ACA Introduces New Health Services Administrator Certification

By Oosterwijk, Jason | Corrections Today, November-December 2013 | Go to article overview

ACA Introduces New Health Services Administrator Certification


Oosterwijk, Jason, Corrections Today


The American Correctional Association is proud to announce its newest level of professional certification--certified health services administrator (CHSA). The purpose of ACA's certification program is to provide a national method by which individuals can gain recognition as qualified corrections practitioners. The program is designed to advance the overall knowledge level of corrections professionals. Certification demonstrates commitment to one's career; demonstrates mastery of knowledge and skills; enhances the professional's level of expertise by encouraging continuing education; and promotes personal pride and self-fulfillment.

The program consists of a self-study period of several months, which culminates in a 200-question, four-hour proctored examination consisting of multiple choice and true/false questions. Additionally, there is a continuing education requirement for those who become certified corrections professionals. The CHSA certification program combines world-class scholarship with engaging texts. The certification curriculum also emphasizes the importance of critical thinking when approaching current correctional health care management issues. Areas covered in the program include: leadership skills; ACA's performance-based health care standards; performance management; security issues; legal issues; the historical evolution of correctional health care delivery and health care delivery models; and trends and issues in correctional health care.

The test includes more leadership-related questions on the CHSA examination than questions from any other category. Questions from the leadership subject area will test the applicant's understanding of how to establish and promote a vision for the organization; how to employ strategic planning to identify organizational priorities; how to develop consensus building management approaches; and how to employ effective, interactive communication skills. The applicant will also be evaluated on his or her understanding of inspiring staff to perform at the highest level of capability and developing positive external relationships and partnerships.

Additional questions on the CHSA examination will cover the following categories: health care standards, performance management and security. Questions pertaining to ACA's health care standards will assess the applicant's understanding of both the real-world application of ACA's performance-based standards and the accreditation process. …

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