Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator – CHSE and CHSE-A

The Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator – Advanced (CHSE-A) are certifications available from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). As in the case of many medical specialties, certification helps distinguish a professional as an expert in the field. In healthcare simulation, there are a few certifications that help identify clinical simulation technicians and educators as being more extremely knowledgeable on the practice. Certification in healthcare simulation is the process to obtain, verify, and assess the qualifications of a practitioner. This page covers how the Society for Simulation in Healthcare offers the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator – Advanced (CHSE-A) certification. Note: See the CHSOS page for certification related to Healthcare Simulation Operations.

Certification from The Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH)

The purpose of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), a not-for-profit organization, is to serve a global community of practice that enhances the quality of healthcare. The Mission of SSH is to:

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  • Serves their members to foster education, professional development, and the advancement of research and innovation
  • Promotes the profession of healthcare simulation through standards and ethics
  • Champions healthcare simulation through advocation, sharing, facilitation, and collaboration

SSH offers multiple certifications and advanced certifications for healthcare simulation professionals. The vision of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Certification Council is to foster excellence in healthcare simulation internationally through certification. The mission of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Certification Council is to promote competence, recognition, and development of healthcare simulationists through standards and processes for certification within the global healthcare simulation community.

Reasons to Become Certified

  • Receive formal professional recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments in healthcare simulation education
  • Confirm the commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning
  • Receive international recognition for professional accomplishments
  • Demonstrate the skills and specialized knowledge to employers, practitioners, and the public


Benefits of Certification:

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  • Improves healthcare simulation education through the identification of best practices and recognition of practice
  • Improves healthcare simulation education through the provision of standardization and a pool of knowledge of best practices
  • Strengthens patient safety efforts through support of simulation modalities
  • Provides external validation of individual educator knowledge, skills, and attitudes
  • Strengthens organizational, community, and learner confidence in the quality of education
  • Garners local support, resources, and commitment
  • Fosters a feedback loop between education and practice
  • Encourages performance improvement and knowledge expansion of the individual educator
  • Programs with certified simulation professionals receive a competitive edge in the community, program offerings, and grant fund availability
  • Recognizes expertise in simulation above and beyond domain expertise

CHSE Examination and Process

The CHSE Examination is designed to evaluate the candidate’s knowledge and competency as a healthcare simulation educator. The test consists of 115 multiple-choice questions, of which 100 are counted towards the determination of achieving a passing score. The remaining 15 questions are newly developed items that are not counted toward the candidate’s score. The candidate will not know which items are newly developed. These are included in the examination to statistically validate them prior to their becoming an accepted item for scoring. Hence, it is important to answer all items to the best of one’s ability. Candidates will have 2 hours (120 minutes) to complete their exam. The examination was developed collaboratively between SSH and Schroeder Measurement Technologies Inc. (SMT – A Prometric company). Healthcare simulation experts from many locations, including internationally and from various simulation disciplines, were included in this process. These individuals collectively worked to create and evaluate the blueprint and also the items on the examination.

There are four domains on the CHSE Examination Blueprint. The domains are weighted as relevant for the healthcare simulation educator:

  • Professional Values, Capabilities, and Leadership
  • Healthcare and Simulation Knowledge and Practices
  • Educational Principles Applied to Simulation
  • Simulation Resources and Environments

Each of these domains have specific criteria to be evaluated for meeting the minimum requirements to become a CHSE. These domains and criteria are described in the CHSE Handbook. The CHSE Handbook is a must for all applicants to read, follow, and guide their preparation for taking the examination.

The steps to become a certified healthcare simulation educator are as follows:

  1. Determine eligibility and meet all requirements
  2. Submit the online application and pay the application fee
  3. Prepare for the exam
    1. CHSE Prep Workshops
    2. Books
    3. Attend simulation workshops and education courses
    4. Read articles
  4. Take and pass a secure multiple-choice examination at a testing center
  5. Obtain recognition for this achievement
  6. Maintain certification status
  7. Renew

Resources for CHSE Prep

One of the key resources for CHSE preparation is the CHSE Blueprint. The CHSE Candidate should develop a well-rounded approach to identify and address individual gaps in knowledge according to the CHSE Blueprint. Multiple resources are available to meet the learning needs and styles of individuals. Some of these are web resources and social media, journals, books, practice exams, and formal courses. Some of these resources are SSH-approved and updated to meet the CHSE Blueprint requirements.

Renewal of CHSE

The CHSE certification is valid for three years. There are two methods of recertification to maintain the CHSE status. The first method is to complete 45 continuing professional development units over the 3-year status. The second is to sit for and pass the CHSE exam again. Another requirement for renewal is for the application to continue to meet the requirements for the CHSE.


What is the CHSE-A?

The prestigious CHSE-A certification is a recognition for CHSE professionals to be recognized for their outstanding knowledge, skills, and ability of healthcare simulation leaders. In addition to the CHSE status, simulation educator applicants must demonstrate a high level of performance in all areas of the Certification Standards. The CHSE-A is not another examination. Instead, the CHSE-A is a portfolio of the CHSE applicant’s contribution to the simulation community outside of their paid employment. Applicants should expect the development of the CHSE-A portfolio to take a significant amount of time to complete. The CHSE-A should clearly demonstrate:

  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities in healthcare simulation at the advanced level, specifically related to educational design and implementation
  • Position and role as a leader, mentor, and advocate for simulation
  • Ability to critically self-reflect and the ability to modify behavior based on that self-reflection
  • Continuing professional development abilities
  • Involvement in the healthcare simulation community

CHSE-A Eligibility

  • Currently certified as a CHSE
  • Participate in healthcare simulation in an educational role
  • Possess a master’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Document five (5) years of continued simulation use in healthcare education, research, or administration.
  • Demonstrate focused simulation educator expertise in healthcare simulation activities and settings.

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