CHEP (Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional) Certification

The International Board for Certification of Safety Managers, also known as BCHCM, was established in 1976 as a not-for-profit independent credentialing organization. The Board establishes certification and re-certification requirements for the Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP). The Board operates as an independent professional credentialing organization that is not affiliated with any other membership group, association, or lobbying body. The Board exists solely for the purpose of issuing individual certifications to qualified candidates. Our mission is to 'Upgrade the Profession' by offering real world and practical certifications.


CHEP Background

The Board developed the CHEP credential to meet a need for a practical but 'professional certification' for healthcare emergency directors, managers, coordinators, associates, consultants, and others who work with or coordinate real world issues with the health sector. The program relies on information, standards, and best practices from reliable sources including organizations such NFPA, ASTM, DHS, EPA, OSHA, FEMA, and accrediting organizations such as the Joint Commission. Healthcare organizations need professionals that understand how emergency management principles support the healthcare environment of care, the local community, and the nation.

Exam Development

The CHEP exam was developed with the participation of a 'volunteer beta team' consisting of more than 45 healthcare emergency managers and/or coordinators from across the U.S. The Board also worked with a panel of seven 'subject matter experts' to review the exam during its development. The seven member expert panel documented more than 100 years of combined healthcare emergency management experience.

Exam Content

Healthcare facilities may develop job descriptions and/or have expectations from their emergency management staff that do not correspond exactly with the CHEP exam knowledge requirements. The exam is comprehensive in scope and contains from 100-125 multiple choice questions. The exam is challenging but does not contain questions requiring math or engineering calculations. The exam content has been developed with the assistance of practicing professionals and subject matter experts. The Board statistically analyzes each exam to ensure the validity of all questions. The Board also uses analytical techniques to ensure the reliability of each exam version to access the competency of each candidate. Each exam may contain 5 to 15 'trial questions' that are being validated for use on future exam forms. The exam will contain questions from the following competency areas:


1. Emergency Management Fundamentals (40% of Questions)

    1. History of Emergency Management and Disaster Response
    2. Federal Legislation Relevant to Emergency Management and Homeland Security
    3. Presidential Directives Related to Emergency Management
    4. Federal Regulatory Agencies (DHS, FEMA, OSHA, EPA, DOT, FCC, CDC, ASTDR, NIOSH, AHRQ, etc.)
    5. Voluntary and Standards Agencies (NFPA, ANSI, ASTM, ASHRAE, Red Cross, etc.)
    6. Emergency Management and All-Hazards Planning (Emergency Operations Plan)
    7. Business Continuity & NFPA 1600
    8. Healthcare Emergency Planning & NIMS Healthcare Implementation (11 Items)
    9. Understanding Systems and Standardization
    10. Incident Command Systems (ICS) Organization and Structure
    11. Communication Support (Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) Program, Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) Program, and Wireless Priority Service (WPS)
    12. Incident Action Planning & Multi-Agency Coordination (Area & Unified Commands)
    13. Weather and Other Natural Disasters (floods, thunderstorms, tropical storms, earthquakes, etc.)
    14. Technological and Transportation Emergencies
    15. Civil Disturbances and Bomb Threats
    16. Information Technology and Cyber Attack Emergencies
    17. Related Emergency Concepts and Terms (safety, management, organizational culture, etc.)
    18. OSHA Emergency Terms & National Response Framework Terms

2. Healthcare Emergency Concepts & Accreditation Standards (25% of Questions)

    1. Emergency Management (Planning, Response, Mitigation, & Recovery)
    2. Joint Commission Emergency Management Standards
    3. Healthcare Emergency Planning & Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA)
    4. The Emergency Operations Plans (EOP)
    5. Hospital Incident Command Systems (HICS)
    6. Sustaining Healthcare Operations (leadership, clinical issues, medications, etc.)
    7. Resource Management (staff, utilities, essential services, safety, security, etc.)
    8. Patient Management (care, triage, evacuation, surge, licensed and unlicensed volunteers)
    9. Community and Hospital Roles (involvement, roles, coordination)

3. Other Emergency Requirements & JC Related Standards (20% of Questions)

    1. EOC Management (safety, risk assessments, security, etc.)
    2. Managing Medical Equipment Risks
    3. Managing Utility Systems (medical gas, water, & vacuum systems, etc.)
    4. Emergency Electrical Power Sources (generators, emergency lighting, etc.)
    5. Managing Hazardous Materials & Wastes
    6. EPA Laws and Standards
    7. OSHA & HAZWOPER Requirements
    8. Industrial/Agricultural Chemical Decontamination
    9. Life Safety and Egress (NFPA 101-2000, NFPA 99, etc.)

4. Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, & Pandemic (10% of Questions)

    1. Planning For Terrorism
    2. Terrorism Agents
    3. Nuclear Devices and Incident Response
    4. Pandemic Planning

5. Other Emergency Management Concepts (5% of Questions)

    1. Current Events and New Developments
    2. Lessons Learned from Previous Events

Example Questions


  1. Which concept relates to the supervisory structure of the organization and pertains to the number of individuals or resources one incident supervisor can manage effectively?
    1. Delegation of authority
    2. Span of control*
    3. Form follows function
    4. Unity of command
  2. Which agency regulates transport of hazardous materials through pipelines?
    1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    2. U.S. Department of Commerce
    3. Environmental Protection Agency
    4. U.S. Department of Transportation*
  3. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 required DHS to create which of the following?
    1. Federal Response Plan
    2. Incident Command System
    3. National Incident Management System*
    4. Integrated Emergency Management System
  4. Which of the following actions would have the most impact on how a healthcare organization responds to emergency situations in the community?
    1. Conducting and evaluating disaster drills as required by the Joint Commission
    2. Completing/updating the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis to ensure proper planning*
    3. Appointing the Emergency Department Director as a liaison with the local EMA
    4. Hosting the Local Emergency Planning Commission meetings
  5. Which Federal publication codifies DHS and FEMA standards or guidelines?
    1. The Congressional Record (CR)
    2. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)*
    3. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Manual (RCRA)
    4. The Federal Register (FR)