Recertification by IPUs FAQ

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  What is Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs)?

Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs) is a process where CIC’s due to recertify may do so by participating in approved professional development and continuing education activities offered by accredited organizations.

  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.

  How does the Recertification by Infection Prevention Units (IPUs) process work?

Candidates who choose to recertify using continuing education must submit a “professional portfolio” using the interactive online submission system on the CBIC website. IPUs are accumulated by earning contact hours from participating in qualifying activities, which are outlined in the Candidate Handbook

  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.

  Is there a minimum time requirement for activities?

Online or live format educational activities must be at least one hour in length to qualify for one IPU. Activities which have less than one contact hour will not be accepted.

  When can I start accumulating IPUs?

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).

  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.

  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 earn IPUs per hour, such as online, paper, or live format education, have a 1:1 conversion rate with CMEs and CNEs.

Please refer to the below conversion chart for more information about how to convert CEUs to IPUs.


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”





  How do I know if the organization is accredited?
  • Refer to this list of accredited state health departments published by the CDC:
  • Refer to this database published by the U.S. Department of Education to determine which postsecondary institutions and programs are accredited:
  • Download a list of all currently accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers:

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.

  When can I access the professional portfolio?

You may access the recertification portfolio via the CBIC website beginning early January 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 in January of 2024).

  How much time do I have to log my IPUs?

The recertification portfolio must be submitted by 6:59pm EST on October 31 of the year you are due to recertify.

  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.

  Do I need to notify CBIC if I plan on recertifying using IPUs?

No prior notification is needed. You will automatically gain access to your portfolio in your recertification year.

  I don’t see a button to purchase my portfolio. Why can’t I submit it?

There are a few reasons why you cannot submit payment:

  1. Unlike the recertification exam, you pay for your portfolio only when you are ready to submit your portfolio. Once you have entered the minimum required number of IPUs into your portfolio, the option to pay will become available.
  2. If you have submitted the required amount of IPUs and cannot submit, verify that all required sections of the portfolio are completed. Incomplete sections will be highlighted.
  3. You cannot submit a portfolio with more than 60 IPUs. If you have more than 60 IPUs, removing some activities will allow you to submit your portfolio.
  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 upon review and resubmission and your units are not accepted, you must take the proctored recertification exam, which must be purchased by December 17 and completed by December 31.

  Can I resubmit my portfolio if CBIC initially rejects it?

CBIC will notify you if your portfolio does not meet the standards for recertification through continuing education. You will be able to resubmit your portfolio with corrections up to two times and there are no fees associated with resubmission.