Certificate Examination Syllabus and Regulations [UK]

Effective for May 2022 Examination

Examination Regulations

  1. The Examining and Awarding Body is the Institute of Health Records and Information Management and the Examination is open to candidates in the UK.
  1. 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.
  1. Application forms for student membership may be obtained from the IHRIM Office. Candidates would normally be expected to hold the 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.
  1. The Examination will normally be held on the fourth Monday and Tuesday of May each year.
  1. The Examination will be held in designated centres throughout the UK. Every effort will be made to ensure the candidate attends an Examination Centre close to his/her home.
  1. The Examination will consist of four [4] papers

Health Records Management                             2 ½ hours


Information Management                                   2 ½ hours

Human Resources                                            2 hours

Medical Terminology                                         1 ½ hours


IT Application & Development                            1 ½ hours

Information Governance                                    1 ½ hours

  1. 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%

Information Management                                   60%

Human Resources                                            50%

Medical Terminology                                         50%

IT Application & Development                            50%

Information Governance                                    50%

  1. Candidates applying to take the Examination MUST lodge with the IHRIM Office a completed Examination Registration Form, together with payment for the appropriate amount.

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

  1. Any candidate whose registration form is not acknowledged within ten working days of posting should advise the IHRIM Office immediately.
  1. 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.
  1. Any amendments to the syllabus will be published 12 months before the Examination date.
  1. The Examination paper will only be set on the current syllabus bearing the same date as these regulations.
  1. 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.
  1. Candidates can expect to receive their results as a percentage mark. The Newsletter will only show a pass notification.
  1. 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.
  1. The Examination Appeals Procedure is available from the Director of Education of IHRIM.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 CHRIM.


Examination Framework and Timetable

 DAY 1

Health Records Management 2 ½ hours -  Question 1 and four others

[FIVE questions in total]

0930 – 0935      Reading time

0935 – 1205      Written Examination




Information Management 2 ½ hours -  Question 1 and four others

[FIVE questions in total]

0930 – 0935      Reading time

0935 – 1205      Written Examination

Human Resources  2 hours -  Four questions

1330 – 1335      Reading time

1335 – 1535      Written Examination



IT Application & Development   1 ½ hours -  Three questions

0915 – 0920      Reading time

0920 – 1050      Written Examination



Medical Terminology  1 ½ hours - Question 1 and two others

[THREE  questions in total]

0915 – 0920 Reading time

0920 – 1050 Written Examination

Information Governance 1 ½ hours -  Question 1 and two others

[THREE questions in total]

1115 – 1120 Reading time

1120 – 1250 Written Examination



Where relevant answer the questions as they apply to your Home Country

 Certificate of the Institute

The Certificate Examination is the next step in the qualification structure and is designed to assist Health Records Staff, Health Informatics and Information Staff to improve their overall knowledge of functions and services and gain a professional qualification.

The modules are as follows:-

Health Records Management


Candidates must be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the following:

  • Access to Health Records Act 1990 – application of the Act
  • Data Protection Legislation – the principles of Data Protection and arrangements for Subject Access Requests
  • Caldicott Reports
  • NHS Code of Practice Records Management or Retention Schedules as they apply in your own Home Country.
  • Clinical Standards for Record Keeping and audit including PRSB standards
  • Knowledge of current national enquiries as they relate to health records
  • Information Governance/Assurance Standards as they apply
  • National standards with reference to the scanning of health records
  • Release of information as a statutory requirement e.g. births and deaths
  • Dealing with requests for information from outside bodies e.g. solicitors, police, coroners, insurance companies
  • Management of access – leavers, job transfer
  • Physical security measures [closed libraries, logging off PCs, placing of computer screens]
  • Integrated Care records – GP records, Community, Social Care Records Mental Health Records
  • The role of Health Records Committees and sub-groups
  • Monitoring of of key performance indicators for Health Records
  • Service review and improvement
  • Management of dual processes through transition from paper to digital
  • Audit




Information Management

  • Sources and uses of Clinical Coding Data
  • Classifications currently in use
  • Data Quality and accuracy – auditing, rectification of errors, validation, unique number uptake, multiple systems
  • Application and uses of epidemiological information such as Cancer Registries
  • Knowledge of NHS Data Standards and Definitions as they apply in your own Home Country
  • The alternative methods of presenting data
  • Pivot tables
  • Form design for effective data capture
  • A sound knowledge of the role of information in supporting clinical and corporate processes

Human Resources 

  • The recruitment and selection process including
  • Review of role
  • Review of JD
  • Deployment of staff to meet the service objectives, , managing workloads,
  • Teambuilding
  • Problem solving
  • Staff appraisal and performance review including training needs analysi, training and development process
  • Relevant Personnel policies (grievance, disciplinary, absence management, performance management/capability, dignity at work, health and safety, equality diversity and inclusion violence and aggression, bullying and harassment, freedomto speak)
  • Communication verbal, written, use of templates with written correspondence, electronic communication and barriers to understanding
  • Concept of Service efficiency, including workforce transformation and change


IT Application & Development 

  • The range of IT systems in use in the NHS e.g. Patient Administration Systems (PAS), Patient Management Systems (PMS), Departmental Systems, Clinical Systems, Audit Systems, Order Communications and Results Reporting Systems (OCS), Decision Support Systems, Picture Archiving Communication Systems (PACS)
  • Development of Electronic Patient Records [EPR] and Electronic Health Records [EHR] in your Home Country
  • Development of Clinical and Patient Portals in your home Country
  • Hardware Definitions e.g. personal computer, , monitor, printer, modem, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, , Rapid Access Memory [RAM], Read Only Memory [ROM], Central Processing Unit [CPU], Surge Protector, UPS, Ports, Scanner, digital camera, , NHS net, LAN, WAN
  • Range of Software solutions used in the NHS e.g. Microsoft Office, incident and risk reporting, system analysis, security systems, business intelligence, document management systems
  • File and management structure on a PC
  • Secure transfer of identifiable data
  • Use of the internet and intranet
  • Data input methods
  • Data Integrity
  • Backups and recovery strategies
  • Cyber Security



Medical Terminology  

  • 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
  • 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

Information Governance/Assurance

  • Freedom of Information Act 2000/Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – the principles
  • What is Information Governance/Assurance?
  • Business Continuity plans for services and information assets
  • Awareness of personal responsibility for Information Governance/Assurance
  • Awareness of HORUS principles (Holding, Obtaining, Recording and Using Information)
  • Sharing Information across Organisations (principles of Caldicott 2)
  • The Information Governance/Assurance Framework and its impact on Health Records Services
  • Legal aspects of confidentiality
  • National opt outs
  • Application of Information Governance/Assurance Framework across the NHS
  • Information Governance/Assurance Standards as they apply in your Home Country
  • DSPT
  • Information Risk
  • DPIAs
  • ISAs
  • Contract clauses

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Certificate Syllabus [UK] 2022