Healthy Homes Specialist (HHS) Credential


HHS Credential Exam and Application Information

In 2013, the National Environmental Health Association undertook the process of a Job Task Analysis to refresh and update the HHS examination. Subject Matter Experts were used to develop a new, up-to-date, relevant exam.

Few professional fields are growing and changing as rapidly as environmental health. Attainment of the HHS credential demonstrates professional direction, achievement and the knowledge to carry out functions and duties of a technical nature in a responsible manner.

The HHS exam tests your understanding of the connection between health and housing, enabling you to take a holistic approach to identify and resolve problems that threaten the health and well-being of residents and was developed in partnership with the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH).

National Environmental Health Association - NEHA - Logo   Healthy Housing Logo


The HHS Credential exam and application information can be viewed / printed by the subcategories below:

Is the HHS Credential right for you?

Health Homes Specialist - HHS CredentialIf you are a professional in one of the groups below, you may be interested attaining the Healthy Homes Specialist credential:

  1. Individuals who have been certified or licensed as lead risk assessors, radon measurement professionals, or mold professionals—These individuals have developed a basic expertise in a specific environmental hazard in the home and are interested in expanding their capabilities and services.

  2. Registered Environmental Health Specialists seeking to demonstrate their experience and expertise in housing.

  3. Public Health Nurses seeking to document their expertise in healthy homes.

  4. Health department and housing agency staff seeking to document their expertise in healthy homes or better position their agencies to receive U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Healthy Homes grants.

  5. Licensed pest management professionals seeking to expand their services—Resolving pest problems using integrated pest management techniques essentially relies on a knowledge base similar that of the Healthy Homes Practitioner.

  6. Certified home inspectors seeking to expand their business by adding healthy homes to their standard services. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to take the Healthy Homes Specialist exam, you must complete the Application for Healthy Homes Specialist (HSS) Credential and meet the following criteria:

  1. Be at least 21 years old;

  2. Have five years of experience in housing, environmental health or public health. 

Exam / Application Fees

 

  Member Rate Non-MemberRate
Application Fee $50.00 $85.00
Examination Fee $125.00 $225.00
Pearson VUE Fee $100.00 $100.00

 

Application

Applications must be completed and returned to NEHA for review at least 4 weeks prior to the exam date. If an application is received less than 4 weeks prior to when an examination is being given you may have to schedule the exam for another date.

You may complete the application NEHA Application for Health Homes Specialist Credential

The paper application should include:

  1. Completed NEHA Application for Health Homes Specialist Credential

  2. Work Experience Verification Form

  3. Signed code of ethics

  4. Signed professional conduct questions

  5. Signed Statement of Affirmation

  6. Appropriate fees

  7. Third party review (applicable for foreign candidates only)

Exam Content Outline

The Healthy Homes Specialist Credential examination consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. Of the 75 questions, 10  questions are unscored, pilot items. Candidates will not be made aware  of which questions are pilot items. You are given two (2) hours to complete the examination.

 

The following represents the exam content:

 

 

Duties and Tasks

Final Weightings

Number of Items

A

Outreach, Identification, and Intake of Clients

12.00%

8

1

Identify Community Partners and Resources

2%

1

2

Promote Healthy Homes Concepts and Programs

2%

1

3

Define Target Population

2%

2

4

Determine Community Housing-Related Health Needs

2%

1

5

Screen Households for Eligibility

1%

1

6

Educate Stakeholders about Healthy Homes Concepts and Principles

3%

2

B

Interface with Household and/or Building Rep

20.00%

13

1

Orient Household to Program Process

2%

1

2

Obtain Confidentiality Agreements and Other Releases

1%

1

3

Perform Structured Interview (i.e. Survey)

1%

1

4

Perform Open-Ended Interview (Occupant-Specific)

3%

1

5

Record Occupant Observations About the Property

1%

1

6

Document Special/Unmet Needs

1%

1

7

Record Observations about Tenant and Building Representative Behavior

1%

1

8

Record Building History from the Building Representative

3%

1

9

Outline Risks and Liabilities to Building Representative

3%

2

10

Instruct Occupant and/or Building Representative on Short Term Corrective Actions

3%

2

11

Conduct Review and Recap Interview Activities

1%

1

C

Physical Environment Assessment

30.00%

19

1

Review Property Records

1%

1

2

Schedule a Site Visit

1%

1

3

Conduct an Exterior Walk-Through

3%

2

4

Determine an Interior Walk-Through Plan

3%

2

5

Assess Cleanliness and Cleanability

2%

1

6

Perform Assessment for Moisture Problems

4%

2

7

Inspect for Evidence of Pests

3%

2

8

Conduct Safety Evaluation

3%

2

9

Assess Presence of Contaminants

4%

2

10

Assess Mechanical Ventilation Function

3%

2

11

Evaluate Thermal Conditions

3%

2

D

Synthesize Building and Client Findings and Provide Conclusions and Recommendations

15.00%

10

1

Analyze and Interpret Findings

7%

5

2

Create a List of Occupant and/or Building Representative Interventions

5%

3

3

Evaluate SOW of Physical Structures

3%

2

E

Implementation of Interventions

15.00%

10

1

Provide Intervention Resources to Occupants

5%

3

2

Monitor Occupant Participation

3%

2

3

Monitor Bid Process and Contracting

1%

1

4

Monitor Construction Process

2%

2

5

Execute Close-Out Procedures

4%

2

F

Evaluation of Project

8.00%

5

1

Conduct Follow-up Inspection

5%

3

2

Measure and Disseminate Program Results

3%

2

 

Total

100.00%

65

 

 

Admission to the Exam

PEARSON VUE COMPUTER TESTING CANDIDATES:

NEHA will email you an authorization letter when your application is processed as approved. The letter will have your Pearson VUE ID number and the Pearson VUE website to schedule a testing time.  On test day please bring your photo identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport).

 

PAPER AND PENCIL EXAMS:

NEHA will send an admission ticket approximately 2 weeks prior to your test date. The admission ticket will detail the exam date and location, reporting time, and starting time. Those that do not appear on the date of the exam at the appropriate time will forfeit all exam fees. Persons arriving after the examination has started may not be admitted.

If you lost your admission ticket or have not received an admission ticket at least 2 days prior to the test date, please contact NEHA immediately. Only approved candidates will be admitted to the exam. No walk-in applicants will be admitted.

On test day please bring with you your admission ticket, photo identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport), and sharpened #2 pencils.

Exam Schedule and Locations

Candidates can choose to schedule the HHS examination in several different ways:

  1. National Healthy Homes Training Center provided by the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) offers the exam several times a year in different locations.  Go to the NCHH’s website for dates and locations for the exam at
    http://healthyhousingsolutions.com/hhtc/healthy-homes-specialist-credential/  
  1. Candidates can choose to take the exam on computer through Pearson VUE By choosing this option candidates can schedule the examination at their convenience at one of Pearson VUE's testing locations nationwide. To find a Pearson VUE testing center near you please visit .  Taking the exam at Pearson VUE not only offers the candidate flexibility in scheduling the exam, but also allows the candidate to receive his/her scores immediately following the conclusion of the exam.
  1. Special test sites may be arranged through NEHA in cooperation with its test vendor, PTI. In order to accommodate requests for special test sites, arrangements must be made a minimum of 4-6 weeks prior to the requested date. The fee to set up a special test site is $350.00. For groups of 10 or more, the special test site fee is waived. Please complete the Special Test Site Request form (Appendix A) and return it to NEHA with your application.

Scores

The NEHA HHS examination will report scores using scaled scores that range from 0 to 900 with a passing score of 650. The raw passing score is mathematically transformed so that the passing scaled score equals 650. This process is similar to the way one adjusts Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales. While the values may differ the temperatures are the same. For example, water boils at the same temperature regardless of the scale used.

Candidates who pass the examination will earn scaled scores of 650 and above, and those who fail will earn a scaled score between 0 and 649. A scaled score is NOT a percentage score. In summary, a scaled score is merely a transformation of a raw score. Scaling is done to report comparable results when forms and raw passing scores vary over time. Your score will be based on the number of questions answered correctly. If you are unsure of the answer, it is better to guess. You will not be given credit for any question left blank.

Exam results will be released 4-6 weeks after the administration of the exam.

Special Accommodations

Special Accommodations for Candidates with Disabilities or Impairments

NEHA is committed to ensuring that no individual is deprived of the opportunity to take a credentialing examination solely by reason of a disability or impairment. All test centers are fully accessible and compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

To make a request for special accommodations you must complete the Accommodation Request Form and Documentation of Disability Related Needs Form including the specific diagnosis of your disability; medical records, or other written proof of the diagnosis by an appropriate licensed professional; and the type of accommodation being requested.  All form and documentation must be returned to NEHA at least 8 weeks prior to the scheduled test date. To receive a copy of the form please contact Credentialing@neha.org.

If the forms are not returned to NEHA within 8 weeks prior to the scheduled test date your request for special accommodations may not be honored or may be delayed. 

With respect to all matters related to testing accommodations, NEHA will only communicate with the candidate, professionals knowledgeable about the candidate’s disability or impairment, and the candidate’s authorized representative (if applicable).

 

Recommended Study References

  1. Student materials from the Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners course, located at: http://healthyhousingsolutions.com/training-course/ehhp  
     

  2. Housing Interventions and Health: A Review of the Evidence located at: http://www.nchh.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2lvaEDNBIdU%3d&tabid=229
     

  3. Student materials from Healthy Homes Assessment: Principles and Practice course, located at:  http://healthyhousingsolutions.com/training-course/hhapp 
     

  4. The Pediatric Environmental Home Assessment training, located at: http://inter.viewcentral.com/events/cust/catalog.aspx?cid=hhs&pid=1 
     

  5. Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health Objectives (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), located at: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/environmental-health/objectives  (scroll down to the Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities objectives)
     

  6. American Housing Survey (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development), located at: http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html.
     

  7. Institute of Medicine Report: Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures, located at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309064961.
     

  8. Institute of Medicine Report: Damp Indoor Spaces and Health, located at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309091934.
     

  9. Information on Lead poisoning and the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, located at: http://www2.epa.gov/lead.
     

  10. Information on Integrated Pest Management, located at: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/ipm.htm.
     

  11. Healthy Homes Issues: Residential Assessment, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Healthy Homes Initiative Background Information, Version 2, March 2006 located at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_12486.pdf.
     

  12. World Health Organization Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality, Dampness and Mold, 2009. Located at: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43325/E92645.pdf.
     

  13. Healthy Homes Program Guidance Manual, July 2012, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Located at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=hhpgm_final_ch1.pdf.
     

  14. Healthy Housing Reference Manual, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006. Located at: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/housing_ref_manual_2012.pdf

Credentialing Handbook

It is strongly recommended that you read NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook: Guide to Policies and Procedures for NEHA’s Credentialing Programs. This handbook  outlines all the policies you are expected to follow by being a NEHA credential holder. The handbook also outlines in further detail the procedures for applying for a credential, submitting continuing education, and maintaining your credential.

If you would like to request a hardcopy of NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook, please contact the Credentialing Department at (303) 756-9090 ext. 310, or email credentialing@neha.org.

 

Credential Maintenance

Once you have obtained the HHS credential you must maintain it. To keep your credential in good standing you must:

1.    Earn a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education every two years; and

2.   Submit renewal fees for your credential every two years ($125.00 members; $255.00 non-members).