By Roy Snell, CHC, CCEP‑F, CEO SCCE/HCCA
The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association (SCCE/HCCA) created an independent certification body called the Compliance Certification Board (CCB). Debbie Troklus, co-founder of SCCE/HCCA, chairs CCB, which has been developing compliance credentials for over ten years. Hundreds of compliance professionals have been involved in developing and maintaining CCB credentials.
Early on, CCB hired Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), a testing organization that employs doctorate-level (PhD/EdD) psychometricians and statisticians to facilitate all phases of CCB's examination development process, including job analysis/validation, construction, administration, and scoring. AMP has been in business for the last thirty years and currently provides these services to more than seventy different organizations. CCB has basic, advanced, and subspecialty compliance credentials that are now held by over 5,000 compliance professionals. In the first ten years, CCB invested more than two million dollars in volunteer travel and consulting fees to develop credentials. Dr. Steve Nettles, Senior Vice-President for AMP's Psychometrics Division, says, "The examinations that CCB candidates must pass to be credentialed are designed to meet all current professional standards and legal guidelines. The examinations are developed to have substantial evidence of validity and be legally defensible in court."
CCB credentials have brought increased pride and credibility to the compliance and ethics profession. CCB credentials demonstrate to potential employers and colleagues a commitment to and level of proficiency in the compliance and ethics field. A healthcare survey showed that 80% of healthcare employers surveyed require or prefer the CHC prior to hire. The more recently developed CCEP credential was preferred prior to hire by 25% of those posting jobs on SCCE's website. Here is a message from a credential holder: "Since I just achieved the designation, it is still fairly new. I have received positive support and recognition from the President, the Provost, Executive Cabinet, and the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees. It has also helped to earn that much more credibility as I was just featured in an article inCompliance Week..."
CCB is an independent body made up of compliance and ethics professionals who determine what obligations you need to fulfill prior to and after certification, including Continuing Education Units (CEUs).CCB accepts relevant CEUs from any organization. No candidate is forced to take any training from SCCE/HCCA. Organizations such as the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, ICE (formerly known as the National Organization for Competency Assurance, NOCA), frown upon organizations that offer credentials and require candidates to take their training.
A critical step in the development of a properly designed credentialing examination, as identified by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, is to perform a professionally conducted job analysis study to identify the important activities of the job. Then, each question used on the examination must be linked to
an activity identified as important to the job in the job analysis study. You cannot credential someone for what the job used to be or what some bloviating experts think the job will be some day. You must survey compliance professionals, as we have, to determine what the job is now, and what the important job activities are. If you could only ask a credentialing body one question about the development of its examination, you should ask to see the results of its job analysis study.
Although SCCE/HCCA training is very effective, it alone is not enough to pass the exam. Experience and knowledge of compliance and ethics programs and an understanding of the role of the compliance and ethics officer are necessary. In addition to the training, there are work experience and other pre-testing requirements. Everything you need to know about CCB credentialing requirements can be found at www.compliancecertification.org. There are some SCCE/HCCA educational sessions that compliance and ethics professionals prefer to take prior to sitting for the exam, such as the Academies...but it's not required. The final step in the certification process is an exam that can be taken on paper at the Academies, at selected conferences, or on a computer at one of AMP's 190 assessment centers, many of which are located in select H&R Block facilities. The basic credential requires a multiple choice exam, and the advanced credential includes a project, a simulation test, and other requirements. The cost of certification is just a few hundred dollars.
Debbie Troklus, CCB's Chair, says, "Compliance certification should be inexpensive, designed to accommodate all levels of compliance professionals, and allow for CEUs to be obtained anywhere. I am very proud of what our profession has accomplished. I would like to thank everyone who has ever filled out one of our job analysis surveys. I want to thank the dozens of talented compliance professionals who have committed thousands of volunteer hours to help develop and maintain CCB credentials."