As health care braces for yet more change, I'd like to remind environmental services (ES) professionals about the importance of being at the forefront of professional knowledge and leadership. The Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional (CHESP) designation is an American Hospital Association (AHA) credential with national recognition for quality, making it the hallmark for ES leadership.

The CHESP exam is a knowledge-based program that exceeds competency assessment standards and is open to everyone meeting the eligibility requirements. A professional is eligible to test if a combination of field experience and education is met as indicated in the CHESP Candidate Handbook.

ASHES offers a plethora of opportunities to prepare for the exam. These programs coach and help candidates study the required knowledge-base areas to demonstrate that they have mastered the content. Comprehensive options include peer-led online study groups, a review guide and an annual conference review session that zeroes in on the intimidation factor.

Which program should you take? The best counsel I can offer is to select the learning style that best suits you. If face-to-face learning with interaction is best, then choose the conference session; if self-directed study is your style, the online self program is for you; if you're a seasoned veteran, the review guide might be all you need. Whatever the case, get out front and take the test!

Once an ES professional has taken the exam, he or she feels a real sense of pride and accomplishment. I often hear from new CHESPs that they are pleased with the career development doors CHESP has opened. And the CHESP breakfast at the annual conference offers collegiality, recognition and a sense of status.

ASHES also offers ongoing education opportunities that provide continuing professional education (CPE) credits required over three years to maintain the credential. The easiest way to acquire CPEs is to attend the annual conference each year. The conference typically offers 15 contact hours, usually more. What better way to learn, earn and interact at the same time?

Whatever stage you are at in your career, it's never too late to set yourself apart as the most qualified by achieving CHESP and the AHA mark of distinction. Visit to see what the AHA certification center has to offer you!

Fiona Nemetz, CHESP
Director of Environmental Services, Transport, Safety and Parking
Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta

Sidebar - ASHES insight

Plan now for the annual conference

Make ASHES' Annual Conference & Healthcare Marketplace your most important destination this year!

Get motivated with innovative, multidisciplinary education sessions. Discover advanced technologies and solutions by visiting the exhibits. Acquire new contacts, exchange ideas with colleagues and enjoy multifaceted activities in a relaxing environment. Expand your knowledge and integrate fresh ideas into your work.

It will be held Sept. 26-30 in Nashville, Tenn., with exhibition dates on Sept. 27 and 28. For more information, go to

ASHES offers online CHESP study group

ASHES is offering an online Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional (CHESP) Study Group, which will start on April 26 and last six weeks. CHESP candidates or potential candidates will collaborate, interact, review material and help each other prepare for the exam. It focuses on the following content areas: Regulatory Compliance, Design and Construction, Environmental Sanitation, Waste Management, Textile Management, and Finance and Administration. For more information, visit