate, Life, Organisational

Can my organisation pay my CHIA fees?

Absolutely, if they want to.

Your organisation may fund you as a part of their commitment to continuing professional development of their staff.

There are a number of direct benefits to employers for having CHIA on their staff.

Can I get a refund on the registration fee?

The registration fee is not refundable. However exam candidates can sit the exam a second time within the first 90 days if you are unsuccessful at your first sitting.

Can I get a discount for the exam?

Yes if you are a HISA/ACHI or HIMAA member you will be entitled to a $115 discounted rate.

*Applicable membership categories for HISA/ACHI – FACHI, MACHI, Ordinary, Organisational, Honorary
*Applicable membership categories for HIMAA – Full, Fellow, Senior Associate, Associate, Life, Organisational

Can I claim a tax deduction for CHIA when completing my tax return?

Individuals paying for CHIA themselves, just as with all self-education and professional development expenses, may be able to claim the CHIA registration fee as part of your annual tax return. Check with your accountant.

Maintaining Certification

How long will my CHIA qualifications last?

Periodic renewal of the certification is required to maintain certified status. Initial certification or renewal of certification is valid for three years. Re-certification is required to maintain the CHIA certification.

I would like to specialise in an area of health informatics. What options are available to me?

Over coming years the CHIA program will be progressively extended to allow candidates to apply for certification in a series of specialisations, provided you have passed the CHIA exam first. These specialisations are likely to include:

  • Aged Care Informatics
  • Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing
  • Clinical Informatics
  • Clinical Research Informatics
  • General Practice
  • Health Information Management
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Translational Bioinformatics