AAPC's Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) credential addresses the ever-growing compliance requirements of government laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines. Medical practices need staff who can develop, organize, manage, and direct the functions of a compliance department.
By passing the CPCO exam, employers recognize you possess an understanding of the key requirements necessary to effectively develop, implement, and monitor a healthcare compliance program for your practice based on governmental regulatory guidelines — including internal compliance reviews, audits, risk assessments, and staff education and training.
100 multiple-choice questions
Online or in-person options
AAPC offers online and in-person proctored exams. Choose to take the exam at home in a quiet, private location or through your local chapter or a licensed instructor. Learn more about the online proctored exam and how to prepare for the current exam.
In-person and online exams are administered in one sitting, with four hours to complete the exam.
Equipment required for online exam
A reliable internet connection and an external webcam that can be positioned to show your face, hands, keyboard, and the area around the keyboard (about 10 inches) are required.
The CPCO exam requires an understanding of a wide variety of compliance topics and issues. CPCO candidates should undertake training and/or have two years of experience working with compliance programs.
Prior to the CPCO exam, you should be extremely familiar with key elements required for compliance programs, including the daily operational aspects. You should also be familiar with key laws and regulations impacting compliance programs, physician practices, and policies used to address potential fraud and abuse, including associated penalties and fines. Additionally, you should know where to go and how to research information to identify correct practices to mitigate compliance risks.
Be aware that this is a challenging, high-level examination which is not meant for individuals with limited or no compliance experience or training.
If you don’t have compliance experience or working knowledge of these subjects, we offer recommended prerequisite courses to prepare you for the CPCO® preparation course. Learn more.
Approved code books
When taking the CPCO exam online, no references are allowed.
When taking the CPCO exam in person, these references can be used:
OIG Compliance Program for Individuals & Small Group Physician Practices
OIG Compliance Program Guidance for Third-Party Medical Billing Companies
AAPC reference guides
Note: Books/references allowed for the electronic exams may differ slightly from in-person exams because some references are built into the test. You will have access to the same information regardless of test administration method.
Maintaining your certification
To maintain your credential, you must maintain your AAPC annual membership, and earn 36 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years.
One attempt for $399 or $499 for two attempts. Of note:
• 80% of AAPC students pass on the first attempt.
• Students who train with AAPC are three times more likely to pass the certification exam.
The CPCO exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions (proctored). The exam consists of questions regarding compliance requirements of government laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines. Whether you take the exam online or in person, you must complete the CPCO exam within four hours and answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass.