Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the CPPS credentialing process.
- What is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS)?
- Who is the certifying body behind CPPS?
- Are there prerequisites or eligibility requirements to sit for the exam?
- What is the fee to sit for the CPPS exam?
- What is tested on the CPPS examination?
- How can I obtain a Candidate Handbook and application?
- Can I apply for the CPPS examination online?
- How can I prepare for the exam?
- Is there a practice exam? How is it scored? How can I order it?
- Will the IHI Open School Patient Safety Curriculum help me prepare for the CPPS exam?
- How is the passing score determined?
- How long do I have to wait to find out if I passed the exam?
- If I do not pass, am I able to retake the exam?
- Where can I find my certification expiration date?
- How do I maintain my certification?
- Where can I find a list of current CPPS certificants?
- Are replacement certificates and lapel pins available? How do I submit a request?
- What is the testing experience between taking the exam in person vs. online remote proctoring?
The CPPS credential establishes patient safety competency standards and elevates the professional stature of health care professionals who meet knowledge requirements in safety science, human factors engineering, and the practice of safe care. Certification requires a combination of education and experience, as well as successful completion of the evidence-based certification exam.
The CPPS examination is administered by the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS). CBPPS was formed to oversee a rigorous and comprehensive credentialing process that attests to patient safety competencies and expertise. The board's chief responsibility is the development and administration of an evidence-based examination that provides candidates with a process by which they can demonstrate their competency in patient safety science and application.
Candidates for the CPPS credential are those whose current or future professional responsibilities include patient safety practices as an integral component. In addition, candidates must possess academic and professional experience at one of the following levels:
- Baccalaureate degree or higher plus three years of experience (includes time spent in clinical rotations and residency programs) in a health care setting or with a provider of services to the health care industry
- Associate degree or equivalent plus five years of experience (includes time spent in clinical rotations) in a health care setting or with a provider of services to the health care industry
The CPPS exam fee is $449. Premium members receive 10% off and Premium+ members receive 20% off. International candidates, please add $100 (USD) for international examination fee.
Candidates are tested on five core patient safety domains: Culture, Leadership, Patient Safety Risks and Solutions, Measuring and Improving Performance, and Systems Thinking and Design/Human Factors. The vast majority of questions test application and analysis, while a small percentage test for recall.
The Candidate Handbook is available from the CPPS Documents section on the right-hand side section of this page, or call our authorized testing partner, PSI Candidate Services at (833) 333-4755. An application is included in the Candidate Handbook. Mail the completed application and appropriate fee to PSI at the address indicated on the application.
Yes, a candidate who pays the Examination fee by credit card may apply online and schedule an appointment to test through the PSI website.
- Click here for the PSI certification website.
- Under 'Test Takers' select 'Begin Scheduling'.
- Choose the Healthcare category.
- Choose the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety program.
- Choose the Certified Professional in Patient Safety Examination.
- Select "Register for Exam."
- Enter your username and password or select "New User."
- Follow the prompts to enter application information, eligibility, and payment information.
- Schedule an appointment.
To prepare for the exam, we provide candidates with a resource list and self-assessment exam (SAE). The SAE is offered through our testing partner, PSI and may be purchased here.
The Expert Oversight Committee of the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety is currently considering program enhancements that may include a study guide or other preparatory aids. Details of any changes will be published on our website when available.
A practice exam is available for purchase here. Note: this is also referred to as the self-assessement exam (SAE), described above. The practice exam should be regarded as a diagnostic tool to assess strengths and weaknesses, rather than a study guide for the examination. Upon purchase, the practice exam is available for a period of 60 days from the date of purchase, or until all 50 questions have been answered. At the time of completion, candidates receive a numerical score for each content area, as well as a summary including each question in its entirety, along with their response and the correct answer for each.
10. Will the IHI Open School Patient Safety Curriculum help me prepare for the CPPS exam?
The IHI Open School Patient Safety Curriculum is an important foundational course in patient safety science, but it is not meant to be preparatory for the exam.
The passing score for the examination is determined by using a process known as the Angoff method, in which experts in the field estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the minimally qualified candidate. These judgments are averaged to determine the minimum passing score, which represents the amount of knowledge a minimally qualified candidate would likely demonstrate on the examination. The results of these ratings are presented to the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) Expert Oversight Committee (EOC) to determine the final passing score.
If you test in-person at a center within the United States, you receive a score report indicating pass/fail status at the conclusion of the test session. If you test in-person at a center outside of the United States, you will recieve your score report in the mail from our testing partner, PSI, within approximately 6-8 weeks of your exam date.
If you test virtually with a remotely proctored exam, you recieve a score report indicating pass/fail status at the conclusion of the test session regardless of your geographic location.
For those who pass the examination, CBPPS recognizes certified status with a mailed certificate and a certification pin.
Yes, candidates are able to retake the examination provided they wait 30 days between attempts. Each attempt requires an application and full examination fee.
Your expiration date is printed on your certificate. If you received your certification prior to June 2013, please call or email the CBPPS office (617.391.9927 or email@example.com), and we will provide you with this information.
Following successful completion of the CPPS examination, the certificant is required to maintain certification by fulfilling continuing education (CE) requirements or through successful retest.
Recertification cycle: 3 years
CE requirement: 45 hours total
Accepted types of CE:
- All CE that follows the CPPS content outline is accepted.
- CE options include: educational programs, self-study, CPPS item writing, academic course work, and more.
You can find a list of certificants by state here. If you are newly certified, please allow 4–6 weeks for your name to appear on this list.
Yes, replacement certificates and lapel pins are available. Requests may be submitted by phone (617.391.9927) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). A $15 replacement fee applies if shipping within the United States. If shipping internationally please contact us for additional information.
You can watch these brief videos for the PSI Test Center Experience and PSI Online Proctoring Experience.