CCDS Certification
    About the CCDS | Why Certify | Certification Advisory Board | Requirements | Exam/Testing | How to Apply | Recertification


Program Requirements

The Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) examination is designed to test an applicant's ability to recall documentation and coding guidelines and industry regulations pertaining to clinical documentation improvement and apply that knowledge to real-life scenarios clinical documentation specialists face every day. Achieving this credential recognizes that a clinical documentation specialist possesses prerequisite educational requirements as well as proven, hands-on experience performing the function of a clinical documentation specialist.

CCDS prerequisites

General requirements: Candidates who apply for the examination must list their documentation specialist experience. Applications may be audited to verify work history and educational background.

  • Candidates must have at least two years of experience as a documentation specialist experience or equivalent.
  • Once a candidate has accumulated the time, it does not expire.
  • All work experience must be met by the application deadline.
  • Candidates applying for the examination will be required to list their documentation specialist experience. Applications may be audited to verify work history.

Candidates must demonstrate that they meet one of the following requirements:

  • An RHIA®, RHIT®, CCS®, CCS-P®, RN, MD or DO and two (2) years experience as a concurrent documentation specialist.
  • An Associate’s degree (or equivalent education) in an allied health field and three (3) years of experience as a concurrent documentation specialist. The education component must include completed coursework in medical terminology and anatomy and physiology.
  • Formal education (accredited, college-level course work) in human anatomy and/or physiology, plus medical terminology, and disease processes, and a minimum three (3) years experience as a concurrent documentation specialist.

Please direct questions to Penny Richards.


The goal of recertification is to assure continuing competence of each CCDS and maintain the standard of professionalism in clinical documentation improvement. Those applicants who become a CCDS will be eligible for recertification every two years for a $200 fee ($100 for ACDIS members). Additionally, 30 CEUs are required. Recertification does not require a CCDS to retake the certification examination.

Continuing education hours will consist of activities including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Listening to audio conferences
  • Submitting article summaries
  • Attending annual conferences
  • Taking e-learning courses

For more information or to submit your CEUs for recertification, please visit our recertification page.


Do you wish ACDIS books came with nursing continuing education credits?
Sure, but it isn't necessary
I get my nursing credits in other ways
No, I don't need nursing credits
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