Across the nation, certified Epic consultants know and understand the on-going struggle to keep their Epic certifications up to date. Consultants have to constantly work out what certifications are needed; when to do them; how do I keep them up to date; and how to pay for them (if you are an independent). People who get this certification piece right, stand out in the crowd for the next project. Epic has now outlined that path with the New Version Training plan.
Epic’s New Version Training, or NVTs are the next step once a Consultant has taken the time to obtain an initial certification. Essentially, the way the system works is that after 5 years, the Certified Consultant needs to take an Application Essentials Assessment test. This is a proctored exam (which means it will have an Examiner present to administer the exam). What is new about the AEA test is that you don’t necessarily have to go to Epic’s offices in Wisconsin to take the test. Details on where the test can be taken are a bit sketchy at present, but it is believed that there will be numerous testing centers throughout the US. The exam itself should take about 1 hour per certification and require at least 6-8 hours prior preparation to be ready. What is different about this exam is that it must be completed successfully within 3 attempts, or the Consultant is faced with re-taking the initial Epic Certification. Failure to pass the AEA would work out to be a hugely costly event. Therefore, passing the AEA will no doubt be a high priority for all Certified Consultants.
The second phase of the NVTs is the Booster Training. Once again, Booster Training occurs 5 years after passing the AEA test. This is a more relaxed, virtual training scenario. Epic is looking at a video conferencing, podcasts, online virtual seminars, and individual training sessions for what might be very complex and deep subject matters. Unlike the AEAs, the test to pass the Booster Training is unlimited and additionally, it is non-proctored (meaning you don’t have to go to a test center, it could be done online). Exams are expected to last approximately 1 hour and will require at least 6-8 hours of preparation time.
What makes the NVTs worthwhile?
The NVTs have the potential to really help highly experienced Epic Certified Consultants differentiate themselves from the rest. It is simply not good enough to say one is certified and have no or insufficient hands on experience. The new AEA takes consultants who have done the initial training, but more importantly, gone on to prove through relatable experience, that they thoroughly understand the subject. This will establish a considerably more desirable strata of certified consultant that will clearly be able to distinguish themselves from the plethora of candidates with certification and little or no hands on experience.
A clear step beyond the AEA is the new Booster Training level. This essentially says you are a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or guru. It will be sometime before any significant numbers of candidates appear on the market with either the AEA certification or the Booster Training. The release date for the AEA is set for March 2017 and the BT test is not released until July 2017 at the earliest. However, the core curriculum for the NVT’s should be available by December 2016. It is expected the most diligent Epic certified consultants and companies will be taking careful note of these release dates and planning accordingly.
For further discussion, or advice on the NVTs feel free to contact Mike Williams, CEO, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Mike Williams, CEO, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. “Providing Access to the best Healthcare IT Talent”. email@example.com.
Source: Epic Systems Corporation, New Version Training document released October 26th, 2016.