Certification Standards

In order to become a CFNHM, the following is required:

  1. Completion of the Certified First Nations Health Manager Program (CFNHMP) requirements.
  2. Completion of the Professional Examination
  3. Completion of two years of verified practical work experience
  4. Agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct


  1. Approval of a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) portfolio with evidence that demonstrates your knowledge and skills of the Competency Standards.
  2. Agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct.

To determine your possible eligibility regarding the PLAR path or the regular path to certification, you are encouraged to complete the competency self-evaluation 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, ensures that CFNHMs are up-to-date on the most current First Nations health management issues and practices.

Candidates with more than seven years of practical extensive health management experience in a First Nations environment may take the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) path to professional certification. Additional information on the PLAR process is found in the PLAR Information Guide here.

On-line Courses

Our on-line courses in the CFNHMP are delivered and offered in the fall, winter or spring/summer session. Each online course is delivered over a 12 week period.

The typical sessions are:

  • Spring/Summer – May to August
  • Fall – September to December
  • Winter – January to April

Exact course dates, fees and listings [add link to courses]

Many employers will encourage their employees to enroll in the CFNHMP and assist with the cost of course tuition. Employers will also assist with annual membership dues to FNHMA. Inquiries in regard to educational assistance can be made with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Health Canada and a number of other federal and provincial departments and agencies promoting and supporting educational activities.

Intensive Courses

Where interest exists, a course may be delivered in a five day intensive program with pre- and post- activities. The intensive courses are delivered over a nine week period with a five day on-site session.

The intensive course fees are aligned with other professional development associations and the intensive delivery format provides our participants with:

  • Opportunities to network with other Health Directors/Managers,
  • Dialogue, discussion and learning from others,
  • Support from instructor and participants,
  • Group problem solving, and
  • Enhanced opportunity for mentorship and coaching.

If the online method doesn’t suit your learning needs, the intensive courses do provide the opportunity for networking, on-site support, group work, and enhanced discussion for an enriched learning environment.

Exact course dates, fees and listings [add link to intensives]

Note: The intensives are subject to a minimum enrollment of 10 registered learners.

Purpose & Scope

The program is based on the competency and ethical standards and is provided to develop competencies of those aspiring to write the professional examination and become a CFNHM.

Eligibility & Enrollment

All Candidate members in good standing will be eligible to enroll in the First Nations Health Management Program. Non-members may enroll in the CFNHM courses at the non-member rate.

Structure & Delivery

The passing grade for each courses is 60%.

Some learning institutions will deliver courses that will be recognized as equivalent, and exemptions may be granted. Candidates requesting exemptions must submit course transcripts that have a course pass mark of 60% or better. Candidates will pay a processing fee of $40.00 per course. Contact us for additional information regarding course exemptions.

All candidate members working towards certified membership must meet the practical work experience requirement.

The practical work experience requires the completion of two years of full time practical experience gained in a First Nations health management environment. This experience can be obtained in the private or public sectors of First Nations organizations. The two years of experience must cover at least 8 of the competency domains.

The Record of Practical Work Experience must be verified by two sponsors. Where possible, CFNHM sponsors are preferred.

The Professional Examination is based on the competency standards. Its purpose is to ensure that all candidates who receive their professional designation have the necessary knowledge required to be a certified member.


An application to write the professional examination is to be completed and submitted. Eligibility to write the professional examination is restricted to candidate members in good standing who have successfully completed the First Nations Health Management Program, or to candidate members in good standing with a requirement to complete as part of the PLAR Program.

Structure and Delivery

The professional examination is comprehensive and integrated and will be delivered online. The professional examination will be offered twice a year, contact us [add link to contact us page] for the exact date of the next professional exam.

The Professional Examination is designed and structured to be equivalent to a three to four hour exam.

The Professional Examination is developed and offered in both English and French. Suitable policies and procedures have been developed by the Professional Services Committee with respect to accommodating any candidate(s) with special needs.

To ensure consistency and integrity, the professional examination will be the same exam across Canada at each offering/sitting, and delivered on the same date, at the same time, in the same fashion.

Eligible candidate members will be provided with a copy of the Examination Instructions, along with other related examination information.


A Professional Examination Evaluation Guide will be used to evaluate papers.

Each candidate member’s professional examination shall be independently evaluated by two designated examiners who will individually determine a score based on the corresponding Professional Examination Evaluation Guide.

A minimum score of 60% will be required as a passing grade on the exam.

In the event of a disagreement between the resulting scores of the initial two examiners on any submission (or any other evaluation dispute), the submission shall be independently evaluated by an additional (third) examiner for a final determination.

In the event of a failing mark on any professional examination submission, examiners will provide, in writing, brief summary comments/feedback identifying the conceptual areas of weakness or deficiency identified during the evaluation. Such comments/feedback will be communicated to the Candidate member along with the evaluation results.

Evaluation results from the professional examination will be communicated in writing to each candidate member, following completion of the professional examination and the evaluation process.

Appeals of a failing result from the Professional Examination by Candidate members will be made in writing to the Professional Services Committee (PSC) within a prescribed period of time following the receipt of the final result by the candidate member, as determined by the PSC. The PSC may require and prescribe payment of a fee associated with any appeal. In the case of an appeal, the PSC will review the candidate’s original completed professional examination submission and the subsequent evaluation/marking, and make a firm and final determination.

Appeal results from the professional examination will be communicated in writing to the candidate members, following completion of the appeal evaluation process.

Candidate members will be normally limited to three attempts at successful completion of the professional examination. Any additional attempts shall only be permitted at the discretion of the PSC, upon written appeal by the candidate in question.

The formal admission of any individual into certified membership requires submission of an agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct. Upon receipt of this information, names will be forwarded to the board for approval.

An annual convocation will be held and new certified members will be recognized and presented with their professional certificate at this time.

The intent of the certification process, and Maintenance of Certification (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 Maintenance of Certification (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.