What do I have to do to maintain my CIC® certification?
If you opt to maintain your CIC® certification by examination, you must take and pass the recertification examination. The recertification examination is offered online in web-based format. You can test on your own home computer and on your own schedule. For those whose certification expires on December 31, 2023, the recertification examination must be purchased on or before November 30, 2023. Applications submitted after November 30, 2023 will not be accepted. A passing score must be achieved, and your recertification examination must be completed by December 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm Greenwich Mean Time / 6:59 pm EST (Use this time zone converter to ensure you submit your exam on time: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html). 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 recertification examination. This email includes instructions on how to log into the exam, as well as troubleshooting information. Certificants are able to login and out as many times as necessary within the established testing window to complete the examination; responses/answers during previous logins 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.
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 "Testing Window"?
The CIC® recertification examination must be ordered in the same calendar year as the candidate is due for recertification. It can be ordered beginning January of that year. The deadline to order the CIC® recertification examination is November 30. No applications for the CIC® recertification examination will be accepted after November 30. It must be completed and submitted for scoring by 11:59 pm Greenwich Mean Time / 6:59 pm EST on December 31 of the recertifying year. However, CBIC strongly recommends submitting the CIC® recertification examination no later than December 30 to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time. Use this time zone converter to ensure you submit your exam on time: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html.
What are the differences between the CIC® initial certification examination and the CIC® recertification examination?
The CIC® initial certification examination 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 initial certification exam is the only option for the first-time certifier. The initial certification examination 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 initial certification exam in the Candidate Handbook.
Like the CIC® initial certification exam, the CIC® recertification examination 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 recertification examination 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 11:59 pm Greenwich Mean Time / 6:59 pm 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 recertification examination in the Candidate Handbook.
*CBIC strongly recommends submitting the recertification exam no later than December 30th to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time. Use this time zone converter to ensure you submit your exam on time: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html.
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 CIC® certification renewal and is consistent with good testing practice standards.
I prefer to earn continuing education credits rather than retest. Is that an option?
Yes. Recertifying candidates may recertify either by passing a web-based recertification examination or through continuing education by obtaining a minimum of 40 Infection Prevention Units (IPUs) in acccredited content relevant to infection prevention and control and matching the current domains.
I paid for the CIC® recertification examination 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 (email@example.com) to your address book as a new contact after you submit your recertification examination 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 (202) 454-2625 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
What browser do I need to use to take my recertification exam?
Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are the recommended web browsers when taking the recertification exam. CBIC does not recommend using Internet Explorer.
What is a web browser?
A web browser is the software application or program used to access the web. Common web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
Can I access my recertification exam anywhere?
The recertification examination is a self-paced exam administered online, and therefore does not require candidates to travel to a testing facility. However, CBIC recommends using the browsers Mozilla Firefox or Chrome to complete the exam.
Where do I find the SARE exam?
The SARE exam is also known as the recertification examination. The application for the recertification examination can be found here.
Is the recertification examination an open book test?
Yes, it is. We encourage you to look up answers as a part of the recertification by examination process.
Is the recertification examination taken in one sitting or can it be taken at leisure?
The recertification examination is taken at leisure. Candidates have the ability to start the exam and come back to it. It does not have to be taken all at once.
What materials should I use in preparing for the recertification examination?
The CBIC website has resources and references available. We advise you start with becoming familiar with those resources and references when preparing for the recertification examination.
How soon after I submit my CIC® recertification examination will I receive the correct answers to the questions I answered incorrectly?
CBIC does not provide the answers to questions answered incorrectly on the CIC® recertification examination. 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 recertification exam two to four weeks after exam submission.
How do I know if I passed the recertification examination?
An onscreen pass/fail indicator is generated immediately after submission of the examination questions.A score report with feedback is provided to candidates by Prometric if they do not pass the examination.
If I don't pass the CIC® recertification examination, can I take it again?
No. You can only take the CIC® recertification examination once during your recertification cycle. However, you can test again using the proctored CIC® certification examination administered at Prometric testing facilities or via live remote proctoring to maintain your certification if you fail the recertification exam. The proctored certification examination must be purchased by December 17th and completed by December 31st. Prometric appointments can be extremely limited towards the end of the year.
If I fail the recertification exam, can I submit an IPU Portfolio?
No, you must recertify by taking the proctored CIC® examination to maintain your CIC® status.
If I don’t pass the CIC® recertification examination, how long do I have to wait to register to take the certification exam?
There is no waiting period to take the proctored CIC examination administered at Prometric testing facilities or via live remote proctoring if you don’t pass the recertification exam. If you fail the recertification examination, you will need to apply online for the proctored CIC exam. If you do not pass this examination, your certification will lapse and you will have to wait until the following year to reapply as a first-time applicant. The rule of 90 days between unsuccessful CIC attempts still applies. Remember to plan ahead, because you must pass either the recertification examination or the certification exam (only if the recertification exam is failed) by 11:59 pm Greenwich Mean Time / 6:59 pm EST on or before December 31st* of your recertification year.
*CBIC strongly recommends submitting the recertification exam no later than December 30 to be sure that everything is submitted successfully in time. Use this time zone converter to ensure you submit your exam on time: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html.
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. 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 or IPAC offices does NOT automatically notify the CBIC office.
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 email@example.com.
Can I take the recertification exam with a colleague?
No, the exam must be taken independently.
What is the pass rate of the recertification examination?
In 2022, 78.3% of candidates passed the recertification examination.