Does Having a CIC Make You a VIP?

Reviewed by Lauren M. DiBiase, MS; University of North Carolina Hospitals

Marx et al. summarize results of a market research study to assess the perceived value of certification in infection prevention and control (CIC).  Interview responses from members of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC) were used to develop a survey that evaluated the current value of the credential, the barriers to attaining and maintaining the credential and how the value of the credential can be increased.

Almost 35,000 surveys were disseminated via email to potential respondents (IP professionals, health executives, senior level managers and public health officials).  4372 surveys were returned for a 12.6% response rate; half of the respondents currently hold a CIC. The majority of survey respondents: 1) supported the value of the CIC and felt positive about the current certification process, standards and requirements; 2) reported that certification demonstrated professional competency and increased career growth; and 3) felt that certification improved patient care and patient safety and improved an organization’s regulatory compliance.  There were less positive responses about whether CIC leads to monetary compensation or increased recognition within an organization.

A sample of respondents participated in more in-depth phone interviews. Many contributors indicated that continuing education units for recertification would be preferable to an examination and recommended that CBIC increase opportunities for promoting the credential to accrediting agencies and increase brand awareness.  CBIC incorporated feedback from the surveys into their strategic plan for 2019-2021.  In 2020, staff eligible for recertification will be able to recertify via continuing education rather than sit for an examination.


Marx JF, Callery S, Boukidjian R.  Value of certification in infection prevention and control. Am J Infect Control. 2019 Oct;47(10):1265-1269. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.04.169. Epub 2019 May 23. 

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