The CCHP-MH Examination
The purpose of the CCHP–MH specialty examination is to measure a candidate's knowledge, understanding and application of national standards and guidelines essential to the delivery of appropriate mental health care, legal principles for practicing within a correctional mental health care system, ethical obligations of correctional mental health professionals and the role of mental health professionals in delivering health care in the correctional environment.
Candidates are allowed two hours to complete the examination, which is a proctored, written test composed of 80 to 100 multiple-choice questions.
Preparing to Take the Examination
The Candidate Handbook helps applicants to prepare for the examination and has a detailed list of content areas covered on the exam. It is helpful to develop a study plan. This might include self-study, finding a study partner or group, taking a review course, reviewing current textbooks and articles, or other methods.
The following books are recommended reading to help you prepare for the exam. These books may be purchased through the links below:
- Correctional Mental Health: From Theory to Best Practice
- How to Identify Suicidal People—A Systematic Approach to Risk Assessment
- Standards for Mental Health Services in Correctional Facilities
The CCHP-MH task force has also developed an Exam Resource Guide that lists web-based materials that can help you in your studies. The resources are intended to give a more thorough understanding of information discussed in the publications.
Exam Dates and Application Deadlines
Examinations are offered throughout the year, including at NCCHC's annual conferences and three times a year at regional test centers across the country. Some regional test centers are preestablished; others are added based on candidate requests. We try to make reasonable accommodations for candidates who are farther than a three-hour driving distance from a test center, although fulfillment of such requests cannot be guaranteed. Information on how to request a regional test center is enclosed in the confirmation packet; requests must be made at least 90 days before the exam date. Please note that a site is eligible to host an exam only when it has at least five examinees.
The CCHP program makes every effort to ensure that test centers are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Candidates who require special accommodations must submit a written request at least 90 days before the examination date.
Examinations are scored electronically. Results are sent in writing within eight weeks. Unsuccessful candidates may retake the exam two additional times within two years of the application approval date. The reexamination fee is $45.
Deferment and Cancellation Policies
The exam may be deferred up to one year from the date the application is approved. A candidate must request deferment in writing at least 10 business days before the originally scheduled examination date.
To cancel the application, a written cancellation request must be received at least 10 business days before the examination date. $100 of the application fee will be refunded.