FAQs: NCQA PCMH Content Expert Certification

I am new to PCMH but want to pursue certification. How do I get started and how long does it take?

Please see the PCMH CEC Handbook and the Website for all the details to begin the process to pursue certification. The length of time needed to obtain the credential varies based on one’s ability to attend the educational seminars and take the exam. Candidates should possess a substantial knowledge of the NCQA PCMH Recognition program requirements and have applied these requirements within a practice setting before attempting the examination.

What is the certification process?

Follow the steps below and visit the CCE Process page and the PCMH CEC handbook for details.

  • Order and thoroughly review the PCMH CEC Handbook.
  • Attend NCQA educational seminars.
  • Complete the online application and pay the exam fee ($395).
  • Prepare for and schedule the exam.
  • Obtain the PCMH CEC Credential and Certificate.
  • Maintain and renew the certification.

When will I receive my ID from PSI and be permitted to apply for and schedule the exam?

Approximately two weeks after you complete the two NCQA education requirements, you will receive an email from PSI with a 9-digit identification number and instructions for registering for the exam.

What information do I need to apply for PCMH CCE with PSI?

You need a current resume with your work history and a list of practice names and locations for clients you have helped pursue PCMH recognition. NCQA collects demographic information for internal tracking purposes.

How is the exam administered?

The examination is a timed, computer-based test composed of 150 multiple-choice questions. In addition to the 135 questions used to compute the score, the examination includes 15 questions that are being “pretested” for use in future versions of this examination. Pretest questions are not identified and answers do not affect candidates’ scores. Candidates must complete all 150 questions during the exam duration. The examination is administered and proctored at a secure testing location. Candidates do not need any computer experience or typing skills to take the examination. Candidates will have exactly three hours to complete the examination.

How should I prepare for the exam?

You should have substantial knowledge of the PCMH 2017 requirements and have applied these requirements within a practice setting. Download and review the CEC Handbook to prepare for the examination. Appendix 5 has a detailed content outline. You can also review sample exam questions and find more PCMH Recognition Program education opportunities and resources on our Education & Training page.

May I bring resources to the exam?

You may download materials from the NCQA website for use during the examination. Materials have been specially formatted and instructions for their use can be found in the online application when scheduling the exam with PSI. Print a clean copy of the materials which must be bound together, with no loose papers or handwritten notes in the margins. Staples, binder clips and tabs are acceptable. Do not write on the materials before or during the examination. Test Center proctors will review documents to ensure they meet examination criteria.

Note: You must bring these approved resources to the exam. Test Centers cannot print a copy on the day of the exam. Materials must be surrendered to the Test Center supervisor after the examination and will not be returned to you.

I passed the exam, when will I receive my official certificate from NCQA and when will my name be posted to the NCQA website?

Within 30 calendar days from the last day of the examination window, CCEs receive an email confirming certification, gaining access to their PCMH Certified Content Expert certificate and other information and resources exclusively for CCEs. CCEs will also be listed on the NCQA website at http://cce.ncqa.org/pcmh within 30 days. To make changes to the information posted on NCQA’s website log onto your https://my.ncqa.org/ account and select My Services, My CEC, Profile. Instructions for how to access My CEC will be included with the CEC confirmation email.

I failed the exam, when can I take it again and what are the fees and process?

You may retake the examination during the next quarterly testing window if you are within the original 12-month eligibility period and the current examination is still being administered. To retake the examination, register online at www.goAMP.com. Update your information, pay the fee of $395 and schedule the exam.

NCQA reserves the right to retire an examination when it releases updates to the recognition program. The eligibility period may be shortened when an examination is retired. NCQA provides notice to candidates if an examination is going to be retired. Candidates must complete eligibility for the new examination.

May I appeal my exam scores?

No, the score is final and binding. There is no appeal of the final scaled score.

What documentation is required for my maintenance of certification?

  • NCQA CCEs must continue to strengthen their knowledge base during their approximately 2-year certification period. In order to renew their credential, CCEs must complete the required trainings as outlined in the CEC Handbook and select other continuing education events or activities to earn a total of 30 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) points within the certification period.
  • Active CCEs are not authorized to retake the CEC exam to renew their credential. In the case an active CCE satisfies the criteria for CEC exam eligibility, the CCE will not be authorized to retake the exam.
  • Thirty CEU points must be earned in order to renew certification. NCQA maintains a record of credits earned through education programs in the “My CEC” section of My.NCQA.org.
  • It is recommended that CCEs maintain their own records of continuing education, including any service agreements or contracts with practices that they may have assisted in achieving PCMH Recognition. Letters from practices which outline the scope of work the CCE performed is also acceptable documentation.
  • At the time of certification renewal, CCEs will be asked to upload practice support and state initiative credits and attest to the MOC points they have earned. NCQA reserves the right to audit CCEs to ensure all requirements are met. If audited, CCEs must provide evidence of completion within 30 days of audit notice. Individuals selected for audit will be provided a letter with detailed instructions. Failure to provide acceptable documentation will result in a loss of certification.
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