CCDS Certification

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CCDS Certification

Product Code: CCDS

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*ACDIS Members receive $100 off the CCDS Certification, and $100 off the CCDS Re-Certification. Discount will automatically be deducted in your cart. Note: you must be logged in to the HCPro marketplace in order to get your ACDIS discount.

About the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) Credential


Clinical documentation specialists understand 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 (CCDS) credential is a mark of distinction for this unique profession. Applicants who pass the exam receive the designation CCDS.

Mission statement

The mission of the CCDS credential is to elevate the professional standing of clinical documentation specialists. The program draws from experienced clinical documentation specialists in the field to establish criteria for competency in the broad and multidisciplinary bodies of knowledge clinical documentation specialists must possess. These include knowledge of healthcare and coding regulations; anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology; proficiency in medical record review; communication and physician query techniques; and data mining and reporting functions.

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

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.

Get Started

Need a replacement copy of your certification certificate? Contact Penny Richards. There is a $25 replacement certification fee. 

Use this page to make payment for a CCDS exam application only after you have read the Exam Candidate's Handbook and verified that you meet the education and work experience eligibility requirements. You must also complete and submit the CCDS Exam application.

Requirements for recertification are on the ACDIS web site, as is the application

If a candidate fails the exam, they may take it again after waiting 90 days from the date of the failed exam. ACDIS will discount the exam fee to $125 for the first retake only. Subsequent attempts to pass the exam will be at full price. Click this link for the re-exam application.

Contact us

If you have questions about the CCDS certification program, CLICK HERE or contact the program at:

Attention: Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist Program
35 Village Rd 
Suite 200
Middleton, MA 01949
Tel: 978-624-4584
Fax: 978-560-0934