December 2014 E-newsletter
CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 7; Issue 3
December 2014

CBIC Presidentís Message

It is hard to believe that 2014 is already nearing its end. Thanks to all of you, both certified infection preventionists (IPs) and eligible candidates, for continuing to recognize the value of certification. We have an all-time high number of just over 5800 actively CIC-certified IPs as of this month. Congratulations to those of you who have certified or recertified this year, and to those of you who have committed to certification in your future.

2014 has been a busy year for all of us. CBIC recognized our CICs on October 21st for Certified IP/ICP Day as part of International Infection Prevention Week. CBIC posted a CIC Honor Roll on our website ( and promoted the importance of certification on social media.  As if the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and enterovirus D68 were not keeping us busy enough, Ebola-preparedness activities have almost entirely occupied many of us since the late summer. What better prepared experts than our dedicated CICs to address these emerging infections by strengthening our preparations and ensuring the safety of our patients, our healthcare personnel, and the public.

For CBIC, 2014 marks the first year of our relationship with our new testing company Prometric. Our Practice Analysis is now complete, and the new test specifications and new content outline that have resulted from this will be in effect as of July 2015. Our Test Committee has worked diligently, using the Practice Analysis findings to update CBIC exams so that they reflect the current priorities and activities of IPs.

For 2015, we look forward to fostering more formal relationships with physician member organizations, hosting certification preparatory workshops in June at both the IPAC-Canada Conference (Victoria, BC) and the APIC Annual Conference (Nashville, TN), and the release of our first French Canadian exam form.

I would like welcome our 2015 President Kathy McGhie, our President-Elect Ruth Carrico, and our two new Board members for next year: Linda Goss, APRN, CIC from Louisville, KY, and Karen Anderson, MT, MPH, CIC from Olema, CA. We also bid farewell to two Board members, Craig Gilliam (2013 CBIC President) and Lillian Burns; thank you both for your dedicated service and contributions to CBIC over the past several years. Last but not least, tremendous thanks to those volunteers on both our Test Committee and our Practice Analysis Task Force; it is only with your commitment and dedication that we are able to fulfill our vision.

I am confident that our leadership will continue to expand CBIC’s horizons. With continued collaboration with our member organizations, we can not only increase certification among IPs but also enhance the recognition of the value of certification.

Thank you for your support over this past year.

Kathy Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC
2014 CBIC President

Meet the Board of Directors Ė New Members for 2015


Linda Goss provides oversight and coordination of infection prevention activities at Norton Brownsboro Hospital and is the Nurse Practitioner for Norton Infectious Disease Specialists in Louisville KY. This unique model is a first for the Norton Healthcare System. Linda has served APIC both locally and nationally with her most recent term as a member of the APIC Board of Directors. During her term as an APIC Board member she served as liaison to the newly formed Professional Development Committee where she provided guidance on development of the Competency Advancement Award program. Linda has authored journal articles, co-authored an APIC implementation guide and co-authored the Competency and Certification chapter in the recently released APIC Text. She has presented locally and at the APIC annual conference. She is a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Nursing Research and the American Journal of Infection Control. Linda has several awards to her credit and in 2011 she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Iota Zeta Chapter. Linda is board certified in Infection Prevention and Control and in nursing as an Adult Nurse Practitioner, Informatics Nurse and Occupational Health Nurse. Ms. Goss is a member of K-STRIPE, the Kentucky working group for prevention of healthcare associated infections. She testified earlier this summer at the Kentucky House of Representatives Health and Welfare Committee session regarding proposed HAI legislation. Linda received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems from Spalding University and her Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Northern Kentucky University with focus as an adult nurse practitioner.

Karen Anderson, CLS, MT(ASCP), MPH, CIC
Karen Anderson is the Manager of Infection Control & Prevention at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California. She holds a Master in Public Health from San Jose State University and is board certified in Infection Control. She is a member of the California Department of Public Health Healthcare Associated Infections-Advisory Committee and serves as a member of the subcommittees on Antibiotic Stewardship, Public Reporting & Education, and Infection Prevention Assessment. She is also an advisory member for policy issues and proposed legislation for the Hospital Acquired Infections Workgroup of the California Hospital Association. She is the treasurer for the San Francisco Bay Area APIC chapter. Karenís interests include creating a safer healthcare experience for patients by finding ways to decrease healthcare associate infections, promoting and publicizing the benefits to patients of the professionals in infection prevention, and the sharing of knowledge and experience for the betterment of global public health. She has had the privilege to advise on infection prevention in Vietnam and Japan. She lives in rural west Marin County, California with her horses, dogs, cats, chickens, and her husband.

CBIC Policy Reminder: Exam Security

CBIC policy prohibits the distribution of questions or answers to live CBIC exam forms. There are several reasons for this, the foremost being one of exam security. CBIC is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). One of the 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. This responsibility requires the use of security processes that restrict access to assessment information to authorized individuals. Therefore, the provision of the missed questions and their corresponding correct answers would compromise the security associated with the certification examination and jeopardize CBIC accreditation with the NCCA.

One and Only Campaign Update: Risks of Healthcare-associated Infections from Drug Diversion

When prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally, it is called drug diversion. Addiction to prescription narcotics called opioids has reached epidemic proportions and is a major driver of drug diversion. This webpage focuses on diversion involving healthcare providers who steal controlled substances such as opioids for their own use. This can result in several types of patient harm including:

  • Substandard care delivered by an impaired healthcare provider,
  • Denial of essential pain medication or therapy, or
  • Risks of infection (e.g., with hepatitis C virus or bacterial pathogens) if a provider tampers with injectable drugs.


CDC and state and local health departments have assisted in the investigation of infection outbreaks stemming from drug diversion activities that involved healthcare providers who tampered with injectable drugs. A summary of recent outbreaks is illustrated in the following timeline.  

 Read more here >>

**CIC Exam Study Tip**

  • Facebook Practice Questions Ė Get Connected!
    • Follow CBIC on Facebook to see the CIC Exam Practice Questions that are posted twice weekly on the CBIC page.
    • Become part of the online community of current and aspiring CICs who are discussing ways to prepare for the CIC examination on the CBIC Facebook page.
    • You can also follow CBIC on Twitter at @CBIC for more news, announcements and tips.

CIC Interview: Brigette Bucholz, CIC

CBIC conducted an interview with Brigette Bucholz, a newly certified CIC who recently participated in CHIP, a groundbreaking new program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health that focuses on infection prevention and control. She fills us in on the details of this program, as well as gives her take on being Certified in Infection Control.

Why did you choose to make your career in infection prevention?

For a long time, I thought that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine as a physician.  However, throughout my undergraduate years, I found myself very interested in the business of healthcare and quality improvement in addition to the hard science of microbiology.  I also spent a lot of time participating in science education outreach with inner city students from Detroit and grew to really enjoy communication and education.  After some research and thought, I felt that pursuing a career in public health, and infection prevention, was the best fit for me given my interests.  I definitely made a wise choice!

You were featured in a June 2014 article on MLive about the CHIP program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. What is the CHIP program?

The Certificate in Healthcare Infection Prevention & Control (CHIP) Program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (UMSPH) aims to provide students with both classroom-based and hands-on experience in infection prevention and control.  There are certain course requirements that students must complete to obtain the certificate and an internship is also available and encouraged, though not required, for completion of the certificate.  It is essentially a deeper and more focused dive into infection prevention than a student might otherwise have at UMSPH.

How did you get involved in the CHIP program?

As an undergraduate and graduate student at Michigan, I had the opportunity to work in Drs. Betsy Foxman and Carl Marrs’ lab.  Dr. Foxman is the Program Director for the CHIP Program, so I got a great deal of information about the program from her.  UMSPH provided numerous resources advertising the program to all students—not just epidemiology concentrators.  It was very popular (even in its first year) with students across all disciplines.

What do you think are the innovations of the CHIP program, and how can it benefit other IPs?

I think that it is critical to recognize that infection prevention and control is more than going through lab reports and reporting infections to the state/federal levels.  The CHIP Program offers courses in Health Management & Policy, Health Behavior & Health Education, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, and Epidemiology to provide an exceptionally well-rounded and comprehensive understanding of how infection prevention fits into the healthcare spectrum.  I think it is very important for IPs to have this multi-dimensional understanding of why what we do is relevant to the business of healthcare, and the CHIP Program does an excellent job fostering this understanding.  It is a fantastic way to learn about the profession while you’re simultaneously building a foundation in public health.

How long have you been CIC certified?

I obtained my CIC in April 2014.  Although I waited almost a year after I was employed full-time at my current position, I am confident that I could have taken the exam much sooner due to the experience gained and content mastered as part of the CHIP Program.

Why did you choose to pursue the CIC certification, and what does being CIC certified mean to you?

It means a great deal to me to be certified in this profession.  The certification is a testament to the content I have mastered and skill sets I have built over the past several years.  It is a testament to my coworkers that I am an authority on information related to infection prevention and that they can trust my expertise and judgment.  It also demonstrates to my hospital leadership that I take my position seriously and am committed to providing the best possible council to the organization.  Our profession is very special in that so many different individuals (nurses, public health professionals, microbiology technicians) are able to be successful in this role, but with that comes a sometimes ambiguous set of standards for what it means to be an “expert.”  The CIC is a great way to demonstrate exactly that.

What advice would you give to someone preparing for the CIC examination?

Certainly study hard, but don’t panic!  During the exam, I found that most of the answers came from my day-to-day experiences than from the study guides I had purchased and studied.  If you have colleagues at your organization or local professional society chapters who are certified, call upon them for advice as well—they were great resources to me in my preparation.


Once again, the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC®) held Certified Infection Preventionist (IP)/Infection Prevention and Control Professionals (ICP) Day, which took place on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 during International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) in recognition of professionals Certified in Infection Control (CIC®).

The CIC credential, administered by CBIC, identifies healthcare professionals who have shown a mastery of knowledge in infection prevention and control. Certification in Infection Control allows professionals to be recognized for competence in their specialty. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to recognize your commitment.

To celebrate Certified IP/ICP Day, CBIC organized several activities focused on recognizing the achievement of CICs. We posted an “honor roll” of all of our CICs on the CBIC website, and conducted a social media campaign recognizing our CICs. In addition, to thank our certificants for their commitment to certification, CBIC held a random drawing for an Amazon gift card, and invited CICs to join the drawing simply for being certified.

Each year, CBIC is honored to help spread the word about certification through important milestones such as IIPW and Certified IP Day. Thank you for everything you do, and we look forward to celebrating your professional dedication again in 2015!

Archived CBIC Presentation on Practice Analysis Now Available!

In November, CBIC hosted a Webber Teleclass titled “CBIC is Making the Certification Process Work for All”. This workshop, presented by CBIC Past President Craig Gilliam and 2015 CBIC Test Committee Chair Lita Jo Henman, explains how to use the CBIC examination content outline as part of examination preparations. Viewers will gain an understanding of the role of the practice analysis in determining examination content and candidate eligibility. This teleclass describes the three types of exam questions and applies practical study strategies for each category. Video of the presentation as well as handouts will

Title: CBIC is Making the Certification Process Work for All!
Date: November 6, 2014
Faculty: Craig H. Gilliam, BSMT, CIC, Arkansas Children's Hospital
Lita Jo Henman, MPH, CIC, Riverside Methodist Hospital, Ohio
Cost: Free
To Access: Visit and search for the title above.

Membership Organizations

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) has the privilege of working with several organizations to spread the word about the importance of being Certified in Infection Control CIC®. For an explanation of how the organizations are different from the Board, please read the descriptions below:

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC)
CBIC was formed by APIC in 1980 and APIC remains the sole member of CBIC. APIC provides the education and implements competency measures for the CIC credential.

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)
CBIC is a member of the International Federation of Infection Control Associations. IFIC is comprised of approximately 30 infection control associations worldwide.

Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada)
IPAC Canada is a national, multidisciplinary association committed to the wellness and safety of Canadians by promoting best practice in infection and control through education, standards, advocacy, and consumer awareness. CBIC has a Canadian representative on the Board of Directors at all times.

Annual CBIC Organizational Summit on Certification

On November 2, 2014, the leadership and senior staff of CBIC, APIC, and IPAC Canada met in Chicago, IL for their annual Organizational Summit on Certification. The annual summit was started three years ago as a way for the three organizations to come together to talk specifically about CIC certification. As always, there was robust discussion around certification, how each organization is working to increase the number of CICs in North America and around the world, and steps for future collaboration. With the roles of IPs changing rapidly and the increased demands on their schedules, itís nice to take some time to step back and ensure that we are meeting all of their needs when it comes to certification.

CBIC: a Member of the One & Only Campaign

CBIC continues to be an active member of the One & Only Campaign, a public safety campaign committed to promoting safe injection practices in all healthcare settings. By teaming up with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, CBIC joins professional groups, healthcare systems, provider groups, private companies and others dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of injection safety.

Re-Certification Reminder

To maintain certification, the Infection Preventionist must recertify within five calendar years of passing the examination. All currently certified Infection Preventionists are eligible for recertification. If you have not already taken the following steps, please review the following options for recertification:

  1. Take and pass the proctored computer-based test (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 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).
  2. 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.  The test can be ordered at any time between now and December 1, 2014. A passing score must be achieved, and your SARE must be completed by December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. You must have an email address to receive the confirmation e-mail with specific instructions on how to logon to the SARE. The e-mail will include instructions on how to login to the exam. Certificants are able to login and out as many times as necessary, within the established testing window, to complete the examination; responses/answers during the previous logins will be saved. Candidates receive pass/fail results immediately upon finishing their online post-examination survey, and a full score report detailing overall score and domain scores is mailed to the candidate in two to three weeks.

**Candidates who do not pass the CBT for recertification may not subsequently attempt to recertify by the SARE during their current recertification cycle, but must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends. Recertifying candidates who do not pass the SARE cannot apply to retake the SARE but can apply to recertify by CBT. They must recertify by CBT before the current certification cycle ends.

Please be aware that if you do not recertify within the deadlines outlined above, your certification will lapse on December 31, 2014. If you allow your certification to lapse, you cannot use the CIC® credential after December 31, 2014. Should your certification lapse and you decide to pursue the credential again, you must apply through the same application process, criteria, and fee as a first-time applicant at the time of application.

If you need further information regarding the CBIC Examination process, please visit the CBIC website at and download the current CBIC Candidate Handbook.

Certification demonstrates to your patients, your employer, and your peers that you have proven competency in infection prevention and control. It also enables you as a professional to build credibility and validate expertise while signifying a commitment to continued practice excellence.

If you have questions about recertifying, please contact the CBIC Executive Office at or 414.918.9796. Best wishes for success, whichever option you choose.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)