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


About the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) Credential


Clinical documentation specialists possess knowledge of a wide range of specialized disciplines, including education in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology; knowledge of official medical coding guidelines, CMS, and private payer regulations related to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System; an ability to analyze and interpret medical record documentation and formulate appropriate physician queries; and an ability to benchmark and analyze clinical documentation program performance.

The Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist credential has been created to provide a mark of distinction for this unique profession. Applicants who pass the certifying exam receive the designation.

Mission statement

The mission of the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist credentialing program is to identify, recognize, and support a high level of experience, proficiency, and know-how among clinical documentation specialists. The program accomplishes this mission by drawing upon a board of experienced clinical documentation specialists hailing from diverse, multidisciplinary fields, including nursing, HIM/coding, quality, and case management. The board has established eligibility requirements to ensure that only experienced professionals with an ability to perform the functions of a clinical documentation specialist may possess this certification.

CCDS FAQ Webinar

Here is a link to the August 19, 2015, CCDS FAQ Webinar file and the program materials.

List of CCDS certification holders

Following are lists of professionals who recently earned the CCDS certification:

Certification is valid for two years from the date of the exam and may be renewed according to the process spelled out in the Recertification page. Employers who wish to determine whether an individual holds a valid certification may email Penny Richards ACDIS Members Services Specialist.

Objectives of certification

The objectives of the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist program are to:

  1. Provide special recognition to those clinical documentation specialists who demonstrate mastery of an acquired body of knowledge and skills in clinical documentation improvement through successful completion of the certification process
  2. Promote documentation and medical records integrity by helping clinical documentation specialists define and obtain the requisite knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their responsibilities
  3. Support compliance efforts by promoting a Code of Ethics for clinical documentation improvement specialists
  4. Assist hospitals and healthcare entities in identifying individuals with substantive knowledge, experience, and skills in clinical documentation improvement for the benefit of their organization

To learn more about becoming a Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS), please browse the information on this Web site and download the Exam Candidate's Handbook.

CCDS and the ANCC/Magnet Demographic Information Form

The CCDS certification is now included as one of the national certifications that may be submitted on the Demographic Information Form (DIF) as part of the data requirements for making application for Magnet Recognition Program® designation. You can view this information on the ANCC/Magnet Recognition Program page here (scroll down to "Selected Examples of National Certifications for Submission on the DIF" and click on the excel link).

Ready to apply?

Please go to our How to Apply page.

Contact us

If you have questions about the CCDS certification program, please contact the program at:

HCPro, Inc.
Attention: Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist Program
75 Sylvan Street
Suite A-101
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 978-624-4584
Fax: 978-560-0934


Does your CDI program review records for patient safety indicators?
No, but we are considering expanding in this area
Yes, but we are only in the pilot program stages
Don't know
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