Certificate Examination Syllabus and Regulations [Overseas]

Examination Regulations

Effective for May 2020 Examination

  1. The Examining and Awarding Body is the Institute of Health Records and Information Management and the Examination is open to Overseas candidates.

  2. Only candidates who have been officially accepted by the Institute for Student Membership and who meet all the regulations will be allowed to attempt the Examination. Examination candidates must be fully paid-up members of the Institute. 

  3. Application forms for student membership may be obtained from the IHRIM Office.  Candidates would normally be expected to hold the Overseas Foundation Certificate but exemptions will be granted by the Director of Education under certain circumstances, in consultation with a second member of the Examination Board.

  4. The Examination will normally be held on the fourth Monday and Tuesday of May each year.

  5. The Examination will be held in designated overseas centres and every effort will be made to ensure the candidate attends an Examination Centre close to his/her home.

  6. The Examination will consist of four [4] papers

    Health Records Management 2 ½ hours
    Healthcare Statistics 1 ½ hours
    Medical Terminology  1 ½ hours
    Planning & Managing a Health Records Department 1½ hours

  7. The pass mark for the papers is shown below but all modules must be passed at the first attempt in order to achieve a distinction for which the total pass mark is 80% of the overall total.

    Health Records Management 60%
    Healthcare Statistics 50%
    Medical Terminology 50%
    Planning & Managing a Health Records Department 50%

  8. Candidates applying to take the Examination MUST lodge with the IHRIM Office a completed Examination Registration Form, together with a cheque made payable to IHRIM (UK) for the appropriate amount by 15 February each year.

    NB: Late registrations will not be accepted and any completed registration forms received without a cheque will be returned.

  9. Any candidate whose registration form is not acknowledged within two working weeks of posting should advise the IHRIM Office immediately.

  10. If a candidate withdraws his/her name before the last day of entry to the Examination the fee will either be returned or carried forward for one year, however an administration charge of £25.00 +VAT will apply.  If a candidate fails to attend on the day of the Examination the fee will be carried forward for one year providing a medical certificate is submitted to the Associate Director of Education [Administration] within seven days of the date of the Examination.   Otherwise fees are non-returnable unless exceptional circumstances exist and then only at the discretion of the Director of Education.  The candidate will be responsible for any increase in fees which may occur between the initial payment and the date the Examination is taken.

  11. Any amendments to the syllabus will be published 12 months before the Examination date.

  12. The Examination paper will only be set on the current syllabus bearing the same date as these regulations.

  13. Any representation that a candidate may wish to make regarding the conduct of the Examination must be made in writing to the Associate Director of Education [Administration] within seven days of the conclusion of the Examination, using the Complaints Procedure which is available on the IHRIM Web Site.

  14. Candidates can expect to receive their results as a percentage mark.  The Newsletter will only show a pass notification.

  15. Candidates will be notified of the results of the Examination at the end of July of the year in which the Examination was taken.   The names of successful candidates will be published in the Newsletter of the Institute.

  16. The Examination Appeals Procedure is available from the Director of Education of IHRIM.

  17. Candidates who fail to reach the pass standard in this paper may re-sit the paper on any two [2] subsequent occasions but within three years of the first attempt on payment of the appropriate fee and according to the syllabus which is in place at the time of the Examination.

  18. Successful candidates who pass the Examination will be awarded the appropriate Certificate and adopt the title ‘Certificated Member’ and may use the designatory letters O/CHRIM.

Examination Framework and Timetable


Health Records Management  3 hours - Question 1 and four others

[FIVE questions in total] 

0930 – 0935 Reading time

0935 – 1205 Written Examination

Healthcare Statistics  1½ hours - Three questions

1330 – 1335 Reading time

1335 – 1505 Written Examination


Medical Terminology  1 ½ hours - Question 1 and two others

[THREE questions in total]

0915 – 0920 Reading time

0920 – 1050 Written Examination

Planning & Managing a Health Records Department 1½ hours - Three questions

1115 – 1120 Reading time

1120 - 1250 Written Examination

Syllabus - Overseas Certificate

Study Materials for Papers 1-3 - IFHIMA Education Modules – Available for download free of charge from www.ifhima.org/learning.aspx

Study Materials for Paper 4 – IFHIMA Study Notes (Medical Terminology £15 +VAT + postage and packaging)
Available from IHRIM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source of study material (i.e. the number of the IFHRO Education Module) is shown in brackets)

1. Health Records Management (Paper 1)

The Health Record – IFHIMA Education Module 1

  1. The Health Record
  2. Purpose of a Health Record
  3. Uses of a Health Record
  4. Development of the Health Record
  5. Value of the Health Record
  6. Content of the Health Record
  7. Documentation and Record Structure
  8. Responsibility for Health Records
  9. Health Record Forms
  10. Medico-Legal Aspects

Patient Identification, Registration and the Master Patient – IFHIMA Education Module 2

  1. Record Identification Systems
  2. Patient Registration
  3. Master Patient Index (MPI)
    • Content (Demographic & Visit Levels)
  4. Manual Master Patient Index
    • In-patients
    • Organisation of MPI
    • Methods used for filing
    • General Filing Rules
  5. Supplies & Equipment for a Manual MPI
  6. Computerised MPI

Record Identification Systems, Filing and Retention of Health Records – IFHIMA Education Module 3

  1. Record Identification Systems
    • Alphabetic Identification
    • Numerical Identification
  2. Types of Numbering Systems
  3. Assignment of Numbers
  4. Number Control
  5. Record Linkage or Longitudinal Records
  6. Filing Systems
    • Alphabetical
    • Numerical
  7. Location of Files
  8. Other considerations in Filing Systems
    • Loose sheets
    • Voluminous records
    • Special flagging
    • Satellite record centres
  9. Record Control & Chart Tracking Systems
    • Health record request policies
    • Health record requests
    • Out-guides (Tracers)
    • Automated tracking systems
    • Colour coding on file folders
    • Transportation of health records
    • Other record controls
    • Other filing rules
  10. Filing Equipment & Supplies for Paper-Based Records
    • Filing equipment
    • Filing supplies
  11. Retention of Health Records
    • Criteria for record retention
    • Methods of record retention

2. Healthcare Statistics (Paper 2)

IFHIMA Education Module 4

  1. Data Definitions
  2. Inpatient Statistical Data Collection And Calculations
  3. Outpatient Statistical Data Collection And Calculations
  4. Reports
  5. Quality Control

3. Planning and Managing a Health Record Department (Paper 3)

Six Phases of Design of a Health Record Department – IFHIMA Education Module 8

  1. Definition Phase
    • Location
    • Space
    • Staff Required
    • Equipment
    • Functional design and logistical placement of key work areas
    • System of communication
    • Transport
    • Layout
  2. Brief Phase
    • Architects Brief
    • Other inclusions in the brief
  3. Department Phase
  4. Total Facility Phase

Administration and Management of the Health Record Department – IFHIMA Education Module 7

  1. The Management Process
    • Planning
    • Organising
    • Directing
    • Control
    • Problem Solving
  2. Formalising the Organisational Structure
  3. Organisational Change and Development
  4. Developing Human Resources

4. Medical Terminology (Paper 4)

(IHRIM Study Notes on Medical Terminology)

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the component parts of medical terms and be able to give meaning to these by constructing or explaining medical terms: knowledge of roots, suffixes, prefixes and combining vowels, plurals of terms
  2. Have a basic understanding of the meaning and purpose of pathological and radiological tests and other diagnostic tests, procedures e.g. bronchoscopy, endoscopy, MRI Scan, Heaf Test, ESR.


There are two laptops available to ensure IHRIM's examinations are accessible. Allocation will be subject to meeting certain health criteria and will be allocated on a first come first served basis

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Certificate Syllabus [Overseas] - 2020


This information is posted as a guide for students undertaking the IHRIM Overseas Certificate on the IFHIMA website in the Learning Center at: http://www.ifhima.org/learning.aspx