Setting the Standard
Leading the Way in Health Physics Certification Since 1958
The American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) and the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) are the worldwide leaders in certifying and representing top-tier health physicists.
Our globally recognized certification process guarantees that all certified members meet the highest standards of radiation expertise and offer unmatched capabilities in providing innovative solutions to complex radiation-related challenges in varying industries.
Our certification is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our professionals, who have maintained the highest standards of excellence for over six decades.
Tracing Our Health Physics Certification Legacy
Shortly after its organization, the Health Physics Society (the Society) established a Committee to study the need for certification of health physicists and to develop plans for certification if this appeared to be desirable. After an intensive study, the Committee recommended that an American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) be established to develop standards and procedures, to examine candidates, and to issue written proof of certification to individuals who have satisfied the requirements established by the ABHP. The Board of Directors of the Society decided that these recommendations had merit and appointed a temporary ABHP on November 8, 1958.
The temporary ABHP developed a set of minimum requirements for certification after carefully reviewing the professional background of 100 selected individuals believed to be representative of those recognized as competent health physicists, and submitted them to the membership of the Society for comment. At the Annual Meeting of the Society in June 1959, the matter was discussed in an open meeting and there was general support for the plan. The Board of Directors of the Society formally established the ABHP by approving an amendment to the Bylaws of the Society on October 29, 1959. The ABHP was incorporated in the State of New York in December,1960.
The ABHP Certification Program has been evolving throughout its history. In 1977 a continuing Certification Program was initiated. By 1981 the program had grown to the point an Executive Secretary was hired to carry out the day-to-day efforts and to maintain the permanent records. The size and maturity of the certification program prompted the ABHP to suggest a further step in this evolving process. In response to the ABHP's belief that the growing body of Certified Health Physicists (CHPs) should have more input and participation in the certification program, efforts were initiated in 1982 to create an American Academy of Health Physics. The Academy is not intended to duplicate the activities of the Health Physics Society. In 1994, the corporate structures of the ABHP and the Academy were consolidated.
In 1978, a specialty certification for Power Reactor Health Physics was developed. The Power Reactor Health Physics specialty certification was discontinued in 1993. All persons previously certified in this specialty were recertified in the same manner as comprehensively-certified CHPs. Since 1997, the roster of Active Certified Health Physicists has not indicated any dual or specialty certifications. To encourage participation in the certification program and recognize the attainment of Certification is a process of professional development, the Academy established an Associate Member category in 1991 to recognize those professionals who have successfully completed one part of the Certification Examination. In 2000 the Certification Examination Part II bank of questions was closed to the public. This was to allow for reuse of well-performing questions in further examinations.
The Power Reactor Health Physics specialty certification was discontinued in 1993. All persons previously certified in this specialty are recertified in the same manner as comprehensive-certified CHPs. After 1997, the roster of Active Certified Health Physicists will not indicate any dual or specialty certifications. In 1994, the corporate structures of the ABHP and the Academy were consolidated. To encourage participation in the certification program and recognize that the attainment of Certification is a process of professional development, the Academy established an Associate Member category in 1991 to recognize those professionals who have successfully completed one part of the Certification Examination. This category of membership recognizes a significant accomplishment in the professional development of health physicists.
A more detailed history of the American Board of Health Physics was written in 1994 by Frazier Bronson, CHP, for the journal Health Physics. With kind permission from the publisher, free access to download the article may be found here: https://journals.lww.com/health-physics/Abstract/1994/11000/American_Board_of_Health_Physics__The_First_35.1.aspx.
With reproduction permission from Sheridan Press, please also find this article:“History of the American Board of Health Physics”
American Journal of Public Health
February 1972; 62(2): 247-251
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