Applicants

Applicant FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Applications

  1. What does a CHMM do? A CHMP?
  2. How many CHMMs and CHMPs are there?
  3. What professional/ethical standards are IHMM's certificants bound by?
  4. Why should I consider certification?
  5. I am already a PE/RPG/CSP/CIH, etc. Why would I want to add CHMM to my credentials?
  6. How and by whom is the CHMM and CHMP programs administered?
  7. Are the CHMM and CHMP Programs accredited?
  8. What companies or government agencies recognize the CHMM credential?
  9. Are there different levels of certification?
  10. Do I have to start at the lowest level?
  11. How much does it cost to become certified?
  12. When will there be an exam near me?
  13. Can I take the exam as a walk-in?
  14. I already registered for the overview course. Doesn't that mean I'm also registered for the exam?
  15. How can I find out where overview courses are being given?
  16. There is no overview course being given near me. Are there other options?
  17. I don't need/want to take a course. Can I still take the exam?
  18. Does my degree in _______ qualify?
  19. Can I upload a photocopy of my official transcript?
  20. I attended more than one college/I have more than one degree; do you need all the transcripts?
  21. Does a degree from a foreign college or university qualify?
  22. Can I take the exam if I don't have a baccalaureate degree?
  23. What is "relevant" experience? Does my experience as _______ qualify?
  24. I did an internship in college. Will that count toward my experience requirement?
  25. What should I study for the exam?
  26. How do I reschedule my exam?
  27. What is the test like? How long is it?
  28. Do you have practice questions or tests?
  29. Do I have to pass each section of the test in order to pass the entire exam?
  30. Is there any penalty for wrong answers?
  31. Can I use a calculator at the exam?
  32. When will I find out if I passed? Can I find out over the phone?
  33. If I fail the test, can I take it again? How many times?
  34. Are fees refundable if, for some reason, I cannot take the exam?
  35. When I pass the test, I'm certified, right?
  36. I obtained a Certificate in Hazardous Materials Management from the University of California, so I am a CHMM, right?
  37. Do you have any programs available for students?
  38. Where can I learn to be a hazardous materials manager?
What does a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) do?
A CHMM handles, manages, or advises others on hazardous materials or situations associated with or potentially including such items. A CHMM may perform management and/or compliance duties for a corporation, business, government, or some other organization in this capacity, or work in a related field associated with hazardous materials such as environmental protection, safety, hazmat transportation, or security. Any time hazardous materials are involved, a CHMM professional can advise on proper handling and management for ensuring safety and compliance.
What does a Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) do?
The CHMP is a person experienced in handling hazardous materials in a wide variety of specialties, such as environmental protection, emergency response, safety, transportation, and security. CHMPs have experience in packing, shipping, tracking or securing hazardous articles; responding to spills; and/or cleaning up contaminated sites. The CHMP certification is related to the CHMM, but focuses more on hands-on or workplace experience as a practitioner and less on the management aspects of the field. The certification is designed for hazardous materials workers with at least 5 years of relevant experience but no BA/BS degree.
How many CHMMs and CHMPs are there?
Over 16,000 CHMMs have been certified (as of January 1, 2013), and about 6000 remain currently active. The CHMP credential was launched in 2007, and the first certificants were named in 2008. As of May 1, 2009, there are approximately 50 CHMPs. 
What professional/ethical standards are IHMM's certificants bound by?
Every CHMM, CHMP & CDGP is bound by a Code of Ethics. Certification is granted only after the candidate pledges to abide by the Code of Ethics in their application.  Suspected violations of the Code of Ethics are investigated by the IHMM's Professional Standards Committee.  To report a violation of a Code of Ethics, download this form, fill it out, and submit it to IHMM.
Why should I consider certification?
Certification identifies individuals with the professional qualifications and expertise needed to handle, manage, and consult on matters relating to hazardous materials. Professional credentials serve as an independent validation of your proficiency in this interdisciplinary field.
Being certified can advance your career, enhance your employment status, and improve your chances of landing a better job. Employers understand that mishandling or mismanagement of hazardous materials can quickly become a critical element in the success or failure of a business. They depend on proven credentials like the CHMM, CHMP & CDGP to help identify those who are best qualified for the job.
I am already a PE/RPG/CSP/CIH, etc. Why would I want to add CHMM to my credentials?
The CHMM is a multidisciplinary credential. Management of hazardous materials intersects and cuts across the fields of engineering, geology, safety and industrial hygiene. It also encompasses facets of public health, transportation, homeland security, and other fields as well. The CHMM does not attempt to replace these other credentials. Rather, adding the CHMM to your list of accomplishments shows that you have the knowledge and skills to recognize and resolve hazardous materials issues wherever they occur.
How and by whom are IHMM programs administered?
IHMM programs are administered by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) located in Rockville, Maryland.  Applications are completed by candidates online. After passing the examination, the Institute reviews the application for eligibility and completeness. Those meeting the eligibility requirements (experience and academic) are then certified. IHMM issues a certificate to the candidate. The Institute's Executive Office is the office of record for all active certificants' documents, eligibility information, examination results, and official correspondence, as well as contact and financial data.
Are the CHMM, CHMP & CDGP programs accredited?
Yes. The Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM®), the Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) and the Certified Dangerous Goods Professional (CDGP) credentials are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which meets ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, the International Standard for Personnel Certification Programs.  Additionally, both CHMM and CHMP credentials are accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB), which meets ASTM Standard E 1929-98 for Personnel Certification Programs.
What companies or government agencies recognize the CHMM credential?
Federal and state governments and many private businesses across the country recognize the value of the CHMM certification and some require it in the performance of certain types of work. These organizationsinclude: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Cleanup Star Program); State of Connecticut (Aquifer Protection Program); State of Indiana (Soil Remediation and Underground Storage Tank (UST) Closure Projects); State of Kentucky (Department of Environmental Protection); State of New York (as Qualified Environmental Professionals); U.S. Air Force; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. National Park Service; FDIC; General Motors; Delphi; ENSR; Teris; PSE&G; 3E; and MECx. In addition, the Veterans Administration recognizes the CHMM credential and will reimburse veterans and their eligible dependents for the cost of the CHMM exam.
Are there different levels of certification?
No. The CHMM credential was previously awarded at either the Senior or the Master level depending upon the amount of experience achieved.  However, this distinction has been discontinued as of March 2008.
Do I have to start at the lowest level?
No. If you have the requisite amount of experience, you should apply for the CHMM credential, not the HMMT designation. 
How much does it cost to become certified?
The current total cost of the certification process for both CHMM, CHMP & CDGP is $535. This includes a $175 nonrefundable application fee and a $360 examination fee. After passing the exam, there is an annual certification maintenance fee due at the beginning of the second certification year of $140 and each year after through the five year certification cycle. Optional expenses include: purchase of the book Managing Hazardous Materials and/or other study guide(s), and attending an overview course.
When will there be an exam near me?
All IHMM examinations art offered on an on-going basis via computer-based testing (CBT) delivered through proctored Kryterion HOST® sites. Once your application is approved, you will receive information on how to register and select the location of your choice.
Can I take the exam as a walk-in?
No. Your application must be reviewed to determine eligibility prior to taking the exam. If you have not received a notice of your eligibility and a registration code from IHMM, you will not be able to take the exam.
I already registered for an Essentials of Hazardous Materials Management course. Doesn't that mean I'm also registered for the exam?
No. The EHMM course is offered as a training option separate from the examination. You must apply separately to IHMM to take the CHMM, CHMP or CDGP examination.
How can I find out where courses are being given?
IHMM announces professional development activities for current offerings that have been provided to us. There may also be other courses of which we are not aware.
There is no course being given near me.  Are there other options?
Online courses are available from many sources, including the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals. There are self-study resources available.  IHMM cannot and does not authorize, accredit, oversee, or endorse any specific course. 
I don't need/want to take a course. Can I still take the exam?
Yes. The certification examinations are administered independently of any training. Taking a course is optional.
Does my degree in _______ qualify?
Maybe. Eligibility requirements for the CHMM include having a baccalaureate degree in hazardous materials management or a related field. Related fields include (but are not limited to): biology, chemistry, geology, engineering, environmental science, management, physics, safety, and industrial hygiene. For the CHMP, the Associate of Applied Science degree must be in Hazardous Materials, Environmental Studies, Environmental Management, or a similar field.  Contact the IHMM Office if you wish to discuss your specific background.
Can I upload photocopy of my official transcript?
IHMM now permits candidates to upload photocopies of college transcripts and diplomas as proof of achievement of a baccalaureate degree or higher. Any proof of enrollment must be from an accredited college or university. If a CHMP candidate is claiming eligibility on the basis of an AAS degree plus experience, that transcript (or copy of) must be uploaded before the candidate can register for the examination. 
I attended more than one college/I have more than one degree; do you need all the transcripts?
No. If you have more than one degree, it is preferable to submit the transcript for the one that reflects coursework most closely aligned with the requirements of the credential.  
Does a degree from a foreign college or university qualify?
Degrees acquired through foreign colleges or universities are acceptable if they are documented as equivalent to a BS/BA degree issued in the United States. An equivalency report can be obtained from any NACES-approved organization (such as World Educational Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Foreign Academic Credential Service, and others). 
 
If an applicant also holds a degree which will meet the requirements from an accredited U.S. college or university, only the document from the accredited U.S. institution needs to be submitted in most cases, and a degree equivalency report will not be required.  (For example, if your foreign B.S. degree was accepted for your admission to a Master's program at an accredited U.S. university, upload the transcript from the U.S. institution. IHMM will contact you if that is not sufficient for some reason.) 
Can I take the CHMM exam if I don't have a baccalaureate degree?
No. The baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement for the CHMM exam. However, the Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) and Certified Dangerous Good Professional (CDGP) are available for non-degreed applicants.
What is "relevant" experience? Does my experience as _______ qualify?
Relevant experience is associated with a work practice that demonstrates the use of knowledge in the field. Experience that seems to be outside of the field may qualify if it relates or contributes to management of hazardous materials. For example, if one's experience as a cost manager is applied to the management of a hazardous waste disposal site, it may qualify as relevant experience.
I did an internship in college. Will that count toward my experience requirement?
Maybe. It must have been valid work in a relevant field and it must NOT have been counted for credit toward your BS/BA degree.
What should I study for the CHMM or CHMP exam?
Review the examination specifications table or 'blueprint' to determine the areas that may be covered. The book Managing Hazardous Materials covers many, but not all, of the areas of the blueprint. The candidate must also be familiar with relevant U.S. federal laws and regulations. There is no single source of study for the exam, and much must come from experience in the field and maturity of judgment.
How do I reschedule my exam?
Login to www.webassessor.com, click details to view information on your current registration, then click the reschedule button. Test takers can reschedule themselves as long as they do so at least 72 hours before their schedule exam. If a test taker reschedules less than 72 hours from their appointment, there will be a $100 rescheduling fee.

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What is the test like? How long is it?
All IHMM examinations will be offered via computer-based testing (CBT). The CHMM and CHMP must be completed within three hours and the CDGP must be completed in 3.5 hours. The CHMM examination consists of 140** items; the CHMP exam has 120 items; the CDGP exam has 100 questions. 
 
**Starting on 15 July 2015 and for the next three to six months, the exam length will increase by 21 questions while IHMM gathers performance data on the new questions for future use to improve alignment with the Blueprint.  In the interim, these new questions will not be counted towards your score and will in no way adversely impact you.
Do you have practice questions or tests?
No. IHMM does not issue study or practice questions, but many course providers and web sites offer such information. (See the Resources section of this site.)
Do I have to pass each section of the test in order to pass the entire exam?
No. Your overall score is used as the basis for determining your pass/fail outcome.
Is there any penalty for wrong answers?
No. Your attempt at answering all questions will only improve your chances of obtaining a passing score.
Can I use a calculator at the exam?
Yes, but only a four-function or nonprogrammable scientific calculator may be used. Calculators into which the user may enter and retrieve information are not allowed.
When will I find out if I passed? Can I find out over the phone?
Examination results will not be discussed over phone. Candidates will recieve unoffical results at the testing center immediately following subission of their examination. Official results will be sent via e-mail within 3 weeks of the exam date.
If your application to take an examination is denied, or if you are denied certification after passing the examination, you may appeal to the IHMM Executive Director.  Submit your appeal via email with all relevant documentation to the address on your notice of denial within 60 days of the date on your notice.
If I fail the test, can I take it again? How many times?
Yes. You may schedule retake the test immediately after your offical results emailing containg your score breakdown report. However, after a third failure, a candidate must wait a full year from the last attempt and submit a new application and pay full fees before trying again. He or she must also meet all the eligibility requirements then in effect.
Are fees refundable if, for some reason, I cannot take the exam?
Partially. The application fee is nonrefundable because of the time and effort that goes into processing the application.  If you register for an exam and then cancel before the cancellation deadline (72 hours prior to your exam date), part of your fee may be refunded.  If you miss the deadline, or if you simply fail to appear for the exam, your fee will be forfeited. 
When I pass the test, I'm certified, right?
Not yet. Passing the examination is a key element in becoming a CHMM, CHMP or CDGP. However, certification becomes official upon issuance of your numbered certificate. 
I obtained a Certificate in Hazardous Materials Management from the University of California, so I am a CHMM, right?
No. "CHMM" is a trademarked designation for "Certified Hazardous Materials Manager." Use of the designation by anyone who has not been certified by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) is a violation of trademark law.
The hazardous materials programs offered by the University of California are similar to mini-degree programs, but they are strictly academic. They issue a certificate of completion, not a certification! The CHMM program combines academics and experience as prerequisites, and requires that you pass the national CHMM examination. That is the only way to become a CHMM.
Do you have any programs available for students or recent graduates?
Not currently. IHMM previously had the HMMT program for students but it has been suspended until further notice. The Institute is re-working the program.
Where can I learn to be a hazardous materials manager?
Many colleges and universities offer degrees in hazardous materials management and/or related fields. Conferences and symposia across the country focus on hazardous materials and related issues. Self-study and specialty courses are available. One can attend professional presentations or engage in face-to-face dialogue with professionals in the field. Some businesses and government offices with engineering, environmental, safety, transportation, and security responsibilities offer entry-level jobs and provide job-related training. Consider volunteer work such as with your local fire department or attend meetings in your region relating to emergency response or disaster planning.  Attend a meeting of a local chapter of the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals.