Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified Program and Examination Information

Program Components

The HEC-C Program was designed to adhere to the standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA sets standards and accredits certification programs to ensure that they meet the established standards for structure and governance; characteristics of the certification program; and information that must be accessible to applicants, certificants, and the public. The HEC-C program will be eligible for NCCA accreditation and will apply as soon as feasible.

Successful HEC-C program participants achieve certification by demonstrating eligibility and earning a passing score on the HEC-C examination. The certification examination is administered in English and consists of 110 multiple choice questions—some of which are scenario-based. Candidates have three hours to complete the examination.

Application Information

Examination Development

The development of a valid, written multiple-choice examination for the HEC-C program began with a clear and concise definition of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for competent job performance. The HCEC Certification Commission worked with healthcare ethics consultants to delineate critical job components using interviews, surveys, observation, and group discussions. The knowledge and skill bases for the questions on the HEC-C examination were derived from the actual practice of healthcare ethics consultants as outlined in the ASBH 2017 Role Delineation Study.

Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified Candidate Handbook

The HEC-C examination candidate handbook contains the information you will need to apply for the HEC-C examination as well as the policies and procedures governing the program. Candidates are strongly encouraged to review this information prior to applying for the examination. Information in this handbook may be time sensitive and subject to change. Once you review the candidate handbook, complete the application process outlined on the Apply page.

Download the HEC-C candidate handbook

Passing Percentage per Testing Window

Testing Window# of Candidates# of Passing Candidates# of Failing CandidatesPassing Percentage
November 2018 138 136 2 98.6%
May 2019 74 73 1 98.6%
November 2019 80 80 0 100%
May 2020 46 45 1 97.8%
November 2020 72 69 3 95.8%
May 2021 82 82 0 100%
November 2021 54 52 2 96.3%
May 2022 70 67 3 96.2%
November 2022 83 82 1 98.7%

There are currently 710 HEC-Cs.

Learn More

For more information, view the eligibility requirements, the content outline, or how you can take the exam remotely.


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 Â© 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.