At the top of this page, you’ll find a button that unlocks full access to the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) practice test. Additionally, further down, we’ve curated a detailed practice test for the CHL, designed to help you identify both your strengths and the areas that require further focus. To support your preparation, we offer specialized quizzes tailored to specific segments of the CHL exam. These targeted quizzes enable you to concentrate on improving those areas that need additional practice, ensuring a well-rounded mastery of the exam material.

Certified Healthcare Leader Domain Exams

The Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) exam is designed to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency and understanding in key management and leadership areas within the healthcare industry. The exam is structured around several core domains that are crucial for effective healthcare management. 

Below is a breakdown of these domains:

Domain 1: Planning and Decision Making

  • Percentage of Exam: 30%
  • Focus: Strategic planning, operational planning, decision-making processes, and goal-setting frameworks.

Welcome to your CHL Domain 1: Planning and decision making

Domain 2: Organizing

  • Percentage of Exam: 25%
  • Focus: Organizational structure and design, staffing, delegation, and departmentalization.

Welcome to your CHL Domain 2: Organizing

Domain 3: Leading

  • Percentage of Exam: 30%
  • Focus: Leadership theories and styles, motivation, team building, communication, and conflict resolution.

Welcome to your CHL Domain 3: Leading

Domain 4: Controlling

  • Percentage of Exam: 15%
  • Focus: Performance measurement, quality control, financial control, and information management.

Welcome to your CHL Domain 4: Controlling

Exam Domain% of ExamKey Areas
Planning and Decision Making30%Strategic planning, operational planning, decision-making processes, goal-setting frameworks
Organizing25%Organizational structure and design, staffing, delegation, departmentalization
Leading30%Leadership theories and styles, motivation, team building, communication, conflict resolution
Controlling15%Performance measurement, quality control, financial control, information management

Additional Important Information

  • Total Number of Questions: While the exact number can vary, a standard CHL exam might consist of around 120 to 150 questions.
  • Exam Format: Questions are typically multiple-choice, covering theoretical knowledge, practical applications, and case studies.
  • Passing Criteria: The passing score is usually set by the certifying body and can vary from year to year based on the exam’s difficulty level.
  • Preparation Materials: Candidates are advised to review healthcare management literature, participate in study groups, and possibly enroll in review courses offered by professional healthcare management organizations.
  • Certification Validity: The CHL certification may need to be renewed periodically through continuing education or retaking the exam, depending on the certifying organization’s requirements.

Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) Exam Breakdown

The Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) Exam is a professional certification exam designed for individuals seeking to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in healthcare leadership and management. This certification is often pursued by healthcare administrators, managers, and professionals who aim to validate their expertise in leading and managing healthcare organizations effectively. The CHL certification can highlight an individual’s commitment to professional development and excellence in the healthcare industry.

Breakdown of the CHL Exam:

  • Exam Content and Structure: The CHL exam typically covers a broad range of topics relevant to healthcare leadership, including strategic planning, healthcare policy, ethics, financial management, human resources, and quality improvement. The exam format may include multiple-choice questions, case studies, and scenario-based questions to assess candidates’ practical and theoretical knowledge.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Eligibility for the CHL exam usually requires a combination of educational background and professional experience in healthcare. This can vary depending on the certifying body, but it generally includes a minimum level of education (such as a bachelor’s degree in a related field) and specific years of leadership or management experience in healthcare.
  • Preparation and Study Resources: Preparation for the CHL exam involves studying a range of subjects related to healthcare management and leadership. This can include review courses offered by the certifying organization, textbooks, and online resources. Study materials may cover healthcare laws and regulations, leadership theories, financial management principles, and other relevant topics.
  • Registration and Fees: Candidates must register for the CHL exam through the certifying organization’s website. Registration involves completing an application, meeting the eligibility requirements, and paying an exam fee. The fee structure varies depending on factors like membership status in professional organizations and the inclusion of study materials or review courses.
  • Certification Maintenance: After passing the CHL exam, certified professionals are usually required to maintain their certification through continuing education and professional development activities. This might include attending workshops, participating in training sessions, and renewing the certification after a certain period.

How To Become a Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL)

To become a Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL), you must first ensure you hold a current, full Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification. The CHL certification is designed to recognize individuals demonstrating management and supervisory skills necessary for effective leadership in the Sterile Processing Department (SPD). This program is vital for those responsible for managing the daily operations of the SPD, including compliance with standards and regulations, finance, reporting, staffing, human resource management, and communications within and between departments​​​​.

Initial Eligibility Requirements:

  • Prerequisite Certification: You must obtain the CRCST certification before applying for the CHL exam. This prerequisite ensures that candidates have a foundational understanding of sterile processing, which is critical for leadership roles in this field​​.

Exam Preparation Options:

  • Online/Distance Learning Course: Purdue University offers a course designed to prepare Sterile Processing Supervisors and Managers for the CHL exam. This course is an option for those who prefer structured learning. More information can be found by contacting Purdue or visiting their website​​.
  • Self-Study: You may also choose to study on your own using the HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual and other reference materials such as HSPA’s Central Service Technical Manual (8th edition) and ANSI/AAMI’s ST79 (2010 edition). These materials are available through the HSPA Online Store. Additional resources like AORN’s Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices (2017 edition) are also suggested​​.
  • Work Experience: The CHL exam can be taken based on personal knowledge from experience in the field without any mandatory preparatory course or study materials​​.

Exam Details:

  • The CHL exam is computer-based, consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions to be completed within three hours. It covers key areas such as Planning and Decision-Making, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. The detailed content outline is available to guide your study and preparation​​.

Application Process:

  • Application Fees: The initial exam fee is $140, which includes application processing and one exam attempt at a Prometric Testing Facility. The same fee applies for retake exams. It’s important to apply online or by email and allow 3-4 weeks for processing​​.

Maintaining Certification:

  • CHL certification holders are required to recertify annually through the completion of continuing education (CE) requirements. This ensures that certified leaders stay updated on the latest practices, technologies, and standards in sterile processing​​​​.

Our Experience Teaching CHL Candidates To Pass The Exam

Creating the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) practice tests has been an enlightening adventure, marked by both obstacles and gratifying moments. At Career Employer, this endeavor has enriched our educational journey, shaped by the exam’s extensive subject matter and our students’ diverse needs, all with the shared goal of excelling in the examination. This process has allowed us to tailor our approach, ensuring that we meet the unique aspirations and learning styles of each student, thereby fostering a supportive and effective learning environment aimed at achieving exam success.

Teaching a Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) certification program from a lecturer’s perspective involves a multifaceted approach, focusing on imparting knowledge, skills, and values that are crucial for leadership in the healthcare sector. The goal is not only to cover the curriculum but also to foster critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and effective communication skills among the students. Here’s an overview of what this entails, including the kinds of resources and links that might be involved:

Curriculum Development

  • Content Selection: Carefully select content that covers the core competencies of healthcare leadership, including strategic planning, healthcare policy, ethics, financial management, and quality improvement.
  • Resource Links: Utilize textbooks, scholarly articles, and official guidelines from reputable organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Health Leadership Alliance (HLA), and specific healthcare leadership competency frameworks.

Teaching Methods

  • Interactive Lectures: Use case studies and real-world examples to illustrate complex concepts, encouraging active participation.
  • Workshops and Simulations: Facilitate hands-on learning experiences where students can apply leadership theories in simulated healthcare settings.
  • Online Platforms: Leverage Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Moodle or Blackboard for sharing resources, discussions, and assignments. Incorporate e-learning resources from platforms like Coursera or edX that offer courses related to healthcare management and leadership.

Assessment Techniques

  • Formative Assessments: Utilize quizzes, reflection essays, and group projects to gauge students’ understanding and application of the material throughout the course.
  • Summative Assessments: Design comprehensive exams or capstone projects that require students to synthesize their learning and demonstrate their leadership competencies.

Continuous Improvement

  • Feedback Mechanisms: Implement regular feedback sessions with students to understand their learning experiences and adjust teaching methods accordingly.
  • Professional Development: Stay updated with the latest research and trends in healthcare leadership through continuous education and professional memberships, e.g., joining the ACHE or attending relevant conferences.

Resource Links

While specific links to resources would depend on the current curriculum and available platforms, here are types of resources typically used:

  • Academic Journals and Books: Resources like the “Journal of Healthcare Leadership” or textbooks on healthcare management.
  • Professional Organizations: Websites of ACHE, HLA, and similar organizations often have educational materials, case studies, and best practice guidelines.
  • Online Courses: Platforms like Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy offer relevant courses in healthcare policy, management, and leadership.

Networking and Professional Growth

  • Encourage students to engage with professional communities and networks related to healthcare leadership. This can be facilitated through guest lectures, mentorship programs, and encouraging attendance at relevant workshops and conferences.

From a lecturer’s perspective, the primary challenge and reward lie in guiding future healthcare leaders through a comprehensive learning journey that prepares them for the complexities of managing healthcare organizations. Success in this role requires a blend of academic rigor, practical insights, and a commitment to student-centered teaching.

The committed team at Career Employer has meticulously designed the CHL certification practice test, drawing upon their profound expertise and experience in CHL exam preparation. Guiding more than a thousand healthcare managers to successfully pass the official CHL certification exam, our team has made a significant impact. 

Comprised of esteemed healthcare managers, each with over ten years of specialized experience in the healthcare industry, our team brings a wealth of knowledge to this initiative. We offer multiple versions of the practice exam, thoughtfully tailored to accommodate a variety of learning styles and preferences, ensuring that every candidate is well-prepared for success.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

To effectively prepare for the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) exam, a multifaceted approach that combines self-study, practical experience, and strategic learning techniques is recommended. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through your preparation journey:

Understanding the CHL Exam Requirements and Structure

The CHL exam is geared towards professionals already in a leadership role or those aspiring to be in one within the Sterile Processing Department. While there are no specific hours of experience required to apply for the CHL exam, holding a current, full CRCST certification before applying is a prerequisite. The exam tests proficiency in areas like planning and decision-making, organizing, leading, and controlling, among other knowledge domains relevant to central service and sterile processing leadership​​.

Preparation Options

  • Online and In-Class Courses: Several institutions offer both virtual and in-class instruction designed to prepare Central Service professionals for the CHL exam. These courses often utilize IAHCSMM’s CS Leadership Manual among other resources as references​​.
  • Self-Study: Purchasing reference materials and studying on your own is a viable option. The HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual and other related manuals are essential resources for self-study​​.
  • Work Experience: Direct experience in the field can be invaluable. Leveraging your knowledge from hands-on experience can serve as preparation, though formal study can reinforce your understanding​​.

Effective Study Strategies

To enhance your study effectiveness, consider incorporating evidence-based study strategies such as elaboration, interleaving, concrete examples, and dual coding:

  • Elaboration involves explaining and describing concepts in detail to understand better and remember the material. Generating questions and relating concepts to your own experiences can be beneficial​​.
  • Interleaving is the practice of studying different subjects or topics in one session rather than focusing on a single topic for an extended period. This approach helps in understanding and remembering concepts by identifying their similarities and differences​​.
  • Concrete Examples help in understanding complex or abstract concepts by relating them to real-world scenarios. Creating your own examples or sharing them within a study group can enhance this technique​​.
  • Dual Coding involves combining textual information with visual aids to reinforce learning. Creating your own visuals based on textual content can be a powerful tool for memory retention​​.

Additional Resources

  • Practice Tests: Utilizing practice exams, such as the CHL 3-Pack Practice Tests offered by The Sterile Guy, can help familiarize yourself with the exam format and identify areas needing further study​​.
  • Forums: A Reddit user in response to another user suggested that the exam isn’t that hard after all, as long as you know your study techniques and pay extra attention to graphs and charts. 

Honestly as long as you pay attention to the graphs/charts in the book and pick the more “kiss-up” answers, you’ll pass. It’s not that bad of a test, it mostly has questions pertaining to correct policy, training, and customer service.

aliciary – Reddit user

A LinkedIn user highly encourages users to get the necessary industry skills, one certification at a time.

Credentials are an important part of our industry, and allow us to quickly communicate a baseline set of knowledge requirements on resumes & during interviews.

Hank Balch – LinkedIn user and Beyond Clean blogger


Initial Exam FeeIncludes application processing and one exam attemptUSD 140
Study MaterialsOptional: Reference materials, online courses, virtual/in-class instructionsVaries (USD 50 to USD 2,500)
Recertification FeeAnnual requirement with continuing educationUSD 50

The Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) board certification exam and associated costs encompass a variety of fees and optional expenses, depending on the path you choose for preparation and certification. Here’s a breakdown based on the information from the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) and other relevant sources:

Application and Exam Fees

  • Initial Exam Fee: The fee for the initial CHL exam is USD 140, which includes the application processing and one exam attempt at a Prometric Testing Facility. The same fee applies for retake exams​​.

Preparation Costs

  • Self-Study: You have the option to purchase reference materials and study on your own. Essential materials include HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual, Central Service Technical Manual (8th edition), ANSI/AAMI’s ST79 (2010 edition), and AORN’s Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices (2017 edition)​​. The costs for these materials can vary, with HSPA listing study material costs between USD 50 to USD 160​​.
  • Online/Distance Learning Course: Purdue University offers a correspondence course by mail to help prepare for the CHL exam. Details and costs can be obtained directly from Purdue​​.
  • Virtual/In-Class Instruction: Central Sterilization Solutions offers both online and in-class courses designed to prepare Central Service professionals for the CHL exam. While the specific course fee isn’t detailed in the provided information, it’s important to note that such preparatory courses are available and can be a significant part of your budget​​.

Other Considerations

  • Certification Maintenance: CHL certificants are required to recertify annually, which includes completing continuing education requirements. The cost for recertification is $50 annually, with an additional cost for membership if chosen​​.
  • Comprehensive Training Program: Some sources, like Central Sterilization Solutions, mention a figure of $2,500, which likely encompasses a more comprehensive training and preparation program, possibly including course fees, study materials, and other resources​​.

It’s important to consider that these costs are subject to change and might vary based on the specific materials or courses you choose, as well as any additional resources you might need for preparation. Moreover, there are no hours of experience required to apply for the CHL exam, but it is geared toward those already in leadership positions or interested in pursuing such roles, and you must hold a current, full CRCST certification before applying​​.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) certification exam, there are several online resources and study options available to you:

  1. Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) offers various preparation methods, including online/distance learning courses, self-study with reference materials, and relying on work experience. Reference materials include HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual, Central Service Technical Manual (8th edition), and ANSI/AAMI’s ST79 (2010 edition), which can be found through the HSPA Online Store. Additionally, Purdue University offers a correspondence course designed for Sterile Processing Supervisors and Managers preparing for the CHL exam​​.
  2. Exam Edge provides practice tests for the CHL exam among many other certifications. It is a platform that offers a comprehensive way to prepare for your exam through simulation in a user-friendly format​​.
  3. Central Sterilization Solutions (CSS) offers both virtual/in-class and online courses designed to prepare Central Service professionals for the CHL exam. Their courses cover various key topics and also provide access to online training videos​​.
  4. The Sterile Guy offers CHL 3-Pack Practice Tests, which can be a valuable resource for those looking to gauge their preparedness and identify areas for further study. Practice tests can simulate the exam environment and help with time management skills​​.
  5. The SPD Network provides information about the CHL certification program, designed to recognize individuals who have shown management and supervisory skills necessary for effective leadership in the Central Service Department. The site may offer additional insights and resources for prospective candidates​​.
  6. Agiliti Health provides nearly 20 self-paced continuing education courses for healthcare facility staff, covering a range of topics relevant to those preparing for the CHL exam. Most courses are accredited through HSPA and CBSPD, offering credits that may be beneficial for certification or recertification​​.
  7. O*NET Online gives a broad overview of the CHL certification, detailing its focus on recognizing individuals with management and supervisory skills within the Sterile Processing department. This overview can help candidates understand the certification’s relevance to their professional development​​.

These resources vary in format from study guides and reference materials to practice tests and online courses, catering to different learning styles and needs. Utilizing a combination of these resources can provide a comprehensive preparation strategy for the CHL certification exam.

Tips for Exam Day

For those preparing for the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) exam, a comprehensive approach towards preparation is crucial to ensure success. The CHL certification, recognized for highlighting management and supervisory skills necessary in the Sterile Processing Department (SPD), does not require a specific number of hands-on experience hours for eligibility. However, it’s best suited for those already in or aspiring to leadership roles within SPD​​.

Exam Preparation Tips:

  • Understand the Exam Structure: The CHL exam tests proficiency in areas such as Planning and Decision-Making, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. Familiarizing yourself with the exam’s structure and content outline is essential for targeted study​​.
  • Choose Your Study Method Wisely: Options include online/distance learning courses, self-study through reference materials, and leveraging work experience. Purdue University offers a course designed to prepare Sterile Processing Supervisors and Managers for the CHL exam. Alternatively, self-study materials such as HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual, Central Service Technical Manual, and ANSI/AAMI’s ST79 can be used​​.
  • Utilize Practice Exams and Flashcards: Practice exams and flashcards can be invaluable for reinforcing knowledge and getting accustomed to the exam format. Resources like “The Sterile Guy” offer practice exams and flashcards tailored for the CHL exam, helping to identify areas where further study is needed​​.
  • Recertification and Continuing Education: Keep in mind that maintaining your CHL certification requires annual recertification through continuing education. This ensures that CHLs stay up-to-date with the latest practices and standards in sterile processing and management​​.
  • Join Forums and Discussion Groups: Engaging with communities, such as those found on Reddit or other sterile processing forums, can provide additional insights, study tips, and moral support from peers undergoing the same journey.

On Exam Day:

  • Arrive early at the testing center to allow yourself time to relax and mentally prepare.
  • Ensure you have all necessary identification and documentation required for exam entry.
  • Review your notes before the exam, focusing on areas you’ve identified as weaknesses.
  • Practice stress-relief techniques such as deep breathing or positive visualization to stay calm and focused during the exam.

Remember, thorough preparation, understanding the exam layout, and utilizing various study materials and resources are key strategies to passing the CHL exam.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After completing the Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) exam, there are several post-exam strategies and next steps you can consider to further your career and enhance your skills in healthcare leadership.

  • Reflect on the Exam Experience: Use the period right after your exam to reflect on the questions and topics that challenged you the most. Although you won’t have access to the exact questions, reflecting on these areas can guide your ongoing learning and professional development.
  • Engage in Continuous Learning: The field of healthcare is ever-evolving, so staying updated with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices is crucial. Consider subscribing to healthcare journals, attending workshops, and joining professional healthcare forums online.
  • Seek Feedback and Mentorship: Connect with colleagues or mentors who have also gone through the certification process. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on how to apply the knowledge gained from the exam in real-world settings and how to navigate your career path effectively.
  • Utilize Available Resources: Explore resources provided by organizations like the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC), which offers a range of resources for professionals in infection prevention and control, including guidelines on recertification and continuing education opportunities​​.
  • Apply Knowledge Practically: Look for opportunities within your workplace to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve gained. Whether it’s leading a project, participating in policy development, or contributing to quality improvement initiatives, practical application of your skills can enhance your professional profile and impact.
  • Prepare for Recertification: If your certification requires periodic recertification, start planning early. Understand the requirements for recertification, such as continuing education credits or re-examination, and begin documenting your professional development activities and learning.
  • Focus on Professional Development: Utilize success strategy worksheets and resources from educational institutions like Clemson University, which offer tools for notetaking, time management, goal setting, and exam preparation. These can be valuable for both your professional development and any future certifications or exams​​.
  • Network with Peers: Join online forums and social media groups related to healthcare leadership and infection prevention. Networking with peers can provide support, offer insights into career opportunities, and keep you informed about industry developments.

Remember, passing the exam is a significant achievement, but it’s the beginning of a journey in continuous improvement and professional growth. Stay curious, seek opportunities for learning and development, and leverage your certification to make a positive impact in the healthcare field.


  1. “Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) – Certification Overview.” Healthcare Sterilization & Processing Association,
  2. “Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL).” The SPD Network,
  3. “7 Evidence-Based Study Strategies & How to Use Each.” Med School Insiders,
  4. “CHL 3-Pack Practice Tests.” The Sterile Guy,
  5. “IAHCSMM vs CBSPD Revisited.” The SPD Network,
  6. “Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) Course.” Central Sterilization School,
  7. “IAHCSMM Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) Exam.” Exam Edge,
  8. “Clinical Support & Education.” Agiliti,
  9. “Certification Details.” O*NET OnLine,
  10. “Collections: CHL.” The Sterile Guy,
  11. “About the CIC® Examination.” Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology,
  12. “Success Strategy Worksheets.” Clemson University Academic Success Center,
  13. “CHL Workbook.” Reddit, r/sterileprocessing,
  14. “Cleanfreaks, sterile processing, career…” LinkedIn,
  15. Beyond Clean. “Competency Saves Lives.” Beyond Clean,

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