(First in a series of five monthly articles)

Starting this year, Chapter Balanced Score Cards include a metric related to certification activity: offer two exam administrations above the prior year's number of total exams taken. The metric highlights HFMA's commitment to certification.

To identify what makes the HFMA certification program successful at the chapter level, the HFMA Board of Examiners recently conducted a survey with 12 chapter leaders and 45 newly certified members.

Chapter leaders were asked what they did that worked or didn't work to promote and support the certification program. Recently certified members were asked about the support they received from their chapter. Both groups were asked to share ideas that would make the certification program more successful.

The following strategies were identified as potential means of making the certification program successful for a chapter:

  • Lead by example
  • Encourage candidates as they go through their journey to become HFMA-certified
  • Offer candidates incentives to become certified
  • Help candidates prepare for exams
  • Be available to support candidates in the exam administration process
  • Recognize and celebrate member accomplishments
  • Support candidates who need to maintain their designation

We share these with you as ideas to help your chapter meet the new Chapter Balanced Score Card metric of administering two more exams in the 2009-10 DCMS Year versus DCMS Year 2008-09.

In future editions of Notes from National, we will share more specific ideas on how to implement these strategies. To help you meet your Chapter's Balanced Score Card goal, we would like to continue gathering best practices and sharing them with you. If your chapter has implemented other strategies that have helped to grow certification, or has recommendations on how to make these strategies successful, please share the information with HFMA National at certification@hfma.org .