Special Announcement: Administration of the PHPCB is now being handled by the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA). Applications and recertifications are being processed as usual but please stay tuned for website enhancements and further expansion of certifications!
The Public Health Practitioner Certification Board, Inc. (PHPCB) is committed to building a competent workforce by offering competency-based certification to public health practitioners.
Certification is the recognition by the Public Health Practitioner
Certification Board that an individual has acquired and demonstrated
competency in the areas established as essential to meeting the professional
category within the public health workforce. Such recognition of competency
in public health practice may assist state agencies, local boards of
health, and other entities in recruiting, hiring and promoting competent
local health professionals and serve to foster professional advancement
of public health workers.
A person seeking certification as a public health administrator is
expected to provide evidence that they have acquired and demonstrated
competency in public health practice and public heath administration.
Once certified, the individual may use the initials CPHA (Certified
Public Health Administrator) after their name.
Certification of emergency response coordinators is based on evidence
submitted by individuals that have acquired and demonstrated competency
in public health practice, public health emergency preparedness and
response, environmental health, epidemiology and infectious diseases.
The initials, CERC, may be used after the name of a Certified Emergency
Response Coordinator. [Top]
The core and cross-cutting focal competencies, as well as the bioterrorism
and emergency preparedness competencies are consistent with the national
competency formulations developed by the Council on Linkages between Academia
and Practice and with the National Bioterrorism and Emergency Readiness
Competencies developed by Columbia University with support from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Since the mid-1980's, the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA),
the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators (IAPHA), the
Illinois Association of Boards of Health (IABoH), the Illinois Department
of Public Health (IDPH), and the University of Illinois at Chicago School
of Public Health (UIC SPH) have collaborated to improve the state public
One major initiative undertaken by this group led to the endorsement
of the establishment of an independent certification board to conduct
competency assessments and oversee certification activities. The following
recommendations were included:
establish criteria for certification of public health administrators
in all settings based on competencies in areas related to public
health core functions and public health administration;
develop and implement processes to review applicants and certify
public health administrators;
foster the creation of a pool of qualified public health administrators
from which state agencies, local boards of health, and other entities
could attract/recruit qualified individuals;
foster professional advancement, recruitment, and retention through
evaluate the public health administrators certification process
and the achievement of the objectives stated above.
Funding for implementation of these recommendations was secured by
UIC SPH in late 1997. The Illinois Public Health Administrator Certification
Board was established in early 1998 through appointments made by IPHA,
IAPHA, and IABoH, with each organization appointing two members. IDPH
and UIC SPH were invited to have liaisons join the Board as ex-officio
The Board began accepting public health administrator certification
applications from individuals, in Illinois, in late 2000. In 2001, individuals
from other states also began to express interest in the certification program
and to submit applications.
In 2003, IDPH and Illinois local health departments began implementing
capacity building activities related to emergency public health preparedness
and response. One of the key activities involved the
deployment of Certified Emergency Response Coordinator (CERC) personnel.
IDPH established basic educational and experience qualification for
these positions and asked that each ERC become certified in public
health emergency preparedness and response through a process coordinated
by the Board. The Board agreed to expand its existing competency-based
certification program and use a similar structure and process for certifying
ERCs. As a result of program expansion, the Board voted
to change its name to the Public Health Practitioner Certification Board,