This past September, First Healthcare Compliance released our certificate program to teach the essential principles and practices of compliance— The Fundamentals. This one of a kind program gives healthcare professionals the knowledge they need to meet compliance challenges in the heavily regulated healthcare industry.   

When learners successfully complete our four-hour course, they earn a certificate—not certification—by taking a 100-question exam to display their mastery of healthcare compliance fundamentals. It is important to note the difference between a certificate and certification program, as they are not one in the same.

Typically, a certificate program proves that a compliance practitioner attended or completed a course or series of courses that have a specific focus. This type of program is open to newcomers as well as experienced professionals, and these programs do not allow the learner to place designations after their name when completed.   

To be defined as a certification program, a program must include both an educational component and an experience component, and it must require that learners pass an exam. Completing this type of program allows a practitioner to put a designation after his or her name. Also, certification requires recertification, which ensures that practitioners keep their knowledge current through continuing education.

Unfortunately, there are programs being offered that are mislabeled as certifications so healthcare professionals and those looking to enter this industry need to be careful in how they increase their knowledge and enhance their careers.

If you’re looking for an excellent certificate program that will give you an abundance of practical knowledge, you’ll do well by taking The Fundamentals. But if you are interested in a certification, be sure to find a program that includes both education and experience, requires that you pass an exam, and includes recertification so you keep up with current teachings.

If you’re considering compliance education, don’t be misled—take a close look at the credibility of the programs available and choose one that best fits your career development and current objectives.