Why Do IPs Get Certified?

By Paul Field
CBIC Consumer Director
Chief Strategy Officer, Renegade Communications, Hunt Valley Maryland

850 APIC and CHICA members completed an on-line survey in the spring of 2009, helping us understand why IPs get certified and the value of certification in their lives. This research was part of CBIC's strategic planning process, and a valuable contribution to understanding the real world of the profession. We are using this information to better shape our brand and messages with certificants, non-certificants, and the professional world that surrounds them. These insights are helping us to make sure the certification program and the communications around it make the most sense for supporting and growing our profession.

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IPs told us that they became certified for the own satisfaction (69.2%) and recognition from peers and associates (68.7%). Some see certification as a definite plus for their careers (39.8%). Only 10% said that money was a primary motivator in getting certified.

"Very important" factors in the value of certification, they said were underlining the IP's professionalism (66.2%), ranking it with other certifications (62.0%) and its importance to the healthcare profession (55.7%). It builds the IP's self esteem (48.0%) and fulfills requirements (48.0%). It also advances one’s career.

Factors that Encourage Certification
Categories Factor Rank Order (1-13, 1 high)
Self actualization 1. Increased professionalism
2. Satisfaction
7. Peer recognition
Convenience 3. Convenient on-line
4.  Convenient locations
Requirement 5. Facility requirement
10. Supervisor requirement
12. Governmentrequirement
Cost 6. Reasonable cost
8. Facility pays
Career advancement 9. Advance career
11. Protect job
13. Increased compensation

IPs also told us that very important barriers to certification are having to pay for it oneself (44.9%). A little over a third felt it was very important that certification is not supported in their facility (38.4%) and, surprisingly perhaps, infection control is not seen as significant (37.2%). And there is some feeling that the exam is not convenient and that it is too hard.

In view of the key role administrators may play in certification, two thirds of IPs (65%) see them as supportive. They are seen as very supportive of certification by 27.9% and supportive by an additional 37.1%.

Many currently certified IPs became certified because of their pride and their own desire to demonstrate success and progress in their profession. Increasingly, IPs are seeing certification as having a role in career advancement, for greater recognition, responsibility and compensation. And, increasingly, regulation is gradually making certification more of a requirement. Many facility administrators are increasingly understanding the importance of certification and are increasingly supporting it.