DNV GL Advanced Certified Healthcare Operations Certification is an individual certification designed for Operations Professionals working in the healthcare environment who have completed the CHOP-B Certification. The CHOP A (Advanced) Certification is the second in the 3-part series of the complete CHOP curriculum.

This particular phase offers participants a road map to navigate through NFPA, an overview of the risks involved with construction and renovation in the healthcare environment and a versatile knowledge of the primary equipment found in hospitals and can only be taken with the completed prerequisite of CHOP B Certification.

According to reports, the Training portion of this course consists of three (3) days of instructor-led, classroom training. The classroom portion is followed by an electronic exam. Approved participants are expected to complete and pass with a minimum score of 80%. The exam will be available for ONE, (1) TWO HOUR timed attempt within a 14 day window.

The certification program is offered by DNV GL which is an international accredited registrar and classification society headquartered in Høvik, Norway. Note that the company currently has about 14,500 employees and 350 offices operating in more than 100 countries, and provides services for several industries including maritime, renewable energy, oil & gas, electrification, food & beverage and healthcare.

DNV GL is renowned as the world’s biggest classification society, offering so many services for 13,175 vessels and mobile offshore units (MOUs) amounting to 265.4 million gt, which represents a global market share of 21%.

This organisation is also known as the largest technical consultancy and supervisory to the global renewable energy (particularly wind, wave, tidal and solar) and oil and gas industry — 65% of the world’s offshore pipelines are designed and installed to DNV GL’s technical standards.

Before the merger in 2013 that created this super organisation, both DNV and GL have independently acquired several companies in different sectors, such as Hélimax Energy (Canada), Garrad Hassan (UK), Windtest (Germany) and KEMA (Netherlands), which now contribute to DNV GL’s expertise across several industries.

Coupled with providing services such as technical assessment, certification, risk management and software development, DNV GL also invests heavily in research. Together with Bureau Veritas and American Bureau of Shipping, DNV GL is one of the three major companies in the classification business with 300 offices in 100 different countries.

Also note that this company is a major player in strategic innovation and risk management for several other industries including renewable energy (particularly in wind and solar), oil and gas, electric power generation and distribution, petrochemicals, aviation, automotives, finance, food and beverage, healthcare, software and information technology.

According to reports, every year, DNV GL spends heavily in research and development, amounting to 5% of its total revenue. Right from 1864, DNV GL has strived to maintain a department dedicated to research that enhances and develops services, rules and standards for various industries. Note that many of the innovations and findings by DNV GL have often been used as a basis for international standards.

As of 2019, the company’s main research programs include maritime, oil & gas, power & renewable, precision medicine, digital assurance, ocean space, energy transition, climate risk and opportunities.

The company also offers certification, assessment, training/education services that support customer products, processes, and organizations over a varying range of fields. DNV GL is an accredited certification body. They are known to certify the compliance of companies according to a third party standard, such as ISO 9001 (quality management system) or ISO 14001 (environmental management system).

The company has issued management system certificates to more than 70,000 companies across all industry sectors and is an accredited certifier in 80 countries. They also provide accreditation and clinical excellence certifications to American hospitals.

Steps to Acquire DNV GL Advanced Certified Healthcare Operations Certification in the United States

Certification generally provides evidence to clients and employers of your compliance according to national or international standards. After having decided on the CHOP certification you wish to implement, there are certain steps to get you started.

  1. Know the standard

The very first step is to obtain and read a copy of the standard to familiarize yourself with the requirements, and decide if certification/registration to this standard makes good sense for you and your career goals.

  1. Review literature

There is a huge amount of published information available that is designed to assist you in understanding and implementing a standard for your certification. Use some time to investigate what is available and identify which could be of support for your certification process.

Make sure you begin the certification process with the right attitude and also have a complete understanding of the concept set forth in the standard. Also know what application and the implications of the standard and what it will mean to your career path. Use the standard as a tool for improvement and have a thorough understanding of the risks and processes that affect your ability to scale through this certification.

  1. Know the topics covered and attend classes

From the standard and literature review, you will be able to get an insight on the topics covered by this advanced CHOP certification. They may include;

  • Understanding the types, function and purpose of the critical operating equipment within the hospital (Fire Alarm Systems, Boilers, Chillers, Cooling Towers, etc.)
  • Basics of heating and refrigeration (understanding the components of HVAC including PIU’s, RTU’s & VAV’s)
  • Healthcare construction and how to manage the environment during construction
  • The importance of infection control risk assessments and how/when to complete them
  • The importance of Alternative Life Safety Measures and how to properly complete them
  • Understanding the requirements surrounding medical gas systems and the importance of properly testing and maintaining these systems
  • Understanding the requirements surrounding Hyperbaric Chambers
  • Recognizing common mistakes in the Physical Environment
  • Understanding where regulations come from and how to understand what regulations pertain to the Physical Environment
  1. Prepare and take the exam

Note that all participants are expected to have access to a computer with internet connection to complete the CHOP exam. Participants are also expected to pass the exam with a minimum score of 80%. Upon completion of the test, the professional will receive immediate feedback on the passing or failing of the exam.

However, if the exam is passed, a certificate will be electronically sent for their record with the DNV GL watermark, the amount of contact hours granted, and a description describing the meaning/purpose of the certification. But if the exam is not passed, the applicant may pay a fee and re-apply to sit for the exam, no sooner than 30 days from the last attempt.

Conclusion

The CHOP Certification is an in-depth dive into the NIAHO® and ISO 9001 Standards, how they interact with all other Standards including NFPA, OSHA, DOT and how these are applied within the healthcare setting. Unlike other individual certifications, the CHOP has a focus on the entire Physical Environment, not just Life Safety. This course is taught in a manner compatible with the ISO 9001 Standards and the NIAHO® Requirements. The CHOP (A) certification will be valid for a 3-year period. At the end of this period, there will be the option to renew the certification with a fee and submission of 40-continuing education or to re-sit for the exam.

Ajaero Tony Martins