Member Login:
| Login Help

Frequently Asked Questions about Recertification

Attention: FAQs reflect answers for 2015 only. New changes are coming for 2016. Please click here for more information.

What do I have to do to maintain my CIC® certification?

  • Take and pass the proctored computer-based (CBT) examination
    CBIC's Certification In Infection Control (CIC®) examination is administered via computer, five days a week at over 140 Prometric assessment centers in North America. There are no pre-scheduled testing dates. Once a candidate is confirmed eligible s/he will receive notice from CBIC including instructions on how to schedule an examination appointment. Once certified, certification is valid for a five year period. You can apply online via the link on the CBIC website ( You can also download a Candidate Handbook at /certification/candidate-handbook for all the information on administrative policies and an application form. International certificants can also recertify via the computerized examination. For a list of domestic and international assessment center locations, please go to If you wish to recertify via CBT, you must have your examination appointment scheduled for on or before December 30, 2014 (assessment centers are closed on December 31st).
  • 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. For those whose certification expires on December 31, 2015, the SARE must be purchased on or before December 1, 2015. Applications submitted after December 1, 2015 will not be accepted. A passing score must be achieved, and your SARE must be completed by December 31, 2015 at 11:59pm GMT/7:59pm EST. You must have an updated, valid email address on file with CBIC in order to receive the confirmation email with specific instructions on how to log  into your SARE. This email includes instructions on how to log into the exam, as well as troubleshooting information. Certificants are able to log in and out as many times as necessary within the established testing window to complete the examination; responses/answers during previous log ins will be saved. Candidate pass/fail results are provided on the screen immediately following submission of the exam and completion of the post-exam survey.

Back to Top

What is the "Testing Window"?

The SARE must be ordered in the same calendar year as the candidate is due for recertification. It can be ordered beginning January 1 of that year. The deadline to order the SARE is December 1. No applications for the SARE will be accepted after December 1. It must be completed and submitted for scoring by 11:59pm GMT/7:59pm GMT on December 31 of the recertifying year. However, CBIC strongly recommends submitting the SARE no later than December 30 to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time.

Back to Top

What are the differences between the Computer Based Test (CBT) and the Self-Achievement Recertification Exam (SARE)?

The CBT consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, of which 135 are scored (15 are pretest questions and do not count for or against your score). Candidates will not know which questions are the pre-test questions. The CBT is the only option for the first-time certifier. The CBT is a timed; closed-book test administered by computer and must be taken at specified testing agencies which are geographically located throughout the United States and internationally. Read more about the CBT exam in the Candidate Handbook.

Like the CBT, the SARE is also a 150 multiple-choice question exam of which 135 are scored (15 are pretest questions and do not count for or against your score). Candidates will not know which questions are the pre-test questions. The SARE is available for recertification only. The SARE is a web-based exam and a link to the exam is emailed to the candidate. It is an open-book exam and can be completed at the candidate’s pace, but must be submitted for scoring by 11:59pm GMT/7:59pm EST on December 31st* of the year in which the certification expires. Both tests are based on the most current CBIC Practice Analysis and Examination Content Outline. Read more about the procedures for the SARE in the Candidate Handbook.

*CBIC strongly recommends submitting the SARE no later than December 30th to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time. 

Back to Top

I paid for the SARE and didn't receive a link, what's wrong?

Some email programs see the email as Spam. Check your spam folder for the email. To minimize the possibility of not receiving the link (and the score after you submit the exam) add the email address ( to your address book as a new contact after you submit your SARE order form. This way your computer is more likely to interpret the email as "friendly." If you are using a work email address, contact your IT department and ask them to "allow" emails from this address to reach your email inbox. Some companies have filters which prevent perceived spam from reaching employees. If you continue to experience issues, please call the CBIC Executive Office at 414.918.9796 or email us at for assistance.

Back to Top

Why is five years the interval for retesting?

Changes in federal regulations, accrediting standards, healthcare products, and patient care practices occur frequently. CBIC performs a practice analysis every 4-5 years in order to capture the impact of these changes on the profession. In order to assess the competency of the certificant given these changes, five years was chosen as the certification renewal and is consistent with good testing practice standards.

Back to Top

I prefer to earn continuing education credits rather than retest. Is that an option?

No. The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. believes strongly that the best way to evaluate competency is through regular testing. For more background information about this trend in the certification industry, please refer to this article written by a CBIC Past President and originally published in both the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) and the Canadian Journal of Infection Control (CJIC). CBIC also explains the importance of recertification in a podcast conversation between CBIC Board member Roy Boukidjian and Prometric Director of Psychometric Services Julia Leahy, which you can listen to here.

Back to Top

How soon after I submit my SARE will I receive the correct answers to the questions I answered incorrectly?

CBIC no longer provides the answers to questions answered incorrectly on the SARE. CBIC is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). One of NCCA's standards requires that certification programs develop and adhere to appropriate, standardized, and secure procedures for the development and administration of the assessment instruments (examinations). Certification programs are responsible for protecting the integrity of assessment information, which includes the questions. The responsibility requires the use of security processes that restrict access to assessment information to authorized individuals. Therefore, providing the missed questions and the correct answers would remove the security associated with the certification examination. After completion of the post-exam survey, an onscreen pass/fail indicator is generated to inform the candidate of the result of their examination. In addition, a letter will be mailed to the candidate disclosing their overall score on the SARE two to four weeks after exam submission.

Back to Top

If I don't pass the SARE, can I take it again?

No. You can only take the SARE once during your recertification cycle. However, you can test again using the CBT (computer-based test) that you used for your initial certification.

Back to Top

If I don’t pass the SARE, how long do I have to wait to register to take the CBT?

There is no waiting period to take the CBT if you don’t pass the SARE. Registration for the CBT goes through the online application page of the CBIC website. If you do not pass the CBT, you must wait 90 days, at which time you can register to take the CBT again. If you fail the CBT for recertification exam, you can only register to retake the CBT recertification exam; you may not apply to take the SARE after failing the CBT recert exam. Remember to plan ahead, because you must pass either the SARE or the CBT by 11:59pm GMT/7:59pm EST on or before December 31st* of your recertification year.

*CBIC strongly recommends submitting the SARE no later than December 30 to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time. 

Back to Top

How soon after I pass the exam will I receive my certificate in the mail?

It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to process and mail certificates.

Back to Top

Who can I contact to get a receipt for my exam?

If you took the CBT or the SARE to recertify, please contact the CBIC Executive office at 414.918.9796 or to request a receipt.

Back to Top

Have you moved since you last certified?

Certificants are responsible for recertification regardless of whether or not they have received notification of expiration from the CBIC Executive Office. If you have moved since you last applied for CIC® certification or recertification, it is imperative that you send your updated information to the CBIC office. Use the Change of Contact Information Form on our website. Keeping our database up-to-date allows us to notify you when your certification is due to expire and to send you CBIC news in our quarterly e-newsletter. Notifying the APIC office does NOT automatically notify the CBIC office.

 Back to Top

To request more information about CBIC or the CIC® credential, or to provide feedback about this web-site, please email the CBIC Executive Office at