What is Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs)?
Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs) is a process whereby recertification after the initial CIC® exam can be accomplished by obtaining IPUs in accredited content relevant to infection prevention and control and matching the current domains. Download the IPUs Manual for more information about the portfolio submission process.
How much does it cost?
There is an application fee of $375.
Will the current method of recertification by examination continue to be offered?
Yes, individuals up for recertification have the option of recertifying either by examination or by IPUs.
If I'm retired, can I still recertify by examination or continuing education?
Yes, as long as you do not lapse in your certification, you can recertify.
What is the value of recertification?
Recertification demonstrates continued knowledge and mastery in the field of infection prevention and control.
How does the Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs) process work?
Recertification by IPUs is achieved every five years. Candidates who choose to recertify this way must submit a “professional portfolio” using the interactive online submission system. IPUs are accumulated by earning points from the projects or activities outlined in the Candidate Handbook.
What is a professional portfolio?
A professional portfolio refers to the method whereby electronic documentation of successful completion of IPUs is uploaded.
How many IPUs do I need to accumulate?
You must accumulate a minimum of 40 IPUs.
Is partial credit awarded for IPUs?
No. IPUs are awarded per activity hour or assigned a lump sum, depending on the activity.
Can I accumulate IPUs at any time during my 5-year recertification period?
IPUs may be obtained over the 5 year recertification period from the submission date of your initial or previous recertification examination/previous portfolio submission through your current portfolio submission date (ex: if you submitted your recertification examination or portfolio on 7/27/15, IPUs may be obtained at any point from 7/27/15 up until the submission deadline of 10/31/20). Contact CBIC to find out what your submission date is if you don’t know it.
If I earn CEUs/CNEs from another institution (i.e. CDC, state hospital association, etc.), can I apply these to IPUs?
Yes, CEUs/CNEs translate to IPUs because you are earning credits from an accredited institution. However, not all CEUs/CNEs will be weighted equally with IPUs. For example, you may earn 13 CEUs for a conference you attend, but you will only earn 10 IPUs for that same conference. Please refer to the IPU Criteria Chart to see how many IPUs can be claimed for each activity. In addition, you are responsible for determining which domain your activity fits in.
Can I convert my CEUs to IPUs? How do my CEUs relate to IPUs?
IPUs are either awarded per hour of activity, with no partial credit given, or assigned in a lump sum, depending on the activity. Activities which may earn equal amounts of CEUs and IPUs are per hour activities, including online, paper, or live format education, teaching, and hourly attendance at national conferences that are not specifically infection prevention and control conferences. Please refer to the below conversion chart for more information about IPUs conversion.
Duration of participation/instruction
-Online, paper, or live format education
-Attendance at national conference IP-related sessions
60 minutes of instruction or 1 “contact hour”
What are examples of IPUs?
IP-related presentations, publications, academic education, national conferences, multi-day educational offerings, participation in a professional organization, research and teaching are all examples of acceptable IPUs. All submitted IPUs are required to be from an accredited institution. A full list of IPUs can be downloaded here.
What does it mean that IPUs must be from an “accredited organization”?
An accredited organization is defined as one that is nationally or regionally accredited; these institutions are held to standards and processes for academic quality, improvement and accountability.
How do I know if the organization is accredited?
For other instances, please reach out to the coordinator or organizer of the activity you participated in to verify if your participation was from an accredited organization.
What does it mean that my IPUs must cover at least six domains?
“Domains” refers to the eight categories of the examination:
- Identification of Infectious Disease Processes
- Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
- Preventing/Controlling the Transmission of Infectious Agents
- Employee/Occupational Health
- Management and Communication
- Education and Research
- Environment of Care
- Cleaning, Sterilization, Disinfection, Asepsis
The activities you participate in towards obtaining IPUs must relate to and align with at least six of those domains.
When can I access the professional portfolio?
You may access the recertification portfolio via the CBIC website beginning January 1 of your recertifying year (ex: if you are up for recertification in 2024, you will be able to access your professional portfolio and begin logging IPUs on January 1, 2024).
How much time do I have to log my IPUs?
The recertification portfolio must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on October 31 of the year you are due to recertify.
Why do some IPUs categories have a maximum number?
A maximum number of IPUs is imposed on two of the IPUs categories – academic education and teaching – to ensure that all candidates are exposed to and participate in a diverse range of activities and knowledge base during their recertification period.
What are examples of documentation I can provide to demonstrate proof of attendance or completion?
Please view the IPUs criteria chart for the required documentation you must submit within each IPUs category. You can also download a presentation about IPUs for more information about the process and the submission system.
If I attended the APIC Conference four years in a row (or another accredited national conference), would this count towards all 40 IPUs?
Yes. It is expected that your attendance at national conferences encompasses all eight domains due to the variety of activities and sessions offered. As long as you provide proof of attendance by obtaining a certificate or other documentation from the conference provider, this would qualify.
For participating on a committee or within a professional organization (such as a local APIC Chapter), is a letter with various dates and participation level sufficient or does each participating activity need to be documented separately?
CBIC requires separate documentation for each committee or organization activity/participation.
Does CBIC accept hard copies of unit documentation?
No, all unit documentation detailing participation or completion of IPUs must be submitted electronically via the online professional portfolio.
How soon after I submit my professional portfolio will I be notified?
The entire application process can take up to 30 days from date of receipt. You will receive an email during the 30 day period after submitting your professional portfolio indicating whether or not you successfully submitted the required minimum of 40 IPUs and if the units aligned with the prescribed list of acceptable activities.
What happens if I fail to accumulate the required 40 IPUs in the time allotted or my units are not accepted?
- If you fail to submit your portfolio by the deadline of October 31, you must take the online recertification exam. This exam must be purchased by November 30 and completed by December 31.
- If you are selected for a random audit and your units are not accepted, you must take the proctored recertification exam, which must be purchased by December 18 and completed by December 31.
How do I know if I’ve been selected for an audit?
CBIC will contact you within a month after submssion if your portfolio is selected for a random audit.
I have been selected for an audit after submitting my portfolio, what do I need to do?
If you have been selected for an audit, no further action is needed. CBIC will contact you with next steps if further documentation is required.
During the portfolio submission process, if I'm reporting attendance at a national conference, should I select all eight domains?
It is expected that your attendance at national conferences encompasses all eight domains due to the variety of activities and sessions offered. You should enter the domains as accurately as possible corresponding to the activities you participated in and the sessions you attended but yes, you may enter all eight domains as it is expected your attendance encompasses all eight domains.