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 Examination Details

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.

Testing Center Safety
  • PSI's health questionnaire will continue to be provided to the candidates prior to the examination. An update to the questionnaire is the mandate that ALL candidates must wear face masks at all times while in the test center. 
  • Candidates MUST complete the questionnaire and bring it with them on their testing day. If a candidate fails to bring the required questionnaire, one will be provided onsite.
  • If a candidate answers, “yes” to any of the first four questions, they will need to reschedule their exam. Candidates should not travel to the test center where they will be denied admission. We recommend that candidates use the self-service option or contact PSI via email to reschedule their exam.  
  • If a candidate fails to bring and wear a face mask during the examination, they will be requested to leave the test site.
  • Candidates will be requested to remove the face mask briefly during check-in to verify identity as well as capture the photograph of the candidate.
  • Candidates may wear gloves during the examination. Gloves will need to be examined by the test site administrator during check-in and check-out.  If a candidate chooses to wear gloves, they must bring their own, they will not be provided by the testing center.
  • Candidates are required to discard face masks and gloves outside of the PSI test site in a safe and sanitary manner.

About the Exam

The ACHA Certification 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  Certification Handbook, which will be available soon.

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


Exam results are mailed by PSI approximately 30 days following the close of the examination window, followed by a letter from ACHA, verifying acceptance into the College, or providing information on scheduling a re-exam appointment next year.  

Results/scores are not emailed, nor provided over the phone.

AIA Learning ​​​Units

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