The history of CBIC

This history of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) originally appeared in The Certification Corner (Volume 5; Issue 4; November 2012), and was written by Ralph Rivkind, Esq.

On December 11, 1981, the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control ("APIC") authorized me to incorporate the APIC Certification Association as a wholly owned subsidiary of APIC. The initial Directors were:

  • Victor Fainstein, M.D.
  • Barbara J. McArthur, R.N., Phd.
  • Gina Pugliese, R.N., M.S.N.
  • Priscilla Dasse, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Julie Garner, R.N., M.S.N.
  • Patricia Lynch, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Janet M. Serkey, R.N.
  • Steven Weinstein, M.T. (ASCP)
  • Patricia S. Schlegel, R.N.
  • Patricia L. Barrett, R.N., B.S.N.
  • Noelene McGuire, R.N.

The filing was done in the State of Washington because that is the same state in which APIC was incorporated. Soon thereafter, via filing on July 9, 1982, the APIC Certification Association’s name was changed to the Certification Board of Infection Control ("CBIC").

In 1987 APIC changed its state of incorporation from Washington to Massachusetts. CBIC also similarly changed its state of incorporation and made a slight change to its name to be Certification Board of Infection Control, Inc. The purpose of both companies moving to Massachusetts was that the state law in Massachusetts affords greater protection to the associations and their officers and Directors.

All of the organizations mentioned above are not for profit entities and, as such, Massachusetts has a long standing rule that non-profit entities have a very limited liability against lawsuits.

On January 30, 1997, CBIC changed its name to Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc., which was the same time that APIC added the word Epidemiology and changed Practitioners to Professionals.

The purpose of the separate organization was that there were very strict rules regarding separating the profession from the organization that provides certification in any field. In order to have a valid certification process, the certifying body needs to be structurally and financially independent of the profession as a whole. However, certifying bodies are not normally tax-exempt as a charity and therefore donations to that organization will not be deductible by the donor. That makes fundraising all the more difficult.

Over the formative years of CBIC, it borrowed a substantial amount of money from APIC in order to operate and hire a testing agency. Initially management was provided by the Board and then it was contracted to professional organizations that routinely manage certification organizations. As CBIC's cash flow increased, it was able to pay back all of the loans with interest over a long period of time. As of this date, there are no outstanding loans.

APIC's participation with CBIC, however, is not terminated by the repayment of the loans because its one very important role is to nominate the Board of Directors after consultation and collaboration with CBIC leadership.

The APIC NAC leadership will submit the proposed slate of candidates to the CBIC Executive Director to obtain CBIC Board approval before submission to the APIC Board of Directors for approval. The CBIC Board of Directors can veto any candidate proposed by APIC NAC and when this occurs will work with APIC NAC to find a replacement. The APIC Board of Directors approves the nomination of the candidates, notifies the CBIC President, and sends their application materials to the CBIC Executive Office.The CBIC Executive Office will forward the curricula vitae of the newly appointed CBIC Directors to the CBIC President-Elect in order to evaluate their strengths for CBIC committee placement.

The Bylaws of CBIC provide that the Board of Directors of CBIC have the right to amend the Bylaws with the exception that the Bylaw provision dealing with the appointment of the Board of Directors by APIC cannot be changed without APIC’s permission.