CCHIM-Accredited Graduate Certificate in Health Terminology Standards – An Update

The Graduate Certificate in Health Terminology Standards is offered by the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria in partnership with Ontario Health, Gevity Consulting and RKL Health Informatics. It is a 1-year, part-time program with four graduate level courses done through weekly online evening classes and a 2.5-day in-person workshop. The program is intended to meet national and international needs for best practices in controlled terminologies used in the health industry. Graduates of this program are eligible for the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM) Terminology Specialist Certification. Those accepted into the MSc program in Health Informatics at the School can also apply the Certificate courses toward their MSc degree.

The first cohort of this Certificate began in September 2018 and finished their studies in August 2019. The second cohort started in September 2019 and is now close to half way through the program. The first cohort had 3 nurses, 1 physician, 1 echo lab technologist, 1 business analyst, and 1 health record clerk. Feedback from these graduates suggested that: (a) the program had met their expectations and they felt better equipped to work on terminology projects; (b) the program is challenging and time-demanding, with most wanting more experience and practice; (c) parts of the program they liked most were the comprehensive coverage of terminology topics, technical/applied aspects, hands-on assignments, in-person workshop, and the capstone field project; and (d) suggested improvements include more courses, more practice, getting more involved with the terminology communities, and seeing more interconnectivity implementation examples especially in different health settings.

The Program Advisory Committee for the Certificate made up of representatives from several health organizations, jurisdictions, and the private sector met in October 2019 and suggested ways to move forward that include: (a) increasing awareness within the health industry of the need for individuals trained in terminology standards; (b) continuing to update the curriculum to ensure its content is up-to-date; and (c) identifying post-certificate educational pathways to maintain the CCHIM Terminology Specialist credential. The growing movements toward person-centred and equitable health have also brought new terminology requirements such as expanded definitions for precision health, sex-gender, social determinants of health, and patient-reported care experiences and health outcomes. These are all indications that the demand for health terminology standards will continue grow and the field will gradually mature over time as a specialty area in Canada.
For more detail about the Certificate and admission requirements see the School website via

The CCHIM-Accredited Health Terminology Standards Graduate Certificate Program is now accepting applications for its  fall 2020 cohort.

This Certificate is offered by the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria in partnership with Ontario Health, Gevity Consulting and RKL Health Informatics. If you work in the health industry and are involved with or have an interest in health terminologies, interoperable electronic health record, and clinical coding and classification, then this Certificate is for you.

To apply, you need to have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. If you have a HIM diploma and 15+ years of relevant work experience you are encouraged to apply for admission considerations. Graduates of this Program are eligible for CCIHM Terminology Standards Specialty Certification.

The application deadline is May 1 for September 1 entry the same year.

For more info contact Dr. Francis Lau at,
@francislau1, #HealthTerminologyStandards, #HIMCCCTSS, #HINF; also see

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