America and the World were not prepared for COVID-19, and according to the federal government, we are not ready for the next pandemic. IHMM has created the Certified Pandemic Preparedness Specialist [CPPS] microcredential as our contribution to being prepared for the next pandemic. A Certified Pandemic Preparedness Specialist (CPPS) microcredential holder is first a CHMM or CSHM credentialed professional who has demonstrated, through education, experience, and examination, the ability to identify and assess the risks associated with pathogens and their effect on public health, commerce, industry, and/or government operations. The focus of the CPPS microcredential is to: assess and provide guidance concerning the preparedness levels of different entities, develop and implement risk-reduction strategies.

We created the CPPS as we believe
that the country and the world were not adequately prepared for the COVID pandemic – and
so are also not prepared for the inevitable next pandemic.

LeRoy Demarest, CHMM, CPPS, Restoration Program Manager, U.S. Air Force.

Benefits of the CPPS Microcredential

What is a microcredential? “A microcredential is a certification of assessed learning that is additional, alternate, complementary to or a formal component of a formal qualification” (Oliver, 2019, p.19).  In the case of the CPPS, one has to be either a CHMM or a CSHM first, then may apply to become a CPPS. This is a recognition that the CHMM or CSHM reflects their solid basis of learning, experience, and certification in broader subject areas and then augments that foundation with narrower, more specific knowledge, skills, and experience with pandemic preparedness.

As part of the President’s commitment to ensure that our country is more prepared for a pandemic than we were when he took office, the Administration is standing up the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy (OPPR). This will be a permanent office in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) charged with leading, coordinating, and implementing actions related to preparedness for, and response to, known and unknown biological threats or pathogens that could lead to a pandemic or to significant public health-related disruptions in the United States. OPPR will take over the duties of the current COVID-19 Response Team and Mpox Team at the White House and will continue to coordinate and develop policies and priorities related to pandemic preparedness and response. Read more here.

IHMM, in keeping with the spirit and letter of helping America become more prepared for the next pandemic, has created the Certified Pandemic Preparedness Specialist [CPPS] microcredential, reflecting the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities a professional must have in order to better prepare a private sector business or government.

Who Hires A CPPS?

Here is a small example of the thousands of private companies and government entities who hire CPPSs. You are about to embark on an amazing advancement in your career as an IHMM CPPS. This microcredential was launched August 31, 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

A candidate must meet all eligibility requirements before scheduling and taking their exam. These include (1) file an application; (2) transcript (upload a copy of your transcript/diploma if applicable to the application) (3) third-party employment verification, (4) submit an application and pay the application fee, and (5) move on to pay for and schedule your examination. Finally, pass the exam and pay the annual fee to be issued the credential. The following are the prerequisites…



Bachelor’s degree (BS or BA) in a scientific discipline such as biology, virology, chemistry, emergency management, occupational safety & health, or related field from a 4-year accredited academic institution, or 3 years of demonstrated experience in pandemic preparedness, emergency response, or similar experience. Applicants must possess a current IHMM CHMM or CSHM credential.


College Transcript

Your official transcript or diploma must be uploaded to your application before it can be submitted. To find out whether a college in the U.S. is accredited, check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Degrees from colleges or universities outside of the U.S. are acceptable if they are documented as equivalent to a BS/BA degree issued in the U.S. Candidates with degrees from colleges and universities outside of the U.S. must upload a copy of their statement of equivalency from a recognized evaluating agency. For a list of recognized agencies, see https://www.naces.org/members. Once there, select an entity under CURRENT MEMBERS, and then do your research on your degree.


Relevant Experience

Relevant experience [if experience is used] includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  • Demonstrated experience in pandemic preparedness, emergency response, or similar experience.


Submit an Application, Pay the Application Fee

Submit an application and pay the application fee. See below under Let’s Start Your Application! There is also a fee for the test and, if you pass, an annual maintenance fee. If you need assistance with the CPPS application contact Kaylene Cagle at [email protected] or call 928-247-6458.


Move on to Schedule and Take the Examination

Having submitted your application, paid your application fee, and been approved, then you move on to purchase your examination. Move down to the next section of this site for information about taking the exam. If you need assistance with the CPPS examination contact Kaylene Cagle at [email protected] or call 928-247-6458.

Examination Preparation

Having successfully completed and submitted your application and paid your application fee, then you move on to request to take your examination and pay the examination fee. The IHMM staff member who assisted you with the application will now also assist you with paying for and scheduling your examination.

Candidates need to be familiar with relevant laws and regulations, relevant scientific principles and their application, and best management practices. Many candidates attend overview courses or use self-study materials to prepare for the examination. IHMM does not require any specific type of exam preparation or training and the exams are not based on any single reference.

IHMM credentialing programs and examinations are based on an Exam Specifications “blueprint.” The blueprints govern the competency requirements for each credential and provide the outline of topics for the examinations. Examination questions are developed from the blueprints and applicants base their examination study on the blueprint.

 Please see the Candidate Handbook for additional information

CPPS Blueprint

The CPPS examination is a testing instrument designed to evaluate candidates seeking professional certification in the field of pandemic preparedness. This Specification Blueprint is intended to offer guidance to candidates by outlining reasonably expected duties and tasks based on surveys of what pandemic preparedness specialist’s do in practice. As your CPPS examination is drawn directly from the CPPS blueprint, if you understand the blueprint you will understand what is on your CPPS examination.

and Recognition

The IHMM CPPS is not yet accredited by a third-party accreditation agency.

Apply or Pay a Fee

If you are a first-time user and want to make an application to take an exam, or if you are an existing certificant wanting to pay a fee, everything is done through our online Portal MYIHMM.

Existing certificants use their username/password to log in. New users can create an account and then apply. If you need assistance in any way, please contact Kortney Tunstall at [email protected], Rosie Wilson at [email protected], or Kaylene Cagle at [email protected]. One of them will be glad to help you.

When you have your user/pass and can enter MYIHMM, Click on MENU and you will see this display. Select what You want to do from the menu and proceed…

A collaborative culture is important for every business but is especially important for our hazardous materials, dangerous goods, environment, health and safety communities of practice. IHMM credentialed professionals are at the top 1% of their professions and their reach is global. We are at the forefront of environmental protection, health, and safety and this is where collaborating with the best people in their fields, always willing to help one another, lessens the stress of our jobs and where we strive as a team to make a difference of which we are proud.

Policies and
Code of Ethics

Per the guidance of our accreditation authorities and our internal leadership, IHMM has a variety of policies that bear on our impartiality, our Code of Ethics, our regard for the privacy of your information and data, nondiscrimination, and additional federal guidelines for access to our tests and facilities. Everyone needs to be familiar with these policies as every applicant will be asked to affirm having read, understood, and agrees to be bound by all of these policies in the application process.

Recertification of Your Credential

Congratulations. After hard work and dedication, you earned your professional credential. Now, every 5 years you will need to recertify your valuable credential. Over 5 years you need to earn 200 certification maintenance points or CMPs. You receive 100 CMPs for the job you perform, and then need to earn a minimum of another 100 CMPs in a variety of ways demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement and remaining current with the demands of your profession and our communities of practice. For the CPPS microcredential the certificant will need to earn 50 CMPs over 5 years to recertify it, and all 50 CMPs earned are also creditable toward the certificant’s CHMM or CSHM recertification.

Considering everything you did to achieve certification, don’t let it go to waste by failing to recertify.

IHMM will remind you, fairly often, about your impending recertification deadline. If you follow the steps outlined below you will find this process fairly easy to accomplish. Start with the advice in Step #1!

Step 1

Be proactive and enter your CMPs as you earn them. CMPs must be claimed following the guidelines in the IHMM Recertification Handbook.

Step 2

In your MYIHMM account, start your recertification application now to track CMPs as you go. Go to MYIHMM > then MENU > then Recertification > then Create a New Recertification Application.

Step 3

Keep your employment status and professional information current in your MYIHMM account. Please make sure your annual fees are also up-to-date.

Step 4

In your 5th year, make sure all information is correct, confirm your minimum of 200 CMPs, and submit application. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you along the way, too!

Step 5

Audits. Keep records of employment and CMPs requested. We may check in from time to time to assure accuracy.

Following these simple steps will make your recertification simple and easy to complete. Go to your online MYIHMM account, using your unique username and password.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Jimmy Nguyen at [email protected] or Jelian Labri at [email protected] and someone will assist you.

IHMM Recertification Videos

IHMM has prepared these step-by-step videos for you to watch as you prepare your recertification application. Start with Video #1 and then move on to Video #2.

Recertification Video #1 – Start Here
Recertification Video #2 – Finish Here


An individual who previously held an IHMM certification that has not been decertified on ethical grounds may apply to have his or her certification reinstated if their annual fees have been expired for less than five (5) years and/or their decertified certification has been expired for less than five (5) years.

If either condition is not met, the individual must go through the full certification process to become certified again.

Reinstatement is not a reversal of decertification. All time in service is lost at the time of decertification. For more information regarding the reversal of decertification, please refer to IHMM’s Decertification Appeal Policy.

Evidence of knowing continued use of a decertified certification after having been provided notice of decertification by IHMM is a violation of your certification agreement and is unethical, and will render the individual ineligible for reinstatement.