About FNHMA and Certification
How to get certified
The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) is committed to excellence in expanding health management capacity for First Nations organizations. It is a national, professional association exclusively serving the needs of individuals working for or aspiring to positions with First Nations organizations. It is responsible for providing training, certification, and professional development opportunities in health management.
FNHMA provides leadership in health management activities by developing and promoting quality standards, practices, research, certification, and professional development to expand capacity for members and First Nations organizations. Members can assist organizations to maximize their use of resources, strengthen decision-making, and deliver quality programs. FNHMA and its members' success contribute to strengthening the health management capabilities of First Nations organizations in Canada.
The FNHMA prepares individuals to work with new knowledge and skills, and assists its members and their organizations to set strategic goals, successfully implement business plans, and deliver quality health service programs.
The FNHMA promotes and contributes to the advancement of First Nations health management and provides opportunities to share knowledge. The FNHMA offers a certification program leading to the Certified First Nations Health Manager (CFNHM) professional designation. CFNHM is the credential that builds health management capacity for communities. Health managers from across Canada can take advantage of the professional program leading to certification and the CFNHM professional designation. By doing so, they can increase their knowledge of health management and achieve their peak professional growth.
If you would like to review a copy of the Information Guide for the First Nations Health Managers Association and the Certified First Nations Health Manager Designation click here.
The CFNHM professional designation is supported by the following standards:
Members of FNHMA will benefit from various programs and services in place and in development:
- CFNHM Certification
- Standards of Ethical Conduct
- Standards for Professional Competencies and Professional Development Programs
- Annual Conference and Exhibition
- First Nations Health Management News (focusing on practices and issues)
- Provincial/Regional Networks
- Research, Information and Networking (enhanced communications with technology)
- Career Support Services
- Members' Directory
The following are questions you may have about the CFNHMP and Certification. Click on the question to review the content.
- What is a Certified First Nations Health Manager (CFNHM)?
- What is the Discipline of First Nations Health Management?
- What are the Professional Competencies?
- How do I become a Certified First Nations Health Manager?
- What is the PLAR path to Certification?
- What is the Certified First Nations Health Management Program?
- What is involved with the Professional Examination?
- What are the Practical Work Experience Requirements?
- How do I become a member?
- What is Maintenance of Certification?
- Who do I contact if I want more information?
1. What is a Certified First Nations Health Manager (CFNHM)?
A CFNHM is a highly-skilled professional, committed to personal career development, standards of ethical conduct and First Nations health management. CFNHMs gain insight into the most advanced and up-to-date health management practices and health services issues facing First Nations organizations. As valued members of the community and health decision-making teams, they work in a variety of pivotal positions. They are valued for their understanding of health management and services: as a source and interpreter on health issues and health management matters; and they improve the decision-making process.
CFNHMs are key players in developing strategy and delivering of health business plans and services. They appreciate the impact of technology and are multi-skilled and flexible. Their broad-based understanding and access to information, along with their experience and caring attitude, is invaluable in building a successful career in health management. When it comes to health management for First Nations organizations, CFNHMs are experts.
The need for CFNHMs has never been greater as First Nations organizations are assuming more responsibilities and pursing new opportunities. CFNHM's provide organizations with a focused and balanced approach in maximizing the use of resources. As a CFNHM an individual can have a wide range of career opportunities and challenges.
Holders of the CFNHM designation are identified as highly qualified health management professionals in tune with today's challenges, with clearly defined and well-developed competencies that First Nations organizations want and need. The designation can support your goal to have a challenging and successful career.
2. What is the Discipline of First Nations Health Management?
As the professional organization in Canada responsible for certification in this discipline, FNHMA is setting high standards for First Nations health management Competency Standards for First Nations health management have been established. These standards are the basis for development of curriculum used in granting credits towards the First Nations Health Manager Program (FNHMP), and the professional designation. They are also used in the application of a Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition Program (PLAR); assessment of practical experience; and the setting of the Professional Examination.
Key stakeholders in First Nations health management were involved in establishing the competencies for the discipline of First Nations health management. Better practices were considered in setting standards and developing policies for a new professional association. CFNHM certification is based on these standards and policies. Each candidate for the professional designation is evaluated on the Competency Standards.
The FNHMP is developed to enhance competencies of individuals on a career path to health management and is established to help them lead an organization's efforts in this area.
3. What are the Professional Competencies?
The FNHMA focuses on competencies that are essential for a professional active in First Nations health management. Competencies have been grouped into ten core domains of knowledge and skills with a listing of competency indicators. They:
- serve as a base for development of curriculum for the First Nations Health Managers Program;
- assist in preparation for the CFNHM Professional Examination;
- identify and measure practical work experience requirements;
- assist to develop continuing professional development services;
- serve as a tool to conduct a self-assessment to identify areas requiring professional development and as an evaluation tool in the Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR) Program;
- support in recruitment and selection; and
- support in performance management and evaluation.
The competencies are general and pertinent to all types of First Nations organizations.
The Certification Program measures the following core competency domains:
- Leadership and Governance
- Advocacy, Partnerships and Relationships
- Human Resources Management
- Financial Management and Accountability
- Health Services Delivery
- Quality Improvement and Assurance
- Cultural Awareness
4. How do I become a Certified First Nations Health Manager?
To become a CFNHM, the following is required:
- Become a candidate member of FNHMA.
- Receive membership services as a candidate member.
- If you have seven years or more of practical health management experience, complete the Competency Self-Evaluation and, if you have most of the competencies, you may be able to follow the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) program.
- If you believe you are not eligible for PLAR, send in transcripts of courses that may be eligible for course exemptions in the First Nations Health Management Program.
- Enrol in and complete the required courses in the First Nations Health Management Program.
- Upon successful completion of the courses, apply to write the Professional Examination.
- Pass the professional examination.
- Submit a Report of Practical Work Experience covering two or more years of eligible practical work experience, verified by two sponsors.
- Sign a commitment to comply with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct.
- Obtain Board approval
- Attend the certification ceremony to accept your diploma
To determine your possible status towards either the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) path or the regular path to certification, you are encouraged to complete the Competency Self-Assessment Tool.
As evidence of commitment to the principle of lifelong learning, all CFNHMs are expected to meet a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirement. All CFNHMs are required to engage in 20 hours of continuing professional development annually. The only requirement for the 20 hours is that education must be relevant to First Nations health management. Reporting of activity occurs at the time of annual membership renewal. The certification process, and MOC, ensure that CFNHMs are up-to-date on the most current First Nations health management issues and practices.
The certification process will enhance your knowledge and identify your strengths and weaknesses in First Nations health management. It will also open doors to career opportunities and earn your colleagues' respect.
Note: The PLAR path to certification is available to health managers that have more than seven years of extensive experience in First Nations health management. If you meet this qualification you are eligible to make a PLAR Portfolio submission and may be granted certification. There is no guarantee that your portfolio will be approved. Effective December 31, 2016, candidate members taking the PLAR path will be required to write the professional examination.
Different paths to becoming a CFNHM:
Regular Path to Certification
1. Become a candidate member
2. Enroll and successfully complete the CFNHMP program (five courses)
3. Successfully complete the professional examination
4. Meet the practical work experience requirements
5. Meet sponsorship requirements and agree to ethical requirement
6. Admission to Professional Membership
PLAR Path to Certification
1. Become a candidate member
2. Have seven years or more experience in health management
3. Complete the competency self-assessment and, if ready, complete the PLAR portfolio
4. Meet sponsorship requirements and agree to ethical requirement
5. Admission to Professional Membership
5. What is the PLAR path to Certification?
Candidates with seven years or more of practical extensive health management experience may take the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) path to professional certification.
Applicants for PLAR:
- must complete the Competency Self-Assessment Tool to assess their readiness for PLAR;
- must review requirements for the PLAR Program;
- must provide evidence of seven years of practical extensive health management experience;
- must develop and a submit a PLAR Portfolio with an Evidence Grid (PDF Format or Word Format) based on the information provided in the Information Guide for PLAR ;
- must be aware that there is no guarantee that their portfolio will be approved;
- must, upon notice of the PLAR Portfolio Assessment review, complete additional educational and work experience, as identified, or, if requirements have been met and eligibility for certification has been approved, they will be required to sign an agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct. Upon receipt of this information, their names will be forwarded to the board for approval; and
- where requirements have not been met, candidates will be required to upgrade by taking courses, having more experience, or by taking the Professional Examination, as required, and resubmitting.
- will ensure information on the PLAR policies and processes are up-to-date and available to members and potential members;
- will, upon receipt of a PLAR Portfolio for assessment, assign two qualified, designated assessors to review the PLAR Portfolio in accordance with the policies and the Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for Assessors;
- will review PLAR Portfolio assessments anonymously (from the perspective of the applicant);
- following review of the Portfolio submission, PLAR asessors may:
a) Recommend the candidate for certified membership; or
b)Recommend that the candidate engage in additional development activities to meet specific educational, experience or examination requirements, for further submission and assessment.
- In the event the two designated assessors disagree on the outcome of an assessment, the PLAR Portfolio will be sent to a third qualified, designated assessor, whose final determination on the outcome will stand.
- will, upon receipt of any PLAR Portfolio re-submission for further assessment, assign one qualified, designated assessor to review the changes and confirm successful completion of the additional development activities. If these activities successfully meet requirements, the assessor may recommend the candidate for certified membership. If requirements are not met, information and recommendations on further l development activities required to meet the requirements will be provided to the candidate; and
- will allow up to three Portfolio submissions per candidate and establish the fee for PLAR Portfolio submissions. Any appeal by an applicant to have a fourth Portfolio submission will be forwarded to the Professional Services Committee for consideration
6. What is the Certified First Nations Health Management Program?
The Certified First Nations Health Management Program (CNHMP) provides educational support for those getting ready to write the CFNHM professional examination. The program is based on the Competency Standards.
There are five courses in the CFNHMP and they will be delivered online and offered in a fall and winter session. Where interest and numbers exist, a course may be delivered in a one week intensive program with pre and post activities. Each online course is delivered over a 12 week period.
Exemptions for courses may be granted for equivalent courses that meet the Competency Standards and are recognized by FNHMA. The association will post eligible courses on the website, along with procedures for application.
Exemptions will require a 60% pass mark and be supported with a transcript. A processing fee of $40.00 per course will be required to process and verify each course request.
Individuals selected to deliver courses in the CFNHMP will be experts in their discipline and will be selected based on criteria to ensure a high level of learning excellence.
- CFNHMP 100 - Health Issues and Systems
(Determinants, epidemiology, human health resources, First Nations policy, programs and systems, etc.)
- CFNHMP 200 - Leadership and Strategy
(Leadership, governance, strategic management, performance measurement, change, etc.)
- CFNHMP 300 - Health Management Services 1
(HR, financial management and accountability, technology, law and project management, etc.)
- CFNHMP 400 - Health Management Services 2
(Services development, delivery, evaluation, quality assurance, etc.)
- CFNHMP 500 - Professionalism, Ethics and Cultural Awareness
(Cultures and communities, cultures and health care, continuous learning, self-care, etc.)
7. What is involved with the Professional Examination?
Upon successful completion of the five courses in the CFNHMP, a candidate member will be eligible to write the professional examination. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that all candidates who receive their professional designation have the necessary knowledge base required as a professional member. The professional examination is comprehensive and integrative and is based on the Competency Standards.
The professional examination will be offered twice a year in January and May, starting in 2013. The professional examination fee is $400 plus taxes, where applicable.
8. What are the Practical Work Experience Requirements?
The purpose of the practical work experience requirement is to provide FNHMA with a basis for assuring that those admitted to professional membership have the required competencies to act as Certified First Nations Health Managers. Measurement of the practical work experience helps FNHMA determine whether or not candidate members have adequate practical work experience in the application of First Nations health management knowledge and skills.
The practical work experience requirement is two years of full time practical experience gained in an First Nations health management environment. The experience can be obtained in the private or public sectors of First Nations organizations. Experience in at least 80% of the competency domains is required. Two sponsors are required to sign the Record of Practical Work Experience to verify experience reported. If possible, CFNHM sponsors are preferred.
9. How do I become a member of the FNHMA?
To be admitted as a candidate member of FNHMA you must be working in health management or have completed several courses that relate to the Competency Standards, and you must pay the required membership dues. Information on annual membership dues is provided in the membership section.
Following are the FNHMA membership categories: Certified - For those individuals that have successfully met the requirements to obtain and maintain the CFNHM ($300.00 Annual Dues)
Candidate - For those working in a variety of First Nations health management areas and looking to become certified. ($175.00 Annual Dues)
Corporate - Individual Associate - For individuals that have an interest in First Nations health management and do not fit into other membership categories. ($175.00 Annual Dues)
Corporate - Associations - For not-for-profit organizations that support the FNHMA and its mission and are interested in First Nations health issues. ($300.00 Annual Dues)
Corporate - Business/Government - For those organizations that support the FNHMA and its mission. ($500.00 Annual Dues)
To become a member of the FNHMA today, please access our Membership Application Form.
10. What is Maintenance of Certification (MOC)?
The intent of the certification process and MOC is to ensure that CFNHMs are up-to-date on the most current First Nations health management issues and practices. As evidence of commitment to the principle of lifelong learning, all CFNHMs are expected to meet a MOC requirement. All CFNHMs are required to engage in 20 hours of continuing professional development annually which must be relevant to First Nations health management. Reporting of activity occurs at the time of annual membership renewal. Click here to view the policy.
11. Who do I contact if I want more information?
202-300 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario, K2K 2E2
Education Project Coordinator
202-300 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario, K2K 2E2
Individuals that are approved as CFNHMs will receive a professional certificate and be recognized at an annual convocation that is held in conjunction with the Annual Conference and Trade Show.