Should You Get an AHA Healthcare Construction Certificate?
by HEPACART on May 02, 2016
It is almost always better to hire someone experienced to do a job that you want done well. That’s why we get nervous when it looks like our new doctor just graduated from high school or when an applicant for a construction job only has experience behind a desk.
As a healthcare construction professional, you want new and prospective clients to know that you are not just experienced, but an expert in your field. There is no way to shortcut the time and work it takes to develop a great reputation, but there are ways to invest in your future reputation and one of those ways is certification. By earning a specialty certification, you can immediately display your expertise to prospective clients. One such certification comes from the American Hospital Association (AHA).
Keep reading to find out if investing in healthcare construction certification from AHA makes sense for you and your professional development.
What Certifications are Available?
AHA currently offers two different certifications: Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) and Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM). The CHC is ideal for healthcare contractors and others directly involved in hospital construction or renovation. The CHFM certificate is more appropriate for facility managers who may be tasked with planning and supervising hospital construction projects as well as completed facilities.
Both certifications require that applicants have significant experience in the healthcare construction field prior to sitting for the exam, through a combination of education and professional experience. The application, fees, and requirements for both certifications are available directly from the AHA website.
The Benefits of Certification
Earning any professional certification lends a degree of professionalism to your resume just by virtue of the term certification. However, earning an AHA hospital construction certification confers some specific benefits.
Indicate minimum experience level: Because applicants must have a minimum level of experience even to apply for certification, anyone looking at your credentials will know that you have a strong foundational knowledge of the specifics of healthcare construction projects.
Demonstrate a commitment to patient safety: One of the key differences between hospital renovation and construction projects is the potential proximity to patients. From dust containment to noise abatement, patient safety should be a top concern for anyone in the field. The AHA certifications indicate a commitment to keep patients safe and comfortable throughout a construction project.
Emphasize continuing education: Both the CHC and CHFM certifications require that certified professionals renew their certification every 3 years, whereupon they must demonstrate a minimum number of continuing education credits. This means that anyone who is certified has demonstrated that they are dedicated to continue learning the best practices in their field and stay up to date on the latest techniques and regulations.
Increased earning potential: One study from ASHE and Health Facilities Management indicated that those manager holding the CHFM credential earned on average $10,000 more per year than those who were not certified.
Ultimately, the decision to become certified depends on an individual’s experience and ability to commit the resources -- both financially and in terms of the time required to prepare for the exam. Certification can certainly help to boost the reputation of the certified individual as well as the company that employs that person, so it is worth considering.