How is the New Year going for you? It is a longstanding tradition to create resolutions for change and improvement at the beginning of each new year. It’s also just as common to abandon those resolutions in the days and weeks following. I’m hoping together we can make a “professional resolution” a reality in 2017. That accomplishment would be CIC® certification or recertification. As President of CBIC in 2017, I have a two-fold responsibility surrounding certification. Overseeing the creation and delivery of a rigorous and valid examination process that provides demonstration of competency in infection prevention and epidemiology is my highest priority. The tireless help of the item writing, item editing and forms review teams that make up the Test Committee help to create a contemporary exam that is scientifically validated to demonstrate competency. These teams are hard-working infection preventionists (IPs) who practice in their field every day. They represent a diverse background both geographically and from a practice setting perspective. Your peers have generously volunteered their time and expertise to ensure the CIC® exam reflects those key skills and knowledge that are required for every competent IP. Additionally, we receive guidance from a professional testing company that is experienced and has a worldwide presence to ensure the highest exam quality is achieved and maintained. And because we hold ourselves to the very highest level of professional demonstration, the certification exam goes through an accreditation process. This is an achievement that only 10% of all professional certification exams can claim.
The second part of the equation, and one that is of great interest to me, is how we can elevate the importance and benefit of this professional demonstration of competence that is proven through successful completion of the CIC® exam. Each time the CBIC Board of Directors meets, significant time is devoted to exploring this question. The focus for 2017 and the next few years, as identified in our strategic plan, will be on developing partnerships with organizations that can help to promote the value of the CIC® credential. The Board is also exploring ways to prove the value of certification not only to the IP professionals but to the facilities that employ them as well as the payers and regulators that are an integral part of all healthcare venues. A critical part of this exploration is your involvement. What are the barriers that are stopping every person who practices infection prevention from becoming certified? What support is required but lacking from your leadership? In addition to sending your answers to these questions by email to the CBIC office (firstname.lastname@example.org), I look forward to talking to you at the annual APIC conference in Portland, Oregon and the annual IPAC conference in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island this summer. My goal this year is to be an effective advocate for every IP to achieve and maintain CIC® certification.
I would like to thank Ruth Carrico, 2016 CBIC President, for being a great leader as well as a kind and caring mentor. Her effective leadership and the dedication of the Board of Directors was seen in the highest number of new CIC® certificants ever in 2016. I would also like to thank Kathy McGhie and Bonnie Norrick who completed two terms on the CBIC Board at the end of 2016. I have worked in the field of infection prevention for almost 25 years and am consistently amazed at the amount of passion and dedication of IPs. I have no doubt that with all of us working towards a common goal of achieving and elevating the value of certification, 2017 will again be a record year for certification.
Lita Jo Henman, MPH, CIC
2017 CBIC President