Frequently Asked Questions
View our list of common questions and their answers by clicking on the individual arrow buttons to expand or expand all.
- Is there a step by step guide on how to get certified?
Yes, please view the recorded webinar hosted by ABWM headquarters here.
- Who is eligible to take our National Board Certification Examinations?
Any healthcare professional with at least three years of professional experience related to wound management is eligible to take one of our examinations.
- If you meet the minimum requirement for professional experience, you are eligible to apply for the CWCA exam. If you hold a professional license, it must be full and unrestricted in at least one state and in all states in which you practice.
- If you have at least a Bachelor's degree, and you have a full and unrestricted license in at least one state and in all states in which you currently practice, you are eligible to apply for the CWS exam.
- MDs, DOs, and DPMs with a full and unrestricted professional license in at least one state and in all states in which they practice are eligible to apply for the CWSP exam.
- Where are the examinations offered?
The examinations are offered at 170 sites across the United States. For more information, please click the following link to view the AMP Test Center Locations.
- How much is the first-time exam fee? How much is the re-test fee?
First-Time Fees Re-Test Fees CWCA: First-time exam fee: $375 Re-test fee: $150 CWS: First-time exam fee: $575 Re-test fee: $275 CWSP: First-time exam fee: $995 Re-test fee: $995 Applications: CWCA, CWS, CWSP Re-test Application: Get Application
- How will I know the exact location and time of the exam?
Once your application is processed and approved, an informational postcard and e-mail will be sent to you by Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). It will contain instructions on how to schedule an exam date and time at a local testing site.
- How long is the exam and how is it structured?
- The CWCA written exam is 120 computer-based, multiple-choice questions, given over a period of three hours 100 questions are used to compute the candidate's score, and 20 questions are non-scored pre-test items.
- The CWS written exam is 150 computer-based, multiple-choice questions, given over a period of three and a half hours. 125 questions are used to compute the candidate's score, and 25 questions are non-scored pre-test items.
- The CWSP written exam is 180 computer-based, multiple-choice questions, given over a period of four hours. 150 questions are used to compute the candidate's score, and 30 questions are non-scored, pre-test items.
- May I have my score verified?
Yes, you will need to contact AMP directly at 888-519-9901. There is a $25 fee for score verification, which will be collected directly by AMP.
- Where can I find review textbooks, courses or seminars to prepare for my exam?
In compliance with national accreditation standards, the ABWM does not promote or endorse any particular review materials or courses for any of our examinations. However, we do offer exam Content Outlines for the CWCA, CWS and CWSP exams. We also offer Practice Exams for the CWCA and CWS compiled from past examination questions. There are many review materials, courses and seminars that have been independently developed, which could serve as supplementary preparation for our examinations. Candidates in the past have participated in online and in-person courses, and have made use of industry journals, reference books, and other sources to prepare for these self-study examinations. The ABWM Foundation lists some of the study materials available for exam preparation.
- Can individuals outside of the United States sit for the Board Certification Examinations?
At this time, we offer the exams to any healthcare professional that has had the required amount of wound care experience. Testing locations are only offered in the United States. For more information, please click the following link to view AMP Test Center Locations.
- When do I receive my exam scores?
Score reports will be generated immediately upon completion of the examination.
- What is the pass rate for the each of the exams?
Certification Pass Rate CWCA Initial Certification 64% CWS Initial Certification 60% CWS Recertification 83% CWSP Initial Certification 80%
- How are the exams developed?
The examination is based on a job analysis study (also known as a role delineation study) that is conducted periodically to determine the job content elements that are related to effective job performance. The survey tool used in the job analysis study is developed by a panel of subject matter experts. The survey is distributed to a large number of wound care professionals to gather data representative of the field of practice. The results of the job analysis study are used to develop the content outline for each examination. All versions of the exams correspond to the requirements of the content outline.
An interdisciplinary team of CWS’s, CWCA’s and CWSP's who are supervised by the ABWM Examination Chair and Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP), constructs the items included in the examination. The Examination Committee meets two to three times a year to review the items and the examination itself for validation. All examination materials are under the control of AMP, and Examination Committee members do not have copies or notes from these committee meetings. AMP also runs statistical analysis on each examination and examination items to validate their effectiveness as examination questions.
ABWM oversees a continual process of job analysis studies, content outline development, question writing and review, and analysis and evaluation of the exam to ensure that the content of each exam remains up-to-date and accurate.
- How is the passing point determined?
The passing point for each exam is established using a criterion-referenced technique. Qualified and trained SMEs on the Cut Score Committee will participate in recommending the passing point under the guidance of a qualified psychometrician. The passing point recommendation will be considered by the Board. The Board is responsible for final approval of the passing point for each examination.
The process used to determine the passing point will be documented as part of a qualified psychometrician’s technical report. Any dialogue with regard to the recommended passing point from the Board must be consistent with generally accepted psychometric principles and will be documented in the technical report along with the rationale for any adjustments to the recommended passing point.
Specific methodologies for establishing the passing score for exams, and ensuring test forms are equivalent, will be selected by a qualified psychometrician based on compliance with national accreditation standards.
- Do I receive a certificate and ID card after passing the examination?
Yes, upon passing the exam, you will receive your complimentary wall certificate in the mail in approximately 2-4 weeks. You will also receive a patch and lapel pin with your Welcome Materials approximately 2-4 weeks after passing the exam. You can print a current Certification ID Card from the My Certification Portal once you receive your Welcome Materials. You may order extra certificates for $25.00 each.
- What initials may I place after my name, and when am I allowed to do so?
- If you pass the CWCA Exam, you are an Associate of the ABWM and you can use the initials "CWCA" after your name on documents, websites, signatures, etc. We ask that you place the "®" sign after the initials when referring to the credential in published works. You do not have to place the "®" after the initials next to your name.
- If you pass the CWS Exam, you are a Diplomate of the ABWM and you can use the initials "CWS" after your name on documents, websites, signatures, etc. We ask that you place the "®" sign after the initials when referring to the credential in published works. You do not have to place the "®" after the initials next to your name.
- If you pass the CWSP Exam, you are a Diplomate of the ABWM and you can use the initials “CWSP” after your name on documents, websites, signatures, etc. We ask that you place the "®" sign after the initials when referring to the credential in published works. You do not have to place the "®" after the initials next to your name.
- How is this certification useful to me as a healthcare professional?
As a healthcare professional, the CWCA, CWS and CWSP credentials may allow you to obtain promotions, pay raises, greater job opportunities, and personal pride. Please email ABWM if you wish to be sent an advocacy letter, or if you wish to have one sent to your employer.
- When do I renew?
Renewals are due by the end of January of each year. The renewal fee is $150.00 annually. You can complete the annual renewal process by accessing the My Certification Portal.
- How many continuing education hours do I need each year to remain certified?
A minimum of six (6) hours of continuing education in the field of wound management are required each year to stay certified. This information should be documented in the My Certification Portal prior to the annual renewal deadline. Your continuing education must be completed between the date of your last renewal payment and the date of your current renewal deadline.
- When do I recertify?
Each CWCA, CWS, and CWSP is required to recertify 10 years after their initial certification date. The recertification process entails sitting for the appropriate exam, administered some time before your 10-year anniversary. Detailed instructions and application materials will be sent before your certification expires. View the Recertification Application.
- What are the renewal and recertification policies?
Please view the ABWM Renewal & Recertification Handbook.
- I have recently changed addresses, but am not sure which address you have. Can I change this information online, or should I contact the ABWM?
You may update your address online by accessing the My Certification Portal.
- My certification has lapsed without my knowledge, and I have received a letter stating that I have been revoked. Why wasn’t I notified by e-mail or phone? And, is there anything I can do to keep my certification, and do I have to retake the Board Certification Exam?
You should have received three notices and a warning letter by mail prior to the “Revocation Letter.” Please contact the ABWM to check to see if we have your correct address. Please contact the ABWM to request your “re-instatement,” however, you must provide your continuing education information and send the ABWM the renewal payment plus late fee of $200. If you have not been re-instated by the time your next annual renewal payment is due, you will be required to retake the National Board Certification Exam in order to regain your credential.
- I have some questions I would like to submit to be considered for use in future examinations. How would I go about sending these in?
Please submit your exam questions via email with your full name and address, and the questions will be forwarded to the Exam Committee for review.
- Do you have a list of CWCAs, CWSs and CWSPs in my city or my state?
To search for professionals certified in wound management in a particular area of the country, click Find a Specialist.
- Can the ABWM answer questions about a specific course of treatment or wound care product?
The ABWM is strictly a certifying organization and cannot recommend specific courses or treatment or wound care products.
- What are the bylaws and governance structure of ABWM?
A full copy of ABWM’s bylaws and governance structure are available here.
- What are the appeals and disciplinary procedures for ABWM?
A full copy of ABWM’s Appeals Policy is available here.
For a full copy of all of ABWM's Policies and Procedures, please click here.
- How will this impact the annual renewal process?
2012 Annual Renewals will be mailed in November 2011 and are due with documentation of 6 hours of continuing education by January 31, 2012. This will be the last official correspondence you will receive from AAWM (all future correspondence will be from ABWM). Upon payment of your 2012 annual renewal, you will receive a new certificate, identification card, and 2 certification patches all reflecting the American Board of Wound Management name.
- Will the new name affect my CWS, CWCA or CWSP certification?
No, it does not. The name change in no way affects validity of your hard earned certification. The names of all three board certifications (Certified Wound Specialist, Certified Wound Care Associate and Certified Wound Specialist Physician) will all remain the same.
- How soon will I receive my new certificate, identification card and certification patches?
Our goal is to have identification cards and patches sent within two weeks of receiving and processing your annual renewal. We would like to have new certificates out to everyone by March 1, 2012, at the latest.
- Can I still use my old certificate, identification card, and other materials with the American Academy of Wound Management name?
We would request that you discontinue use of any materials that reflect the AAWM name. As we build the “ABWM” we want to avoid any confusion in the market place and any delay in the recognition of the ABWM brand by the use of AAWM materials.
- How was the new logo and branding process decided on?
The Board of Directors created a Task Force chaired by Gayle Lindsey, PT, and CWS that included Desmond Bell, DPM, CWS; Julie Rhodovi, CWCA; and, Deanna Vargo, RN, CWS. The Task Force spent countless hours developing a well thought out plan that would maintain a consistent, but more contemporary look while adding a stronger message that would be in the best interest of the organization and the 3,500 + clinicians that have been certified since the organization’s founding in 1995.
Questions and Answers for CWCA, CWS and CWSP
ABWM Name Change
What are others saying?
“As a registered nurse in long term care, I must be able to work autonomously. Physicians need to trust my wound assessment as well as my treatment choices. With the credentials CWCA® and knowing what it entails to attain those initials next to my name, my judgment is well respected.”
Jennifer Oakley RN, WCC, CWCA, Stamford, NY