What was the process used for updating the HEC-C® Examination Content Outline?

HEC-C Certification Commission® (the Commission) policy requires that the HEC-C program undergo a role delineation study every 5 years. The first HEC-C role delineation study took place in 2017 and was the foundation for building the HEC-C program. National standards for certification programs stipulate that role delineation studies should be repeated with a frequency to match the changes in the field being certified. For the HEC-C program, this frequency has been set at every five years. Accordingly, a second study was conducted in 2022 when the Commission assembled the HEC-C Role Delineation Task Force, a group of subject matter experts in the industry to discuss and identify the key roles and responsibilities of the Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C). The results of this process are used to guide the ongoing development of the HEC-C examination.

The 2022 HEC-C Role Delineation Task Force identified 14 tasks that are critical to the role of the HEC-C. These tasks were then grouped together into four (4) major topics called domains. The group also agreed upon the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competence for each of the 14 tasks. A validation survey was conducted to validate the domains, tasks, and skills identified by the task force. The survey was sent to 628 current HEC-Cs with a response rate close to 30%. Those surveyed were asked to confirm that the proposed domains and 14 tasks identified in the Role Delineation Study accurately reflected the work of a healthcare ethics consultant (not limited to their own job, but their understanding of the broad population of healthcare ethics consultants).

The results of the survey validated the recommendations of the HEC-C Role Delineation Task Force. This conclusion means that the domains, tasks, and knowledge and skill areas developed by the panel constitute an accurate definition of competent practice as a HEC-C.


8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60631
Contact Us

 © American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; The HCEC Certification Commission is a body created and funded by the ASBH that has autonomous decision-making control over essential elements of the certification program.