The term “healthcare construction certification” is used to describe a variety of certificates (most offered by the American Hospital Association) that convey expertise in managing healthcare-related construction projects. Keep reading to learn more about the types of healthcare construction certifications in North America and the benefits of acquiring them, or learn about how to obtain a construction safety certificate.
Popular types of healthcare construction certifications
Certified Health Care Physical Environment Worker certification
The Certified Health Care Physical Environment Worker certification is aimed at both contractors looking to develop healthcare construction expertise and industry leaders looking to train their employees.
According to the American Hospital Association, which offers this certification, it is a prerequisite when bidding for construction work in healthcare facilities.
The Certified Health Care Physical Environment Worker certification costs $50 per person and remains valid for three years. There are also discounts for ASHE members.
This certification is also considered a prerequisite for other healthcare construction certifications.
The ASHE Healthcare Construction Certificate (also known as the HCC certificate) is offered by the American Hospital Association. It’s meant specifically for professionals pursuing healthcare construction jobs and requires attendance at in-person workshops.
Professionals with this certification are typically recognized as understanding how to manage patient safety while completing healthcare facility construction and renovation projects.
It’s worth noting this certification isn’t for beginners; the American Hospital Association recommends participants have Certified Health Care Physical Environment Worker certifications before participating.
The Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM) Certification is another credential offered by the American Hospital Association.
To take the examination, professionals must have at least one of the following:
- a bachelor’s degree plus three years of engineering experience in a healthcare setting and three years of management, supervisory, or administrative experience in healthcare
- an associate’s degree plus five years of healthcare engineering experience (three of which must have been in the healthcare sector) and five years of management, supervisory, or administrative experience in healthcare
- a high school diploma plus seven years of healthcare engineering experience (three of which must have been in the healthcare sector), and five years of management, supervisory, or administrative healthcare experience
The American Hospital Association provides several classes and resources (detailed on this page) to help applicants prepare for the examination. Applicants must take the examination in person.
The CHFM Certification must be renewed every three years.
Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) Certificate
The Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) Certificate is yet another credential offered by the American Hospital Association. It carries stricter prerequisites than the CHFM certification, with applicants required to have one of the following:
- a bachelor’s degree plus five years of healthcare construction experience, three years of management experience, and healthcare construction experience within the past three years
- an associate’s degree plus seven years of construction experience (five of which must be healthcare specific), three years of management experience, and healthcare construction experience within the past three years
- a high school diploma plus 10 years of construction experience (five of which must be healthcare specific), three years of management experience, and healthcare construction experience within the past three years
Once again, the American Hospital Association provides resources (including a self-assessment exam) applicants can use to prepare for the CHC certificate examination.
Infection Control Risk Assessment Certificate Program
The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Certificate Program is particularly relevant in today’s construction environment. It’s designed to help professionals understand how to protect themselves and others from infectious diseases on job sites.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) oversees the administration of the Infection Control Risk Assessment Certificate Program. Participants vying for certification must complete the following four steps:
- Read the handbook
- Register to participate in the training and exam
- Complete the training (which includes reading the training manual)
- Successfully complete the examination
The certificate is geared towards everyone from entry-level construction workers to engineering department members and construction supervisors.
Benefits of getting a construction healthcare certification
Next, let’s discuss the benefits of receiving a construction healthcare certification.
Improve your company’s chances of being awarded healthcare construction jobs
Healthcare is a very insular industry. Consequently, many project owners and general contractors in the space strongly prefer (or even work exclusively with) contractors that have employees with healthcare construction certifications.
If you’re an employee, a healthcare construction certification can consequently increase your value in the workplace significantly.
Ensure compliance on healthcare construction job sites
From protecting patient data to ensuring physical safety on the job site, construction managers in healthcare have many unique concerns to keep in mind. Receiving a healthcare construction certification implies the employee in question has obtained the knowledge required to face these challenges head-on. The end result should be improved project outcomes.
Demonstrate your commitment to developing your expertise further
Smart construction management professionals know their education shouldn’t end when they graduate from a traditional educational institution. Healthcare construction certifications are a great avenue for demonstrating your commitment to learning and growing, especially since they need to be renewed (which typically involves learning the most up-to-date information).
Demonstrate your commitment to healthcare construction in particular
Given healthcare is such an insular industry, professionals can go a long way towards establishing credibility by receiving healthcare construction certifications. These niche certificates demonstrate to employers (and owners/managers of projects your company bids on) that you take healthcare construction’s unique needs seriously and aren’t just going wherever the money leads.
Frequently asked questions about healthcare construction certifications
What is the ICRA certification?
The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Certificate Program is aimed at helping construction professionals understand how to protect personnel on job sites against infectious diseases.
What is the PCRA certification?
The Pre-Construction Risk Assessment Certificate Program helps construction professionals understand how to identify and mitigate risks on job sites. It is particularly geared towards mitigating risks on healthcare construction job sites.
Does ICRA training expire?
You’ll need to take refresher courses and get recertified every four years.
What is ASHE in construction?
The term ASHE in construction refers to the American Society for HealthCare Engineering. The organization is heavily involved in facilitating healthcare construction training.