Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)

The Certification Corner

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Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 5; Issue 4
November 2012

CBIC President's Message

Barbara Russell, RN, BSHA, MPH, CIC

On November 10th, the leadership of CBIC, APIC, and CHICA-Canada held an Organizational Summit on Certification in Infection Prevention and Control to help build consensus between CBIC and the two leading infection prevention and control organizations – APIC and CHICA-Canada – around some common strategic objectives and to formulate a plan to achieve those objectives. Many topics were discussed including demonstrating the value of certification through research endeavors, developing a point prevalence study, strengthening the relationship between CBIC and the APIC and CHICA-Canada chapters, enlisting CIC® ambassadors to help promote the importance of certification, and increasing certification internationally. Please watch for updates as we work to move these initiatives forward.

It has been an honor for me to serve as the 2012 President of CBIC. It has been a busy but productive year. I wish Craig Gilliam, 2013 President, and his board good luck in pursuing the initiatives discussed at the recent summit as well as other aspects of CBIC's Strategic Plan.

Barbara S. Russell, RN, BSHA, MPH, CIC

Barbara S. Russell, RN, BSHA, MPH, CIC
2012 CBIC President

Meet the CBIC Board of Directors-Craig Gilliam

Craig H. Gilliam, BSMT, CIC

Craig Gilliam is currently in his 4th year on the CBIC Board of Directors

Craig H. Gilliam, BSMT, CIC, will be CBIC President in 2013. He joined the CBIC Board in 2008 and has worked in infection prevention since 1982. For the last 21 years he has been at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas as Director of the IP Program. He has served APIC as Board Director in the 1990s and as APIC Research Foundation President in 2000s. He was initially certified in infection prevention and control in 1984. In 2008, he was appointed to Arkansas Department of Health HAI Advisory Committee on public reporting of healthcare associated infections. His interest is in reduction and elimination of central line associated bloodstream infections in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

His interests are exploring old cemeteries and duck hunting in Arkansas rice fields. He also grows Shamrocks for more than 30 years – something he learned from his paternal grandmother. Craig has two sons plus a Sheltie – Heidi and in 2011 he became a grandfather. They are the reason for his passion for prevention.

We asked Craig the following questions:

How did you become involved in infection prevention and control?
In 1982 I was working in the Microbiology Laboratory and the IC Department had offices next door. When an opportunity to transfer came about, I jumped at the chance to become involved with the patient outside of laboratory setting. My boss was a great mentor that helped with skills of interacting with all types of healthcare workers and pushed me outside my comfort zone.

What motivated you to become certified?
In 1984 the test was new and so was I in my profession. I thought by studying and taking the examination I could demonstrate my capabilities to my colleagues within my hospital. At that time my employer was unaware of CIC and did not encourage me. My motivation was internal; as a relatively new ICP, I wanted to excel.

What has being certified meant to you professionally?
I believe it has provided me with advantages within my workplace and as a volunteer leader within APIC and CBIC. I think I have been a more successful mentor within my chapter and hospital due to my certification competency by showing them value in their work. I think in the 1990's I was able to participate in APIC committees and elected office because of obtaining and maintaining certification.

How Being Certified Helps in Your Career

Being Certified in Infection Control (CIC) can help in your career in several ways:

  • Personal satisfaction
  • You become part of a team which helps to lower infection in healthcare settings
  • Proves to others you are knowledgeable in the field
  • Supports future knowledge and skills
  • Shows commitment to best practices in infection prevention and control and improved patient care
  • Moves your profession forward!

Celebration of Certified Infection Preventionist/Infection Prevention and Control Professional Day on October 16, 2012 during International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)

CHICA-Canada and APIC helped us celebrate Certified IP/ICP Day during IIPW by joining us in the campaign to spread the word about certification and thank those who are currently certified. We are proud to have 5,289 professionals certified around the world. We had almost 200 people enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card as an appreciation for being certified, and Catherine Kubisak, RN, BSN, LHRM, CIC was randomly chosen. Congratulations Catherine! During the week of IIPW, CBIC also saw a 78% increase in traffic to our website, thanks for helping to spread the word!

Call for Podcast Stories

CBIC is excited to present our first podcast, available for free here. The interview highlighted incoming APIC President-Elect Patti Grant as she talks about her personal journey of being certified. We will be showcasing a new podcast every other month and we are interested in hearing your stories of how certification has elevated your career, or how being certified has helped in your organization. Please email us at info@cbic.org to share your story. We will contact you for an official interview for upcoming podcast releases.

2012 CIC Chapter Achievement Award honors CHICA-HANDIC

By Mark Jefferson, RN, BScN, CIC

CHICA-HANDIC was honored to receive the 2012 CIC Chapter Achievement Award. As a chapter, we recognize the significance of certification to the profession of Infection Prevention and Control. We recognize that certification displays the Infection Control Professional’s commitment to the profession and an institution’s commitment to providing the best care possible to our clients/patients/residents. Our recognition of the importance of certification has led CHICA-HANDIC to work hard over the past several years to determine the best way to support our members in achieving certification. We decided, rather than starting up a new initiative, that we would support initiatives that are already in existence. Ontario’s Regional Infection Control Networks (RICNs) have done a remarkable job of supporting candidates in preparation for certification through the development of a CIC Exam Preparation Series. Rather than start a HANDIC study group, we encourage our members to participate in the RICN series.

Another way that we support our members is through recognition. At each chapter meeting we formally recognize any candidates who were successful in challenging the certification exam. Both strategies have increased our certification rate. However, to be entirely honest, CHICA-HANDIC is simply fortunate to have such a dedicated group of Infection Control Professionals (and they truly are professionals) within our chapter. The chapter could formulate the most in-depth strategy for increasing certification, or have no strategy whatsoever, and the Infection Control Professionals in CHICA-HANDIC would rise to the challenge and certify…because they truly are professionals.

New for 2012

Media Page
CBIC will be hosting podcasts and webinars in a section of our website under the Certification tab labeled "Media". Be sure to stop by frequently in the next couple of months to listen to some informative and inspiring stories from other CICs.

Partner Organizations Page
CBIC has the privilege of working with several organizations to help spread the word about the importance of being Certified in Infection Control CIC®. We have a special section at www.cbic.org dedicated to APIC, CHICA-Canada and IFIC, describing who they are and how they are involved in the field of infection prevention and control. To read more information about the organizations, please click here.

Certification Statistics
Would you like to know the cost of a cup of coffee compared to the daily cost of the CBT or SARE? What about browsing the Pass/Fail rates of our exam candidates? Be sure to check out the new Certification Statistics page at www.cbic.org for more fun facts.

Certification in the News
The work of an Infection Preventionist/Infection Prevention and Control Professional is crucial to a safer environment. CBIC wants to spread the news on those making a difference in the field of infection control, as well as providing information about the importance of becoming and maintaining certification. Stay in the loop by heading to our Certification in the News page on our website.

Proud to be a CIC

Lori Goraczewski, RN, CIC was happy to share her story of why she became certified with fellow APIC Chapter 131 - Southwest Crescent and CBIC Board member Bonnie Norrick, CLS, EdM, CIC.

"The first time I certified, honestly, it was because my employer required it. Other than adding 3 letters to my signature line, I was given no financial incentive or reward to obtain this. It was reflected on my personnel evaluations and I was given a hearty pat on the back. When I changed jobs, however, I immediately realized the value in the job market for those infection prevention postings that listed CIC as highly desired. I have re-certified within the last year, and I am certain that as long as I am employed in healthcare, I will never allow it to lapse. Over the years, I have come to more fully recognize the work and expertise that certification represents and I am proud to have achieved and maintained this professional standing."

Las Vegas Chapter Story

The Winding Road to Certification in Infection Control
By: Louise Hesse, RN, BSN, CIC

My road to Certification in Infection Control (CIC) was a long and winding one. Before I took my first job in Infection Control, I worked as a circulator in the operating room. I had just finished a continuing education program on the Basic Principles of Infection Control and I caught the Infection Control bug. Then I was made aware of an Infection Prevention conference and immediately signed up! The conference was fascinating and at the time I heard certification was stressed as an important accomplishment. As a total novice, I asked what the certification exam entailed and was immediately intrigued.

Fast-forwarding 3 years, I was able to pursue my dreams and landed a job as an Infection Prevention Specialist. I had a wonderful mentor who encouraged me to study for and take the CIC exam. The first year I was able to attend the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s annual conference; I attended the seminar on certification. The seminar was standing room only, full of passionate individuals who wanted to take the certification exam. The conference renewed my resolve to study more diligently and just do it.

I had many personal reasons for sitting for the exam. Not only does the CIC add to ones professionalism, it gives credibility to your commitment to patient safety and interest in the profession.

The final commitment was sealed when I paid the registration fee to sit for the examination. The exam was held at our local H&R Block Tax Center. For me, it took the full 3 hours but the results were worth it. I passed! I had not told anyone when I was taking the exam so it was the best text message I ever sent my boss!

This is just my story, but there are numerous reasons to become certified. As Infection Preventionists, we owe it to ourselves to demonstrate that we have the basic knowledge and expertise to do our job effectively. The CIC is an affirmation of our commitment to patient safety and the pursuit of knowledge in the field of infection control.

Everyone has their own individual learning methods. No matter how you study, in groups or individually, online or the written word, there are plenty of resources available to assist with you in your studies. Studying is a time commitment you can pursue at your own pace, but a must to ensure your success.

Finally, taking the CIC exam is a wonderful learning experience, a way to validate your knowledge and increase your marketability. So put away your anxiety, roll up your sleeves and just do it! Congratulations!

Estimating the volume of alcohol-based hand rub required for a hand hygiene program

By: Silvana Sicoli BEc, BCom, MHAa, Linda Hunter RN, BScN, MScNb, Josée Shymanski RN, BScN, CICc, Kathryn Suh MD, MSc, CICd, Virginia R. Roth MDd,*

(a) Department of Endocrinology and Metabolisma, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; (b) Quality and the Patient Safety Department, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; (c) Infection Prevention and Control Program, Montfort Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; (d) Infection Prevention and Control Program, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

CBIC Board Member, Kathryn Suh, has co-authored an article in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. We are proud of Kathy for her latest accomplishment. To read more of the article, please click here.

The History of CBIC by Ralph Rivkind, Esq.

The History of CBIC

On December 11, 1981, the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control ("APIC") authorized me to incorporate the APIC Certification Association as a wholly owned subsidiary of APIC. The initial Directors were:

  • Victor Fainstein, M.D.
  • Barbara J. McArthur, R.N., Phd.
  • Gina Pugliese, R.N., M.S.N.
  • Priscilla Dasse, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Julie Garner, R.N., M.S.N.
  • Patricia Lynch, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Janet M. Serkey, R.N.
  • Steven Weinstein, M.T. (ASCP)
  • Patricia S. Schlegel, R.N.
  • Patricia L. Barrett, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Noelene McGuire, R.N.

The filing was done in the State of Washington because that is the same state in which APIC was incorporated. Soon thereafter, via filing on July 9, 1982, the APIC Certification Association’s name was changed to the Certification Board of Infection Control ("CBIC").

In 1987 APIC changed its state of incorporation from Washington to Massachusetts. CBIC also similarly changed its state of incorporation and made a slight change to its name to be Certification Board of Infection Control, Inc. The purpose of both companies moving to Massachusetts was that the state law in Massachusetts affords greater protection to the associations and their officers and Directors.

All of the organizations mentioned above are not for profit entities and, as such, Massachusetts has a long standing rule that non-profit entities have a very limited liability against lawsuits.

On January 30, 1997, CBIC changed its name to Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc., which was the same time that APIC added the word Epidemiology and changed Practitioners to Professionals.

The purpose of the separate organization was that there were very strict rules regarding separating the profession from the organization that provides certification in any field. In order to have a valid certification process, the certifying body needs to be structurally and financially independent of the profession as a whole. However, certifying bodies are not normally tax-exempt as a charity and therefore donations to that organization will not be deductible by the donor. That makes fundraising all the more difficult.

Over the formative years of CBIC, it borrowed a substantial amount of money from APIC in order to operate and hire a testing agency. Initially management was provided by the Board and then it was contracted to professional organizations that routinely manage certification organizations. As CBIC's cash flow increased, it was able to pay back all of the loans with interest over a long period of time. As of this date, there are no outstanding loans.

APIC's participation with CBIC, however, is not terminated by the repayment of the loans because its one very important role is to nominate the Board of Directors after consultation and collaboration with CBIC leadership.

The APIC NAC leadership will submit the proposed slate of candidates to the CBIC Executive Director to obtain CBIC Board approval before submission to the APIC Board of Directors for approval. The CBIC Board of Directors can veto any candidate proposed by APIC NAC and when this occurs will work with APIC NAC to find a replacement. The APIC Board of Directors approves the nomination of the candidates, notifies the CBIC President, and sends their application materials to the CBIC Executive Office.The CBIC Executive Office will forward the curricula vitae of the newly appointed CBIC Directors to the CBIC President-Elect in order to evaluate their strengths for CBIC committee placement.

The Bylaws of CBIC provide that the Board of Directors of CBIC have the right to amend the Bylaws with the exception that the Bylaw provision dealing with the appointment of the Board of Directors by APIC cannot be changed without APIC’s permission.

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC) Welcomes Nominations for the Martin S. Favero 2013 Award

The IFIC Martin S. Favero Award, honouring the international contributions of Martin S. Favero, Ph.D. in the field of infection prevention & control and is kindly sponsored by Advanced Sterilization Products, Irvine, CA., recognizes active contribution to global infection prevention and control. To read more, please follow the link here http://www.theific.org/favero_application.asp.

New CBIC Test Committee Members

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. is pleased to announce two non-Board members, Lynn Fine, PhD, MPH, CIC, and Suzanne Pelletier, RN, BScN, CIC, who fill open positions on the Test Committee. This is a 2-year term beginning January 1, 2013 and ending December 31, 2014.

CBIC Executive Director, Anne Krolikowski Serves as Vice Chair of the ICE Marketing and Membership Committee

In July, we announced that Anne Krolikowski, CAE, Executive Director of CBIC had been appointed to the Membership & Marketing Committee of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) for 2012. ICE advances credentialing through education, standards, research, and advocacy to ensure competence across professions and occupations and CBIC, as an organization, is a member of ICE.

We are once again, proud to announce that she has been asked to serve as the Vice Chair of the ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence) Membership & Marketing Committee beginning in 2013.

Re-Certification Reminder

To maintain certification, the Infection Preventionist must recertify within five calendar years of passing the examination. All currently certified Infection Preventionists are eligible for recertification. If you have not already taken the following steps, please review the following options for recertification:

  1. Take and pass the proctored computer-based (CBT) examination
    The proctored Computer-Based Test (CBT)  can be taken at over 150 Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) Assessment Centers Monday through Friday at either 9:00 am or 1:30 pm.
    • The online application can be found on the CBIC (www.cbic.org) website here.
    • You can also download the paper application as well as the candidate handbook at www.cbic.org for all the information on administrative policies.
    • International certificants can also recertify via the computerized examination. For a list of domestic and international assessment center locations, please visit the AMP website at www.goAMP.com.
    • If you wish to recertify via CBT, you must have your examination appointment scheduled on or before December 30, 2012 (assessment centers are closed on December 31).
  2. Take and pass the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE)
    The SARE is offered online in web-based format. You can schedule testing on your own home computer and on your own schedule. The test can be ordered at any time between now and December 1, 2012. A passing score must be achieved, and your SARE must be completed by December 31, 2012. You must have an email address to receive the confirmation e-mail with specific instructions on how to logon to the SARE. The e-mail will include a unique ID and password that must be used during the login process. Certificants are able to login and out as many times as necessary, within the established testing window, to complete the examination; responses/answers during the previous logins will be saved. Candidate results are provided following completion of the test and will also be sent to the candidate's e-mail address.

Certified professionals who do not recertify before their current certification period expires will lose their CIC designation as of December 31st of the last year of the current certification period, and are prohibited from using the CIC designation. They must reapply for the CBT and successfully pass the CBT before they can use the CIC designation again. If you need further information regarding the CBIC Examination process, please visit the CBIC® website at www.cbic.org and download the current CBIC Candidate Handbook.


Thank you for reading CBIC's November's 2012 E-Newsletter.
To send suggestions for future articles or feedback on this issue,
please write to info@cbic.org.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)