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“My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.”

-Charles Dickens


  • Summarize how simulation is being used in the credentialing of healthcare personnel.

  • Identify the importance and value of certification in simulation.

  • Describe various requirements for using simulation to create a certification process that meets accreditation criteria.

  • Discuss the development and value of the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) certification program.

According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE; formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance), the term credentialing should be used as an “umbrella term to include professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation” (ICE, 2010, p. 1). Credentialing is an accepted part of life in academic and healthcare settings. The process of credentialing typically involves a systematic approach to verifying qualifications, including assessment of whether an individual has the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a specific position. A number of different credentialing methods have been established to meet the needs of various service sectors and professional disciplines, including licensure, accreditation, certificate programs, and certification (ICE, 2019a). In healthcare, simulation often plays an important role in each of these forms of credentialing. In addition, simulation is increasingly being used as a mechanism for assessment of personnel for the purpose of granting or retaining clinical privileges.


Licensure, according to ICE (2019a), “tests an individual's competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession” (p. 1). Many healthcare professions have multiple steps to obtain licensure, some of which involve the use of simulation to verify competencies or skills. For instance, a paramedic candidate is required to demonstrate competence by successfully completing a number of skill stations as part of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians practical examination. Upon successful completion of the skills assessment and a written examination, the candidate becomes a nationally registered paramedic and can submit the registry certificate to the home state as part of the process to become licensed.

The US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) also uses simulation as part of the process to obtain a license as a healthcare provider. This multiple-part examination assesses “the ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills” (USMLE, 2019, p. 1). A portion of this examination requires candidates to demonstrate their professional, interpersonal, and technical skills through the use of simulated patient encounters.


According to the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), accreditation is “a process whereby a professional organization grants recognition to a ...

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