Hardship Help - Cycle Extension & Leave of Absence


ABIH? offers two options to help with hardship case situations: CM Cycle Extension and a Leave of Absence.

Only one hardship help option will be granted per CM cycle with the exception that a 1-year Leave of Absence may be extended to 2 years upon written request.

Option Implication
CM Cycle Extension An additional six months to earn CM credit to meet the recertification requirements.
Leave of Absence The Diplomate is "inactive" for 1 or 2 years, thus, the recertification requirements are reduced by 20% or 40%. Also, CM credit can only be earned in Category 4 during the LOA time period.

How To Request

To be eligible, Diplomates must be in good standing (i.e. no unresolved ethics issues, current on all fees). The Diplomate should notify ABIH as soon as the need exists. The six-month extension is automatic and it does not require documentation. Leave of Absence requests will be held in strict confidence, and supporting documentation may be required.

Requests can be sent via email, fax or postal mail.

CM Cycle Extension

The CM cycle extension provides an additional six months to earn CM credit. The Diplomate will be assigned a new CM cycle end date and will follow the worksheet schedule for their new CM cycle.

Eligibility Criteria: Extension is automatic upon request and does not require explanation.

Leave of Absence

Eligibility Criteria

The Leave of Absence (LOA) is available in 1-year increments up to 2 years (maximum) for those who are unable to practice industrial hygiene due to circumstances such as:

  • Medical or health-related (personal or family)
  • Military assignment
  • Educational pursuit
  • Family care

Unemployment is excluded from the LOA program.

CM Credit Reductions

During the LOA period, the Diplomate's minimum requirements are proportionately reduced for the total CM points and the IH CM Credit in Category 4.

For example, for Diplomates on a 60 month CM cycle, a 12-month LOA will reduce the minimum requirements by 20% (12/60) to:

  • 32 total CM points (from 40 points)
  • 48 IH hours (8 IH points) in Category 4 (from 60 hrs)

The IH Ethics requirement of 2 hours (0.33 points) in Cat 4 per CM cycle is not affected.

LOA Period

The LOA period must be a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years.

Up to two LOAs will be granted during a CM cycle as long as the sum of the two LOA periods is less than the two-year maximum.

A LOA of one year can be extended (during the same CM cycle) upon written request to ABIH. Additional supporting documentation may be required.


During the LOA, the Diplomate:

  • Is listed as CIH-Inactive in the ABIH roster
  • Is restricted from using their certification designation (e.g., CIH), embossing seal or stamp on any new efforts but does not need to remove the designation from previous materials, e.g. business cards, resumes
  • Continues to pay fees
  • Can earn CM credit only in Category 4 - Education
Worksheet Submission

Diplomates must submit an acceptable CM worksheet in order to recertify.

If the requested LOA period ends at or near the end of the normal CM cycle, the Diplomate has three timing options to submit a CM worksheet:

  • Pre-LOA – before the start of the LOA, or
  • Post-LOA – within 90 days of the LOA end date, or
  • The regularly scheduled cycle calendar window

If the LOA period overlaps two CM cycles, the LOA rules will apply to both CM cycles with one exception.

  • Exception: for the 2nd CM cycle, the Diplomate will submit their worksheet during the 2nd CM cycle following the regularly scheduled cycle submission window.

The new certificate will be delivered at the end of the CM cycle, not when the CM worksheet is reviewed and approved.



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