NOTE: In the information below, the identification of any other organization or event is for illustrative purposes only. It does not imply endorsement by ABIH®.


Calculating CM Points for Courses & Conferences

I just passed the Exam. When can I start earning CM credit?

Your CM Cycle starts at the beginning of the next regularly scheduled CM cycle period. If you passed the Spring Exam, your CM cycle would start on July 1. If you passed the Fall Exam, your CM cycle would start on January 1.

You can claim CM credit only between your CM Cycle Start Date and End Date. The CM Cycle Start and End Dates are two of the four key dates that every Diplomate should know.

 What events are eligible for CM credit in Category 4 Education?

You may claim CM credit for any professional level educational event that is related to IH, safety or ethics and develops/enhances your professional-level technical knowledge and skills. IH and safety courses must be at least one hour; ethics events can be any length. You claim only the technical portions of the event, excluding the non-eligible portions, e.g. breaks, lunches, networking, social tours, awards, vendor time, subjects other than IH, safety or ethics.

As long as the eligibility criteria are met, educational events may be inside or outside of your organization and they may be live or delayed.

Why doesn't "Networking" or Vendor Time" count?

At this time the Board views Networking and Vendor Time as unstructured learning because there is no guarantee that technical content will be discussed. If you attend a course or conference lecture, it is structured learning because there is a reasonable certainty that technical issues will be discussed. That is not always a guarantee with time spent Networking or with Vendors. So for now, it is not eligible for CM credit. We think it’s possible that this will change in the future but that is today’s interpretation.

Does ABIH® need to review or approve the event for CM credit?

No, ABIH review or approval of an educational event is not necessary. However, if you have an event that is unclear regarding its eligibility for CM credit, please contact the ABIH Staff who have CM program responsibilities.

Prior to 2012, ABIH provided an event review service, awarding CM points and assigning a CM Approval Number. That service was discontinued and previously assigned CM Approval Numbers are no longer issued or required on a CM Worksheet.

How do I calculate the CM credit for an event?

You need the: 1) the technical contact hours, and 2) the Category 4 CM Area of "IH, Safety or IH-Ethics". 

Calculating the technical contact hours for courses and conferences is addressed in the FAQs below. One technical contact hour equals 0.167 CM point.

The CM Area is usually obvious but if not, definitions are provided on the ABIH web site and a detailed list of more than 150 examples is embedded within the latest Excel version of the CM Worksheet.

EX: An 8 hour Respiratory Protection course is worth 8 hours or 1.34 CM points in the "IH" CM Area.

For a even more information, refer to the web page Calculating CM Credit or this short, easy-to-read Overview document.

How do I determine the technical contact hours for a course?

You can claim up to the maximum technical contact hours as listed by the Course Sponsor or Provider. Note that some will provide a CEU value, where 1 CEU = 10 technical contact hours. If the hours are not provided by the Sponsor, calculate it from an agenda or schedule, excluding the non-eligible portions of the event. 

Academic courses receive 15 hours of CM credit per academic semester credit-hour. (15 hours = 2.5 CM points), or 10 hours of CM credit if on if on the academic quarter-hour system (10 hours = 1.67 CM point).

How do I determine the technical contact hours for a conference?

You are allowed to claim 3 hours for each half day of attendance or if you prefer, track and claim the hours of your actual attendance in the technical sessions.

Note that claiming the maximum time at a conference usually means that you attended every possible technical session and did not participate in any non-technical activities, i.e., breaks, networking, Vendor visits, awards, social, etc.

As a matter of conenience, most Diplomates use the "3 hours/half day" estimate.

What should I do if I'm not sure about the technical contact hours or CM Area?

Please contact us if you are unsure about an event. See the ABIH Staff listing for those who have CM program responsibilities.

Is management or leadership training eligible for CM credit?

Management or leadership training that emphasizes generic skills typically is not eligible for CM credit. This includes topics such as but not limited to communication techniques, technical writing, presentation techniques, organizational effectiveness, media training, computer skills, supervisory skills, quality training, financial or accounting training, expert witness training and project management.

However, general management or leadership training that includes a significant emphasis on EH&S is acceptable for CM credit in the IH CM Area of Category 4.

Why can't I count all my 'refresher' classes? I'm required to take these.

From a program philosophy viewpoint, the Board wants you to develop and enhance your technical knowledge and skills during each cycle. (See Purpose of the CM Program). The Board believes that repeating classes, even refreshers, does not develop or enhance your skills; rather, it merely maintains your skills.

ABIH considers refresher courses to be the “same course” each time because typically, the content does not change by >50% each time it's taught, which is our guideline for evaluating signifcant change.

ABIH may make an exception for your specific class if you can provide evidence that is has changed by >50%. Usually, this will require slides, agendas, etc.

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Records to Prove Participation

What records do I need to prove attendance at a course or conference?

Ideally, an acceptable record will show the Diplomate’s name, date of completion, event title, event Sponsor/Provider and the duration (e.g. hours or CEUs).  If any of this information is missing or if the subject matter is not clear from the event title, then additional records will be needed, e.g., event description, agenda or schedule.

For courses, the event Owner/Provider will usually provide an acceptable record.

For conferences, because the event Owner/Provider typically does not provide a completion record, other types of records must be used to indirectly prove participation (e.g. registration records and expense reports).


  • When you attend a class or course, you only need one acceptable proof-of-completion record such as a certificate, transcript, roster or other acknowledgement or your participation. (NOTE - If you are claiming the same class more than once during a CM cycle (e.g. annual ethics training), you will also need to retain something which shows that the content changed by more than 50% each time it was taught.)
  • When you attend a conference, you typically will need two records: 1) a registration receipt and 2) a record such as an expense report which proves that you were physically in the city on the days of the claimed CM credit.

NOTE: The AIHA Educational Transcript is an acceptable record for any AIHA PDC, Webinar or Road Course; however, for conferences, it is only a registration receipt because it does not show daily event participation. Additional Diplomate records will be needed, e.g. expense report.  Also, note that the transcript cannot be used for any non-AIHA event.

What about the records for all the other CM Categories, like Active Practice, Committees, etc?

Acceptable records for each of the CM Categories are summarized here and described in more detail within each of the individual CM Category description web pages (see the top menu bar).

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Low Cost Ways to Earn CM Credit

Can ABIH recommend specific events that I can or should pursue for IH, safety or ethics training?

As a general principle, we are unable to recommend specific educational events because: 1) we do not know your specific knowledge/skill development needs, and 2) because this practice could be perceived as ABIH favoritism or endorsement, which would negatively impact our desire to be an impartial and fair organization for all event Providers.

However, ABIH is generally aware of some current and ongoing events and we will be glad to share this information to Diplomates when requested. 

What are some low cost ways that I can earn CM credit?

Category 2 Committees: Join a professional technical committee – it can be local, national or international as long as it’s IH-related and outside your organization/company. This is an easy way to earn up to 1 point for year, just by being on a committee. Even if it's a local committee, like an LEPC, it still earns CM credit.

Category 3 Publications: Write and publish articles for magazines or journals. Most people think this has to be in professional journal but that's not the only option. For example, even if you write an article for a local newsletter, it could earn CM credit as long as it's IH related, has more than 500 words and contains references. Articles must be published outside your organization/company and IH-related.

Category 4 Education: Our favorite way of earning CM credit in a short time period is a virtual conference or course. Most of the EH&S professional societies (such as AIHA and ASSE) offer virtual events as both live broadcast along with delayed viewing options. While these types of events aren't cost-free and you miss the networking opportunities, you do avoid the travel expenses, thus saving a significant amount of money.

You should attend any national meeting or conference of an EH&S professional society that occurs in your local area. You obviously pay for the conference but again, you avoid many if not all of the travel expenses.

Attend events offered by the local sections of your EH&S professional societies. The annual fees typically are very reasonable and the events themselves can often be very cost-effective. PDCs and other courses put on by local sections will sometimes be offered at a lower cost than the same course offered at a national event, making them a great bargain.

Contact your favorite EH&S professional societies because many offer other educational activities outside of the traditional course or conference, like the AIHA Synergist Test series or the ACGIH Action Level series. 

Some organizations such as FEMA, CDC, University of Minnesota (School of Public Health) offer online and free courses or events. These courses can be a quick way to earn a few CM points, especially at the end of a CM cycle. Contact your fellow Diplomates for a list of their favorite organizations and courses.

Category 5 Teach/Present: The teaching or presenting must be IH related and outside your organization and job responsibilities but other than that, we allow you teach/present IH to ANY audience. It doesn't have to be technical audience. 

Category 7 Approved Other Activities: There are several other ways to earn CM credit listed in Category 7. Some of the low cost ways include the following:

Write questions for the CIH exam. One point for five "acceptable" questions which means that the questions must be acceptable; it doesn't mean that we will use them on the Exam.

Mentor another IH – you get 1 CM point for a mentoring another person but at this time, mentoring must be pre-approved by ABIH.  This not only benefits you but it REALLY helps our profession's young professionals.

If an EH&S professional society is holding a national conference in your local area, volunteer to be a Session Arranger. That earns 0.5 CM point.

Take CM credit for other professional certifications (see next FAQ) or any other IH-related exams (Asbestos, Lead, state licensing, etc.) that you might be required for your job or organization.

Volunteer your knowledge and skills for community service. Pro-bono work earns 0.5 CM point for each 40 hours of effort.

Do I get CM points for my other professional certifications?

If you passed the exam during your CM cycle and prior to 2014, some professional certifications have been pre-approved for CM credit. See the Professional Certifications section of Category 7. If your professional certification is not listed but is IH-related, see the IH-Related Exams portion of Category 7.

CM points are not awarded for maintaining a professional certification that was initially achieved before the start of your current CM Cycle.

A CIH co-worker registered for an online webinar. Can I sit in and claim CM credit? I would view the same material.

It depends on the use rules of the Content Owner/Provider (CO/P). Because they own the material, they have the right to say who has successfully completed their event. Some CO/Ps require individual registration as well as other steps before a proof-of-participation record will be awarded (e.g. fee payment, course evaluations, tests). In those situations, the answer would be "no", you couldn't claim CM credit for sitting in as an unregistered participant because you didn't complete the event per the CO/P's rules. 

Sometimes, you can contact the CO/P and ask for a group registration so that a proof-of-participation record can be generated for all participants. (Remember, you will need that sort of record if your CMW is audited).

Other CO/Ps allow unrestricted use of their materials and in those situations, "yes", you would be able to claim CM credit for sitting in without registering. An attendance roster is all that is needed.

If you're unclear about the CO/P's usage rights, it's always best to ask about their terms of use for your particular event in question.

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What is the "ethics requirement"?

Every CM cycle, Diplomates are asked to accrue at least 2 hours of ethics education (0.33 IH Ethics point). This can be done at one time or in separate sessions that cumulatively total at least 2 hours. Former Diplomates who want to reactivate are also asked to complete at least 2 hours of ethics training within 5 years of their reactivation request.

Ethics education is reported in Category 4 on the CM worksheet or if taking the Exam for CM, a record of completion is provided at the time that the CM-By-Exam form is submitted.

There is a maximum of 5 IH-Ethics points (30 hours) for each CM Cycle or reactivation request.

See Minimum Requirements.

What type of subject matter content qualifies for ethics training?

Acceptable subject matter will align with the ABIH® Code of Ethics or the Member Ethical Principles from the AIH, AIHA and ACGIH, containing concepts such as fairness, honesty, truthfulness, integrity, accuracy, objectivity, confidentiality, compliance, legality, conflicts of interest, conflict management, undue influence, equal opportunity, diversity, intellectual property rights/plagiarism, use of certification marks and professional competency/limitations (i.e., when to refer a client).

ABIH is interpreting this very broadly today. Generally, an acceptable ethics class will address individual decision-making that could compromise the values of the individual or organization. This concerns the professional choices that we make to demonstrate right vs. wrong behavior or even so-called right vs right behavior, where the ethical path is not intuitively clear or obvious. 

Often, a class will align in an obvious manner to the Code of Ethics and the Member Ethical Principles, e.g. Code of Conduct Training, Ethical Dilemmas for the IH Professional, Information Privacy and Bribes/Other Gratuities.

Sometime, the alignment is not so obvious. For example, a class on Communication Techniques would seem to be an acceptable class because it deals with interpersonal skills, a necessary component of professional behavior. However, this would not be acceptable as an ethics class because the focus or objective of the class is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of communications (the "how), not the ethical aspects of the communication content (the "what"). 

Also, be careful to avoid the “derivative argument”, which incorrectly postulates that with enough conditional or derivative statements, any subject can be claimed to be an ethics class. For example, you take a class on how to do an EHS Audit. Auditors are required to be factual and beyond reproach, objectively and rationally documenting all findings in an honest, unbiased manner. So with that aspect, the EHS Auditing class is really about the integrity and honesty of the Auditor. In other words, it’s not an auditing class, it's an ethics class! Needless to say, we don’t allow the derivative argument as a line of logical reasoning. If we did, everything could be claimed as “ethics” and that definitely is not what the Board intended when the ethics requirement was enacted in 2010.

If the alignment of a class or session is unclear, please contact the ABIH Staff person responsible for the CM program.

Also see the IH Ethics CM Area.

Where can I find ethics training?

Because of the CM Area terminology, i.e., “IH-Ethics”, many ABIH Diplomates mistakenly believe that they must take an ethics course specific to the IH Profession or EH&S. Of course those types of classes are acceptable but there are many other resources as well.

Ethics training is often offered and even required by a company or organization. This type of training will often take the form of Annual Ethics training, Code of Conduct, Business Values, HIPPA, Information Privacy, Respect & Responsibility and Human Test Subject Laws to mention a few. Many Diplomates meet the ABIH ethics requirement without realizing it.

A word of caution on Annual Ethics Training: this type of training is usually required and can sometimes be used to easily meet the ABIH ethics requirement. However, remember that you can claim a class only one time during a CM cycle unless the content changes by >50% each time it's taught. If you claim annual ethics training and your CMW is audited, you will be asked to prove that the content has changed.

Also, ethics training may be provided by your clients as part of your contracted-for work. For example, you may have been asked to participate in some formal training regarding "confidentiality and non-disclosure". This would be acceptable. However, merely reviewing and signing a confidentiality form would not be "training" by our definition.

If your company/organization or client does not provide ethics training, you can participate in 3rd-party courses and conferences. Many courses are available, some live but many offered online as delayed, distance learning. At conferences, you will often find pre-conference PDCs as well as sessions during the conference itself that deal specifically with ethical behavior. Those sessions are also acceptable. (Note - for conference sessions, you probably will not receive a specific proof-of-participation record for that session. This is acceptable as long as you have the proof records for the overall conference itself.)

I'm ethical already, why do we need an ethics requirement?

For many years, AIHA, ACGIH, ABIH and the AIH’s Joint IH Ethics Education Committee (JIHEEC) have been conducting activities to raise ethics awareness for the IH profession. To reinforce the importance of ethics and to become a self-regulating profession, it was agreed that ABIH would administer and enforce an ethics requirement for all Applicants and Diplomates.

Implemented in 2010, the ethics requirement was intended to get Applicants and Diplomates thinking about ethical behavior and practices, not only in themselves but also in the decisions and actions of others. You may be ethical. Your job may require you to be ethical but what about all the others in your profession?

Each CM cycle all Diplomates are asked to sign a statement that they will be ethical in their behavior and just as important, that they will report unethical behavior in others.

All relevant information pertinent to management of the ABIH ethics program is the CM program is published on the ABIH web site.

I teach an ethics class. Can this be counted toward my ABIH ethics requirement?

Teaching an ethics class receives CM credit in Category 5 (Teach/Present) but not in Category 4 - Education so "no", it cannot be counted toward the Category 4 ethics requirement, i.e. at least 2 hours (as a student) every CM cycle. 

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Job Loss, Illness, Maternity Leave and Other Cycle Disruptions

I've been unable to earn CM points due to _______. What are my options?

ABIH offers Hardship Help for those Diplomates who have had a life situation that has affected their ability to earn CM credit. It includes events such as job loss, personal illness, family illness/care, maternity leave and military assignment to mention a few. There are two programs: the CM Cycle Extension and the Leave of Absence.

The Cycle Extension adds 6 months to a CM Cycle End Date, during which time additional CM credit can be earned toward the minimum recertification requirements.

The Leave of Absence reduces the minimum recertification requirements by 20-40%. The LOA program requires that the Diplomate be unable to practice IH for 1 year to 2 years. During this time period, the Diplomate is classified as "Inactive" and is restricted from using their certification mark (e.g. CIH®) on any new work products or claiming any CM credit except in Category 4 Education.

Before applying for hardship help, it is always best to do a rough estimate of your accrued and potential CM points. It's possible that you will have more CM points than initially realized and the hardship help may not be needed at all.

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Recertification Requirements 

How many CM points do I need to recertify?

Recertification points depend upon your Certification Type and CM Cycle Length. In general, most CIHs need to achieve three requirements, at least: (1) 40 CM points over all the CM Categories, (2) 10 IH CM points in Category 4 (Education), and (3) 0.33 IH-Ethics CM point in Category 4.

Your recertification requirements will be different if you were granted a Leave of Absence, have a CIH with IEQ sub-specialty or are on a one-time 54 month CM cycle.

See the Minimum Requirements web page for additional information.

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Prepare and Submit a CMW

How do I know what has changed during my CM Cycle?

Key changes are also chronologically summarized on the ABIH web site. Look at the change date and whether the item has impact to your situation. If any change is made to the CM Program that materially affects the Diplomates, ABIH will always send out a communication to address the change(s) and its impact(s).

Where do I find a CMW? Do I need to use the most current version?

The latest CMW is in the ABIH Document Library. We encourage but do not require you to use the latest CMW because it incorporates the most current rules and built-in QA/QC. 

If you need help converting an older Excel version to the latest version, contact the ABIH Staff person responsible for the CM program.

If you do use an older CMW, be aware that some of its stated rules may be out-of-date so you will need to refer frequently to the ABIH web site to ensure that you are correctly applying the current rules to your older CMW. ABIH requires that you follow the most current CM program rules regardless of what is listed on an older CMW form. 

Can I use my own version of the CMW form?

No. ABIH requires that you use an official ABIH CMW. This facilitates a more consistent, accurate and productive review by ABIH. 

Can someone at ABIH review my CMW before I officially submit it?

As a general rule, ABIH is not staffed to do a complete CMW review prior to its official submission by the Diplomate. However, for any specific items of concern, ABIH encourages you to ask questions before the CMW is submitted.

If you are a first-cycle Diplomate, we will provide a pre-submission review upon request because we want you to develop an initial good understanding of the CM program. Request the pre-submission review by contacting the ABIH Staff responsible for the CM program. 

The pre-submission review is a non-binding evaluation of the CMW for macro errors or issues, e.g. claiming the same course twice, claiming 24 hours for a 1 day conference, claiming an ineligible activity. These reviews are non-binding because we may tell you that everything "looks good" only to later discover an error during the official review, e.g., claiming 8 hours for a class that was really only 1 hour. 

The CMW asks for my CM Cycle Start Date and Cycle End Date. Where do I find this information?

The CM Cycle Start Date and End Dates are two of the four key dates that every Diplomate should know. CM credit can be accrued only between your CM Cycle Start and End dates.

The Cycle End Date is found in your profile at My Account. You'll need your ABIH ID# to log in. Your ABIH ID# is listed on your dues receipt and on most of the CM Cycle Reminder communications that you'll receive from ABIH. Note: your ABIH ID# is not your certification number.

At this time, the Cycle Start Date can only be determined manually, by calculation from your CM Cycle End Date. All Diplomates are on a 60 month CM cycle with the following two exceptions: 1) some Diplomates have been granted a 6 month CM Cycle Extension, and 2) some Diplomates are on a one-time 54 month CM cycle.

Any Dipomate with a CM Cycle End Date of June 30, 2016 is on the 54 month CM cycle unless the person is on a cycle extension or if the person initially passed the Exam in 2011.


  1. if the Cycle End Date is 12/31/2018, you are on the 60 month cycle so your Start Date is 1/1/2014.
  2. if the Cycle End Date is 6/30/2017, you are on the 60 month cycle so your Start Date is 7/1/2012
  3. if the Cycle End Date is 6/30/2016, you are on the 54 month cycle so your Start Date is 1/1/2012 unless you were granted a cycle extension or you initially passed the exam in 2011.

If you do not know your ABIH ID# or Cycle Start Date, contact ABIH for help.

The CMW won't let me enter individual conference sessions because each one is less than 60 minutes. How do I enter this training on the CMW?

As a general rule, IH or safety classes must be at least 1 hour to be eligible. However, if the individual sessions are part of an overall course or conference, such as the AIHA On Demand program, sum the time for the individual sessions and enter the sum total as a single line entry on your CMW. This is similar to how would enter the information on your CMW if you attended a conference in person. You wouldn't enter individual sessions; you would report the total time for the event.

I've run out of room on the CMW. How do I add more rows?

Send your CMW to the ABIH Staff person responsible for the CM Program and we'll add the rows for you. 

How do I unlock the CMW? It is password protected and I need to modify something.

In general, we prefer not to unlock the CMW because its formulas can be inadvertently deleted in an unprotected state.

If you still feel the need to unlock the CMW, contact ABIH so that we can understand your functionality need. These unsolicited ideas often are incorporated in the next version upgrade.

When can I submit my CMW? When is it due? What happens if I am late?

Your CMW can be submitted up to five months before the CMW Due Date, which is either February 1 or August 1, midnight, EST, depending upon your CM Cycle. See My Account. If the CMW is postmarked or digitally received after its CMW Due Date, late penalties will be in effect. Currently these include a $100 late penalty and the CMW will be audited, so all your records will need to be submitted as well.

For a complete listing of the key dates, see the CMW Reporting Calendar.

How do I submit my CMW?

Instructions are on the last page of the CMW. Your CMW can be submitted digitally to or mailed to the ABIH office, 6015 W. St. Joe Hwy, Suite 102, Lansing, MI, 48917.

What happens during the CMW review process? How long does this take?

Worksheets are reviewed in the order in which they are received. At least 5% will be selected for a CMW audit which follows a different review protocol (see below).

A CMW is carefully reviewed to ensure that the Diplomate has achieved the recertification requirements. If a Diplomate has not achieved the recertification requirements, ABIH will always contact the Diplomate to reconcile the discrepancies and deficiencies.

In most situations, the Diplomate's recertification package is mailed to the person within 1-2 months of the CMW submission.

Note: If you need to align your ABIH recertification with another professional certification (e.g., BCSP), make sure that you allow adequate time for the ABIH review and communication to you.

For additional information, see CM By Worksheet.

I had excess CM points. Can I carry over some to my next cycle?

No. CM credit earned in excess of the minimum recertification requirements cannot be carried over to the next CM cycle nor do they earn any sort of extra credit during the current CM cycle.

Do I submit my proof-of-participation records with my CMW?

No. Your records will be requested only if: 1) your CMW is selected for a CMW audit, or 2) the CMW Reviewer needs additional information to corroborate the CM points as claimed on the CMW.

 How long do I need to maintain my CM records?

For ABIH purposes, your records will no longer be needed once you receive the recertification package from ABIH. You may want to retain the records longer for other purposes. For additional information, see Records Retention.

What happens if I am selected for a CMW audit?

ABIH randomly selects at least 5% of the submitted CM Worksheets for an audit. It really is random. We print out the CMWs and then hard count for each twentieth CMW. ABIH will contact you, asking that the records be submitted (digitally or postal) within 4 weeks of the audit notification. If the records support that the recertification requirements are achieved, you will be recertified. If the Diplomate fails to submit the records or provide CMW entries/records that support recertification, the Diplomate's certification will expire on their certificate expiration date.

For additional information, see CM Audit.

I've already been audited twice. Can I get a waiver or relief from another audit?

ABIH will terminate a current CMW if requested by the Diplomate, provided that the two most previous CMW audits did not indicate any key deficiencies. The term key deficiency is not formally defined but generally means errors such as claiming unsubstantiated or ineligible items on the CMW. Simple errors like date inaccuracies or time calculation inaccuracies are not considered to be a "key deficiency". Determination of "key deficiency" and the decision on whether to terminate the audit resides solely with the CM Program Administrator for ABIH.

If a current CMW audit is waived, the Diplomate will not be able to request CMW audit relief until at least two more CMW audits are completed.


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Insufficient CM Points (to recertify)

Can I retake the exam as a means of retaining my certification?

Yes. If you are CIH certified in the Comprehensive Practice of IH, you may take the exam during any one the three Exam windows immediately preceding the expiration of your certification. See CM-by-Exam for the form and process.

I don't want to take the Exam again. What are my other options?

If your Cycle End Date has not passed, you still have time to earn CM credit.

If your CM point gap is small, participate in a local section event or complete an on-demand educational activity. Remember that online can be viewed at any time, even on the last day that you're eligible to earn CM credit (i.e. your CM Cycle End Date). The size of your CM point gap will typically determine whether this is a reasonable approach.

For large CM point gaps that cannot be closed or it's after your CM Cycle End Date, review the Hardship Help program. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can be retroactively granted a CM Cycle Extension or a Leave of Absence, giving you more time to earn CM credit or reducing the recertification requirements.

I don't want to take the Exam, I can't earn enough CM points and I'm not eligible for Hardship Help. Now what?

If you reach this point, there typically is only one choice: Voluntary Surrender.  Although you temporarily relinquish your certification, you may reactivate at any point in the future by submitting an acceptable CMW covering the 60 month time period immediately preceding your reactivation request.

Please contact the ABIH Staff responsible for the CM program before you exercise the VS option so that we can review your case and ensure that it really is the best option for you.

By the way, what happened to the old CIH-Retired option?

ABIH discontinued the classification of CIH (Ret) in 2011 when the Voluntary Surrender program was launched. All former CIH (Ret) were converted to voluntary surrenders.

The term CIH (Ret) or any of its various forms can no longer be used. Former Diplomates are allowed to refer to their certification designation when showing the years of active certification, e.g., Smythe W. Johns, CIH, 1987-2006.


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I have retired or I will soon retire from my job. What should I do regarding my CIH?

This is a question that cannot be generically answered because it all depends on the individual circumstances. However, it’s been our experience that some CIHs give up their certification sometimes too quickly. Every year, several former CIHs will contact us, asking to be reactivated.

There is some confusion that one must be actively working or practicing as an Industrial Hygienist in order to stay certified. That is not correct. In fact, we have many Diplomates who have retired from their primary practice but have chosen to retain their CIH because they want to be professionally available, e.g., former clients or employers need help, ad hoc consulting, legal work, or even pursuing new employment opportunities, etc. Retirement does not mean that you have to give up your CIH!

In general, if you are not sure about future practice or you just want to retain the CIH certification for as long as possible, then contact ABIH and will be glad to discuss your options for retaining the CIH and even recertifying without giving up your CIH. There are many ways to extend the life of your certification for one more cycle or until you’re absolutely sure that it’s no longer needed.

On the other hand, if you are absolutely sure that you will not need the CIH certification, we recommend that you submit the Voluntarily Surrender form. It provides superior options over the calendar-based expiration of your certification.

For more information, see Voluntary Surrender.  

Often, the decision to retain/relinquish the CIH certification comes down to the personal motivation of the Diplomate.  Because each person worked hard to achieve the CIH, we also want to ensure that you are making an informed decision regarding relinquishment, fully aware of all the options.

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Decertification, Appeals and Reactivation 

Can my certification be revoked or terminated by ABIH?

Yes. Your ABIH certification will be revoked if you fail to pay annual fees for 2 years, fail to submit an acceptable CMW, fail a CMW audit, fail the Exam, fail to submit a Voluntary Surrender form or are sanctioned for an ethics violation(s). Most revocations are due to failure to submit an acceptable CMW, in which case the certification is revoked on its Expiration Date (ie., 5 months after the CM Cycle End Date.

For additional detail, see Decertification.

My certification was revoked. Can I appeal this decision?

Yes, you may request an appeal within 30 days or notification. ABIH follows a fair but rigorous appeals procedure.

My certification was revoked by ABIH. Can I reinstate it?

Yes unless prohibited as part of an ethics sanction. The reactivation process depends upon how your certification was revoked. If you failed to submit an acceptable CMW, you can submit a late CMW, paying additional money for the reviews. You must exercise this option no later than 12 months after your CM Cycle End Date.

If you failed to pay annual fees, you can pay the back fees and a reactivation fee. Depending upon the timing, you may also need to submit a CMW.

For additional information, see Reactivation.

I voluntarily surrendered or retired my certification, can I reinstate?

Yes, you may reactivate your certification at any point in the future. Depending upon the timing of your request, you may be asked to pay some fees and submit an acceptable CMW for the 60 months immediately preceding the request to reactivate.

For additional information, see Reactivation.

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Aligning the CIH & CSP certifications

Contact BCSP and indicate that you would like to align your certifications. Typically, they will request proof of your CIH status, which can be printed from the ABIH web site using the following instructions. You do NOT need to wait for the official recertification package from ABIH but that also will be acceptable to BCSP.

1. Log into the ABIH web site at My Account.

2. Follow the bullet point link named "Check your CM Due Date - Also used for CSP Alignment".

3. Find the page titled "CM Cycle End Date and CM Worksheet Due Date". Print or save this  web page.

4. Mail or scan/email the above web page (step 3) to BCSP.

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How do I get a replacement paper certificate or CIH lapel pin?

Certificates and pins can be ordered from the ABIH Store. The replacement certificate most likely will not have the signatures found on your original certificate.

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Is there a simple explanation or guide for the CM Program

Yes, see the CM Primer

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