September 2015 E-newsletter
CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 8; Issue 3
September 2015

In this Issue:

President's Message APIC & IPAC Canada Conferences
Spotlight on a CIC: Linda Greene Pilot Examination
CIC Study Exam Tip New Podcast
2015 Recertification Reminder
Recertification in 2016 and Beyond
Connect with us on Social Media One and Only Campaign
IIPW 2016 Test Committee - Call for Applications

 CBIC President's Message

Since the last E-Newsletter, I've been fortunate to attend the IPAC Canada conference in Victoria, British Columbia and the APIC conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Both conferences were blessed with beautiful weather and filled with stimulating education sessions designed to meet the needs of all attendees. But for me, the most rewarding aspect of attending a conference has always been the opportunity to recharge my infection prevention batteries through reconnecting with colleagues and being part of the greater infection prevention community. I had the opportunity to meet many of you at the CIC® reception in Nashville and at the CBIC conference booths. Attending these conferences, I was reminded of the number of IPs who practice alone in their facilities often without the support of local infection prevention communities. Please reach out to these IPs, invite them to your chapter meetings and consider acting as a mentor. Some of you belong to chapters with well-established certification study groups, while others do not. What a great project idea for chapters in 2016!

Again this year we were excited to hold a certification preparation workshop at the APIC conference and for the first time ever, a workshop in conjunction with the IPAC Canada conference. We were extremely pleased with the interest and attendance, our guest faculty, and the thoughtful feedback provided by everyone. We look forward to new workshop opportunities in 2016.

By now, most of you have probably heard that 2015 will be the last year that candidates will be able to recertify using the Computer Based Test (CBT) process. Beginning in January 2016, all candidates will be required to recertify using the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE). This decision came after consultation with Prometric, CBIC’s testing company, and extensive discussions at the Board level. CBIC's decision to move to one method of recertification puts the organization in accordance with certification industry best practices. With this change in policy, there will be one standard and one process for all recertifying CICs. Additional information about the changes to the recertification process, FAQs and a new section called “SARE Myth busters” can be found on our updated website.

Development of our 2015-2016 examinations continues as we work toward establishing cut scores. Thank you to everyone who helped us by participating in our pilot examination period during the month of July. We expect that instant scoring for test takers will return in November.

Lastly, once again I would like to thank all of you who proudly display your CIC® credential and support certification in our profession on a daily basis. Congratulations to everyone who has achieved initial certification or recertification this year.



Kathryn McGhie, RN, BScN, CIC
2015 CBIC President

APIC and IPAC Canada Conferences

IPAC Canada 2015

IPAC Canada 2015 took place in beautiful Victoria, BC in June. CBIC attended the conference to staff the CBIC booth, meet our Canadian CICs, and present our Certification Preparatory Workshop. We had a great time at the booth greeting our CICs and giving out their CIC® ribbons to attach to their nametags. We also stayed a day late to put on an educational workshop. The workshop had approximately 50 attendees and covered all of the content areas on the examination content outline. We received a lot of good feedback on the workshop and are looking forward to working with IPAC Canada for future annual conferences.

APIC 2015

APIC 2015 took place in Nashville, TN in late June, just shortly after the IPAC conference. CBIC attended APIC 2015 as well. At APIC we started the conference a day early with our Certification Preparatory Workshop, which was attended by over 250 participants. Amongst other activities, CBIC also staffed a booth and co-hosted a CIC® Reception. At both events, CBIC was excited to meet CICs from all over the world and get a chance to engage face-to-face. We continue to look forward to our participation at the APIC annual conferences through the years!

To see pictures from both IPAC Canada 2015 and APIC 2015, check out the CBIC Instagram account!

Spotlight on a CIC®: Linda Greene, RN, MPS, CIC

Linda Greene, RN, MPS, CIC has been a CIC® since 1990. She recently wrote an article in Infection Control Today titled Meeting Surveillance and Epidemiology Challenges is an Infection Prevention Imperative. Shortly after, CBIC followed up with her to see what the CIC® credential meant to her. Read below to see why Linda feels passionately about certification and how it has helped her throughout her career.

Why did you choose an infection prevention career?
When I chose an infection prevention career, I viewed it as an extension of my nursing role. Rather than have an impact on individual patients, there was an opportunity to improve the outcomes of care for all patients. Infection prevention affords us the opportunity to have a direct impact on the lives of patients every day, as we work collaboratively with all of the stakeholders to ensure that we protect patients from harmful infections.

What does being Certified in Infection Control (CIC®) mean to you?
When I first received my certification, it was the highlight of my career. Over the years it has continued to be a reflection of my responsibility and commitment to the profession. I believe that certification is one of the most important methods of increasing the perceived value of the Infection Preventionist (IP). Every time I use the CIC® after my name, I am immensely proud and confident in the knowledge that I have validated my competence by meeting the knowledge and practice requirements required to use the CIC® after my name.

In what ways has your certification benefited you?
I have been in leadership roles throughout my Infection Prevention career. CIC® has been either the deciding factor in my selection or a job requirement. In addition, many of the professional activities I have been involved in require a CIC®. For example, when I provided medical relief during the SARS epidemic in Toronto in 2003, only candidates with a CIC® were considered for assignments. Whether I am interacting with hospital leadership, working with physicians, or presenting at a seminar or workshop, I feel that the CIC® designation gives me tremendous credibility.

What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?
Over the course of a professional career, there are significant milestones. Attaining the CIC® designation is one of them. There is such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment to be able to use the CIC® designation. Read the study guide, review the practice test questions and consult your colleagues. One strategy is to form a study group with others. I know my chapter has a study group and senior IPs who are certified serve as instructors. Find out about APIC’s CIC® preparation course. Make it your goal to become certified.

You recently published an article in Infection Prevention Today in which you talked about the changing landscape of the healthcare system and the importance of having a “greater understanding and implementation of basic infection prevention guidance,” how does being certified and part of the CIC® community help to work towards this goal or reinforce this?
The knowledge and practice requirements for certification are consistent with this message. I think that certification also put us on the trajectory of continuous learning. Being part of the CIC® community affords me the opportunity to share my knowledge and also learn from the collective wisdom of others.

Pilot Examination

The July Pilot Examination was completed, but there is still work to do! CBIC, along with our testing agency, Prometric, is in the process of developing a cut score and ensuring all of the programs are in place for automatic scoring to return. We anticipate having automatic score reports reinstated at testing sites beginning in November. Candidates who take the examination between July and September 2015 can expect to receive their score reports beginning in late September. Candidates who take the examination in October will receive their scores within 2-3 weeks of their examination date. Follow CBIC on social media to receive updates!

**CIC® Exam Study Tip: Take a Break**

Studies have shown that taking breaks during study sessions can actually be beneficial. Try to set a schedule for your study time and schedule in break times. Then be sure to follow through with the breaks and not work through them. Breaks can help by giving your brain some downtime to process and reflect on the material you take in while studying, even if you are not actively reflecting on it. So spend time studying, but then take a snack, exercise, meditation, etc. break!

New Podcast

SARE Only for Recertification

Bonnie Norrick, a CBIC Board Member and Marketing Committee Chair, explains the new changes to the SARE only for Recertification policy. Starting in 2016 all CICs will need to recertify through the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE). For more information click here.

Recertification Reminder

To maintain certification, the Infection Preventionist must recertify in the fifth calendar year of their certification. If you are certified through December 31, 2015, you must recertify this year! 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, at least five days a week at hundreds of Prometric assessment centers in North America and worldwide. There are no pre-scheduled testing dates, as Prometric offers continuous testing. Once a candidate’s eligibility is confirmed, s/he will receive an e-mail notice from CBIC instructing the candidate on how to schedule an examination appointment.

    Once certified, certification is valid for a five year period. Candidates may apply online via the link on the CBIC website (, or via paper application (available on the CBIC website). CBIC encourages candidates to download the Candidate Handbook at for easy access to all current information on the CIC® examinations. International certificants can also recertify via the computerized examination. To search the database of domestic and international assessment center locations, please go to and click on “Locate a Test Center”. If candidates wish to recertify via the CBT, they must have their examination appointment scheduled for on or before December 30, 2015 (assessment centers are closed on December 31st).

  2. Take and pass the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE)
    The SARE is offered online on a web-based platform. Candidates may take their SARE examination on their own home computer and on their own schedule. This examination can be ordered at any time between now and December 1, 2015. A passing score must be achieved, and the SARE must be completed by December 31, 2015 at 11:59pm GMT. CBIC strongly recommends completing the SARE examination prior to December 30, 2015 to ensure that everything goes smoothly upon submission. Candidates must provide an email address to receive the confirmation e-mail with specific instructions on how to access the SARE. The e-mail will include instructions on how to login to the exam, as well as troubleshooting instructions. Candidates may log in and out as many times as necessary, within the established testing window, to complete the examination; responses given during previous testing sessions will be saved. Candidates receive pass/fail results immediately upon finishing their online post-examination survey.

**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, 2015. If you allow your certification to lapse, you cannot use the CIC® credential after December 31, 2015. 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.

Recertification in 2016 and Beyond

After consultation with Prometric, CBIC's testing agency, and extensive discussions at the Board level, CBIC is updating the procedure for recertifying. Starting in 2016, if you need to recertify you may only take the Self-Achievement Recertification Examination (SARE). If you take the SARE and do not pass, then you may take the Computer-Based Test (CBT). The rules for the SARE remain the same. You have the entirety of your fifth year of certification to take the examination. If you take the examination before December 31 of your recertification year and pass you will be recertified.

However, since you cannot take the SARE more than once in a calendar year, we will allow anyone who fails the SARE to take the CBT to prevent a lapse in certification. If you do not pass the CBT by December 31st of the year your certification expires, you will be considered lapsed and will have to meet the eligibility requirements for first-time certification prior to taking the examination. Please keep this in mind when determining when you will turn in the SARE.

The SARE enables the infection prevention and control professional to use the examination as an educational opportunity, as recertifiers have the entire year to complete the examination with opportunities to revise responses. The SARE supports the concept of growth from novice to expert, and seeks to enable the infection prevention and control professional, regardless of setting, to have the opportunity to demonstrate the professional growth that the infection prevention and control community has supported and indicated as both necessary and expected.

If you have questions about recertifying, please contact the CBIC Executive Office at or 414.918.9796. Best wishes for success in your recertification.

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.

2014 Practice Analysis Published

Every five years, CBIC conducts a Practice Analysis survey. This survey assesses the current practice of infection prevention and control and ensures that the certification examination focuses on current IP/ICP practice. Prior to this, the last Practice Analysis was completed in 2009. The 2014 Practice Analysis has been published in Volume 43, Issue 7 of the American Journal of Infection Control. You can read the full article by clicking on the link below:

2014 Practice Analysis

Follow CBIC on Social Media (with Bonus Practice Question!)

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 or LinkedIn for more news, announcements and tips.

This year CBIC posted from the APIC and IPAC-Canada annual conferences with our new Instagram @CBIC_Inc. Follow us to stay up to date with our conference activities.

Follow CBIC on Facebook on #TestingTuesday and #TestingThursday to see the CIC® exam practice questions that are posted twice weekly on the CBIC page. Here is a sample question:

A new program for bariatric surgery has been added to a facility. The IC department has only followed selected surgeries to identify post-operative infections. Unfortunately, the department has limited staffing. Which of the following should be proposed?

  1. Review the number of infections identified in cases being followed and discontinue surveillance if infection rates are low.
  2. Add bariatric surgery to the surveillance plan and ask the chief of surgery which surgical procedures can be dropped from the surveillance plan.
  3. Review the number of cases of surgeries and eliminate surveillance on surgeries rarely performed. Add bariatric surgery to the surveillance plan.
  4. Add bariatric surgery to the surveillance plan and ask for additional resources for the IC department.

Scroll to the bottom of the E-Newsletter for the answer!*

We want to hear from you!

CBIC will also be participating in Throwback Thursday (#TBT)! If you have a throwback story or photo, send them to us at and we will share on Thursdays!


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.


International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)

It’s that time of the year again! IIPW will take place the third week in October (18th – 24th). This year CBIC has a lot of activities planned including the roll-out of our latest LinkedIn opportunities, CIC® Badges and the CBIC Group! More information will be available closer to IIPW.

Along with this, CBIC will be participating in other IIPW activities including:

  • International Infection Prevention Day – TBD
  • Recognition of CICs on our IIPW webpage
  • Creation of a button for CICs to display as their social media profile pictures
  • Recognition of CICs and IP/ICPs on social media
  • Special Edition E-Newsletter
  • And more!

Test Committee 2016 - Call for Applications

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. is currently seeking applications for non-Board members to fill four open positions on the two Test Committee subcommittees: Item Writing Committee and Item Review Committee. This is a 2-year term that begins January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2017.

To be considered for the Test Committee, you must be currently certified (CIC®), and have successfully taken both the Computer-Based Test (CBT) and the Self-Achievement Recertification Exam (SARE) sometime during your certification. Finalists will also be asked to submit sample exam questions that they have composed. The ideal candidate will be an energetic individual and only those currently board certified (CIC®) may apply. Please click here for more details.

The deadline for receipt of the form and resume or CV is October 1, 2015.

*The answer to the E-Newsletter Practice Question is B: Add bariatric surgery to the surveillance plan and ask the chief of surgery which surgical procedures can be dropped from the surveillance plan.

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