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 Examination Details

COVID-19 - See Announcement on the 2020 Exam Window

The 2020 ACHA Exam Testing Window is August 1-31. The computer-based exam is given at over 500 PSI Testing Centers across the globe. This ensures that all qualified candidates can easily access a testing site at a location and time that is convenient to them.

The examination is based on a content outline developed from a national survey of healthcare architects which identified tasks significant to practice. Examination questions are written by committee members and other practitioners to assess the knowledge and skills required to perform the identified tasks. No two exams are identical, although the content outline is constant (updated in 2019).

The objective examination consists of 120 multiple choice questions (100 scored and 20 non-scored pretest questions).  Applicants are presented with a question and are asked to choose the correct answer from multiple options. Pretesting questions allows examination committees to collect meaningful statistics about new questions that may appear as scored questions on future examinations.  These questions are not scored as part of the individual's pass/fail status. The pretest questions are scattered throughout the examination so applicants will answer them with the same care they would questions to be scored as part of the national examination. With pretesting methodology, applicants are ensured their scores are the result of sound measurement practices and that scored questions are reflective of current practice.

The passing score is identified based on analysis, once the examination window is complete. The score is based on the performance of the entire examination, not just individual content sections.  A letter will be mailed to examinees with their final exam result and score report by ACHA within 30 business days of the close of the Exam Testing Window.

Learn more in the Candidate Handbook.

Detailed Content Outline

The summary content outline was developed from the current ACHA Job Analysis. The number of questions on the examination from each content area is provided with each major content heading.

Click here​ for Detailed Content Outline (updated in 2019).


The list provided below is not mandatory reading nor is it intended to be inclusive of all materials that may be useful to you in preparing for the examination. These references do not necessarily include answers to all questions on the examination. Rather, it is intended to provide a guide to the nature of the material covered by the examination.

  • National Fire Protection Association. Specific codes and standards include NFPA 101: Life Safety Code current edition. Complete list of codes and standards available online at
  • The Joint Commission Accreditation Manuals
  • 2018 FGI Guidelines

AIA Learning ​​​Units

Applicants who take and pass the examination will receive 20 AIA Learning Units from ACHA. ​

American College of Healthcare Architects
4400 College Blvd Suite 220
Overland Park, KS 66211

Phone: 913-222-8653
Fax: 913-222-8606