Almost three years ago I earned my CHFM certification. I will always remember my experience walking out of the testing center with that paper in hand with PASS printed on it. ASHE has a three-year cycle for certification renewals and allows renewals to be filed anytime within the last year of the cycle. Since I was within the renewal window, I recently went through the process of submitting the paperwork to renew my CHFM certification. From sending the paperwork in, to getting the email back stating that my certification has been renewed takes about two weeks. It will take another week to receive the updated certificate through the mail.
I believe that certification renewal starts the same day a certification is obtained. If you have a plan on how you will maintain your certification, it makes it a lot easier to maintain the certification. The plan doesn’t need to be detailed and technical, but knowing that 45 credit hours ever 3 years breaks down to 15 credit hours every year- just over an hour a month provides a good scale on your progress.
How I earned those hours was a mix of reading Health Facilities Management (HFM) Magazine (10 issues a year = 10 hours of education per year) and a mix of other courses. Some courses are free, some require payment. Two important things to remember are the shortest course allowable is ½ hour (1/2 credit) and to count for credit it has to provide a certificate of completion. There are other ways to earn hours as well, but the ones that work the best for me are the HFM credits, a mix of courses, and attending conventions such as the PDC Summit or ASHE Convention. The conventions are both held annually, but I am not able to attend every year.
After completing the test for each issue of HFM or obtaining a course completion certificate, I saved the certificate as a PDF into a dedicated folder on my computer. I also created a spreadsheet that I use to track the courses and hours as they add up. I modeled the fields on the spreadsheet on the fields on the ASHE renewal form. These fields are similar for CHFM and CHC, so I am able to track this for maintaining my CHC as well. One huge benefit when maintaining both certifications is the education requirements that count for one also apply toward the other. I have attached a copy of the file I use so you can use it too.
Once I have the required number of hours, I print the excel file as a PDF. I then combine the PDFs of the completed courses into one PDF, with the list of courses at the beginning. I rename the file to something easy to find or remember such as “CHFM_Certificates_2018_to_2020” and save it to my computer AND email it to myself in a personal email account instead of a work-based account. This makes it easy to find in the event that my renewal is one that is selected to be audited.
I fill out the renewal form, print the excel file (don’t include the certificates!), fill them out, and mail in my renewal application including the renewal fee. The excel file makes it easier than hand writing a list of courses or ways that I’ve earned education hours.
A little bit of organization and record keeping along the way made the renewal process a breeze. I’ve included below the Excel template of the renewal hours tracking form that I use.