CPH Certification FAQs

Overview of the CPH Credential Process

The first step to earning the CPH credential is determining your eligibility. Next, you need to apply for the exam. After an application review, you will receive approval to sit for the CPH exam. The third step is to schedule your exam, ensuring ample time for self-study using NBPHE-sponsored materials. The final step is to sit for and pass the CPH exam successfully. Public health professionals who pass the exam are awarded the CPH credential.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the exam process. If you have any further questions, refer to our candidate handbook or email us at [email protected].

Registration & Scheduling

All candidates must apply through CPH Central. Learn more and apply now!

Once verified, you will receive an email from our testing partner, Meazure Learning, with scheduling instructions. If you do not receive an email but your status is “Eligible,” please contact us.

The CPH exam is offered year-round. As long as a proctor and/or a computer-based testing facility is available, you can schedule your exam anytime.

There is no deadline to take the CPH exam. Once approved as eligible, you remain eligible indefinitely.

NBPHE ensures that no individual with a disability is deprived of the opportunity to take the examination. Meazure Learning facilities provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

NBPHE ensures that no individual with a disability is deprived of the opportunity to take the examination. Meazure Learning facilities provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

  • Wheelchair access is available at all established Assessment Centers. Candidates must advise Meazure Learning at the time of registration if wheelchair access is necessary.
  • Candidates with visual, sensory or physical disabilities that would prevent them from taking the examination under standard conditions or candidates who request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should complete the appropriate Special Examination Accommodations form and submit to [email protected]. Accommodations must be approved before scheduling the CPH exam.

Your email address is your username in CPH Central. To change it, submit the request here. To update your name or other contact information, log in to CPH Central, click your name in the upper right corner, and select ‘Profile’

Yes, you can cancel or reschedule your exam up to two business days before an in-person appointment or 24 hours before a Live-Online Proctoring appointment through the online scheduling system. Absence from your testing appointment will be considered a no-show, forfeiting your entire testing fee. There are no rescheduling fees if you move your appointment more than 10 days in advance. A $15 nonrefundable fee applies if rescheduling within 10 days of the appointment for in-person tests.

Exam Fees

Standard registration is $385. For available discounts, see CPH Fees & Discounts.

Yes, active duty members may use Military Tuition Assistance benefits to pay for the CPH exam fee. For more information, click here or call 800-342-9647.

The registration fee is not refundable for candidates applying under the student and alumni criteria. Applicants under the work experience criteria will be refunded if not approved. Once approved, the fee is not refundable.

NBPHE is approved to offer the CPH exam through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans, their eligible dependents, and reservists may qualify for reimbursement of the exam costs through veteran’s education benefits. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits website.

Exam Information

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have a four-hour window to complete it, with most finishing in under three hours. For an overview of the exam topics, see the CPH Content Outline.

Refer to the CPH candidate handbook for detailed information about the scheduling and examination process.

Yes, NBPHE provides sample questions and two practice exams. Several partner organizations offer study guides and review materials. See study resources.

You may reapply via CPH Central the day after your exam or if you were absent on your scheduled date. The retake fee is $150. After payment, you will receive an email from Meazure Learning with scheduling instructions.

Candidates who take the exam under the student eligibility criteria are not fully certified until they complete their degree. Your CPH status is pending until your academic institution verifies your graduation requirements. Once verified, you will receive a certificate, and your CPH status will be active.

Student and alumni scores are shared only with the academic institution that conferred or will confer your degree. All Certified in Public Health examinees in good standing are listed on the NBPHE website.

The CPH exam is updated yearly, and the cut score changes with each new exam form. A standard passing score is not published, but passing rates are available. Between 2018 and 2022, over 85% of candidates passed the exam. (Note that the score needed to pass was not 85%.)

Starting on August 1, 2024 score reports will show scaled scores instead of raw scores. A scaled score is a representation of a candidate’s total number of right answers (raw score) transformed to a uniform and standardized scale. Scaled scoring is a certification industry best practice for reporting high stakes exam scores. It provides a consistent scale of measurement from one exam session to the next; the same scaled score signifies the same degree of knowledge. This means that scores from different versions of the exam indicate the same level of performance regardless of which exam form a candidate has received. This will take into account the potential difference in difficulty between exam forms.

Testing Options: In-Person & Online

Meazure Learning testing centers are located throughout the US and in over 100 other countries. Exams can be scheduled Monday-Friday and on some weekends.

Search for testing centers

All candidates can test via live online proctoring (LOP), available 24/7 year-round. During your LOP exam session, the proctor will log in remotely to your computer.

Watch the Video Overview of Live Online Proctoring

Measure Learning Screen Capture

For Exam Day Support: Call 1-855-772-8678 or email [email protected].

Review the LOP Fact Sheet at least 24 hours before your exam for technical requirements and additional details. Confirm the following before your exam:

  • Private room with a clean desk surface, free of people, paper, and disruptions.
  • Use a computer with admin access.
  • Download the ProctorU Extension for your browser in advance.

Content Outline Update

Testing under the new content outline will begin on August 1, 2024.

Certification boards update the content outline every five to seven years through a Job Task Analysis (JTA) process. This ensures that CPH candidates are tested on current tasks performed in the field.

The difficulty level of the CPH exam varies yearly. The testing committee adjusts for fluctuations in difficulty using anchor questions. The passing score is set to ensure competent examinees pass. The same process will apply under the new content outline.

The level of competence needed to pass the exam will not change. However, starting on August 1, 2024, score reports will show scaled scores instead of raw scores. Scaled scoring standardizes scores across different exam forms, indicating the same level of performance regardless of the exam version.

Candidates testing in August 2024 will not receive instant results as the new passing score is set. Once the passing score is determined, results will be notified. Schools and programs will receive scores for their students and alumni testing during this period simultaneously.

The content changes are not significant, and most candidates will perform similarly under both outlines. Take the exam when you feel most prepared.

The changes are mostly a reorganization of content and more succinct descriptions of tasks under each domain. The weighting of each domain has changed from 10% each to between 8% and 12%, representing about four additional or fewer questions per domain.

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