Certified Health Physicist

Certified Health Physicist

Certified Health Physicist is an official title granted by the American Board of Health Physics, the certification board for health physicists in the United States. A Certified Health Physicist is designated by the letters CHP or DABHP after his or her name.

A certification by the ABHP is not a license to practice and does not confer any legal qualification to practice health physics. However, the certification is well respected and indicates a high level of achievement by those who obtain it.

Certified Health Physicists are members of the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP). In 2007, the AAHP web site listed over 1200 members.

Professional Responsibilities

A person certified as a health physicist, has a responsibility to uphold the professional integrity associated with the certification. It is expected that such a person will always give health physics information based on the highest standards of science and professional ethics. A certified individual has a responsibility to remain professionally active in the health physics field and remain technically competent in the scientific, technical and regulatory developments in the field.

General requirements required to receive the certification

  • 1. Academics. You must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in physical sciences, engineering, or in a biological science with a minimum of 20 semester hours in physical science.
  • 2. Experience. You must have at least six years of professional experience in health physics. By permission of the Board, advanced degrees may substitute for a maximum of two years of the required experience.
  • 3. References. You must submit a reference from your immediate supervisor and from at least two other individuals, including one from a currently certified Health Physicist.
  • 4. Written Report. You must submit a written report that reflects a professional health physics effort.
  • 5. Examination. You must pass a two part exam, which is given only one day a year at the Health Physics Society's annual meeting, and on the same day, at selected locations throughout the country. Part I, consists of 150 multiple choice questions in fundamental aspects of health physics. This portion of the test is three hours long. Part II consists of word and calculational questions which determine competency in applied health physics. This portion of the exam is 6 hours long. After passing Part I, the applicant must pass Part II within a period of seven years, or retake both parts.

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