The American Academy of Wound Management is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization established for the purpose of credentialing inter-disciplinary practitioners in the field of wound management. The organization was founded by individuals with years of experience in wound care who are dedicated to helping patients who suffer from acute and chronic wounds of various etiology. The board of advisors is an interdisciplinary panel of experts in the field of wound care consisting of practitioners, academicians and researchers. The American Academy of Wound Management is a full voting member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).
The purpose of the American Academy of Wound Management is to establish and administer a certification process to elevate the standard of care across the continuum of wound management. The Academy is dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach in promoting prevention, care and treatment of acute and chronic wounds.
1. Who is eligible to take the CWS examination?
AAWM has various criteria that we use to determine who is eligible for the examination. The handbook, which is available online or can be mailed to you, clearly states our criteria. Any licensed healthcare professional with a Doctoral or Master’s degree must have two (2) or more years of wound care experience. Any licensed healthcare professional with a Bachelors, Associates, Certificate, or Diploma, must have five (5) or more years of wound care experience. This is documented through your three letters of reference, resume, and application.
2. How much is the first-time exam fee? How much is the re-test fee?
The first-time exam fee is $400.00 mailed directly to AAWM before your exam date.
The re-test fee is $200.00 mailed directly to AAWM before your exam date.
3. Does AAWM offer courses to help me prepare for the exam?
At this time, the CWS® examination is a self-preparation exam. We offer an outline of the exam in our Candidate Handbook. The College of Certified Wound Specialists™, an organization that was formed in January 2005 and works in conjunction with the AAWM, will be endorsing wound care courses beginning in 2006. Candidates may take these courses to help prepare them for the CWS® exam. You may visit The College’s website at www.theccws.org for more information.
4. Where do I send my transcript?
Sealed and mailed from the school / university of your highest level of education directly to AAWM. You cannot fax it and it cannot be mailed from a candidate. If your school no longer exists, you will need to send all copies of any licenses, certifications, diploma, or any proof that you attended the school, directly to AAWM.
5. What if I graduated from a university in another country?
A) Do you still need my transcripts forwarded directly to the AAWM?
B) I do not have a sealed official copy of my transcript or access to one.
If you have additional paper work proving your education, for example from the ECFMG, then those materials will suffice in place of your transcript. We can also verify your license ($35.00 fee) if you are unable to provide the AAWM with your transcript.
6. Can individuals outside of the United States sit for the Board Certification Examination?
At this time, we offer the exam to any health professional licensed in the United States and Canada who has had the required amount of wound care experience. Testing locations are only offered in the United States.
7. I would like to take the examination, but cannot due to non-religious personal reasons. Can I change the date that I plan on taking the exam?
Yes. Please send us written notification and the reason you need to change the date. A fee of $75.00 applies.
8. How will I know the exact location and time of the exam site?
You will be notified by mail approximately two weeks prior to your exam date, by the Professional Testing Corporation, the exact location and time of your exam. Where are the testing centers? There are approximately 30 testing center locations nationwide and they are listed in the Candidate Handbook and on our website under Board Certification.
9. What is the passing score/percentage for the exam?
To receive a passing score, you must have at least 140/200 questions answered correctly. The average passing rate for the exam is 60% (since 1999).
10. When do I receive my exam scores?
You will receive your exam scores via mail four to six weeks after your examination date, directly from the Professional Testing Center. Please do not call AAWM to find out your score. If you have not received your score within six weeks.
11. May I have my test hand-scored?
Yes, you may request to AAWM in writing (fax, e-mail, or mail) to have your test hand-scored if you think there is a possibility your scores are incorrect. We will forward your request on to PTC and they will mail you their results.
12. Do I receive a certificate and ID card after passing the CWS® examination?
Yes, upon passing the exam, you will receive your complimentary certificate in the mail about three months after your examination date. You must return your address/credentials verification form to the AAWM before receiving your certificate. You will also receive an ID card and lapel pin about six weeks after your examination date. We will mail you a replacement ID card if you misplace it. You may order extra certificates for $25.00 each.
13. How is this certification useful to me as a healthcare professional?
As a healthcare professional, the CWS® credential can allow you to obtain promotions, pay raises, greater job opportunities, and personal pride. Please contact the AAWM is you wish to be sent an advocacy letter or if you wish to have one sent to your employer.
14. When do I re-register?
Re-registrations are mailed in January for those who have been certified from January-June. They are mailed in July for those who have been certified from July-December. The re-registration fee is $150.00 annually.
How many Continuing Education hours do I need each year to remain certified? Minimum of six (6) hours of CEUs are required each year to stay certified. This information should be mailed in with your re-registration form each year. Your CEUs must be completed between the date of your last re-registration payment and the date of your current re-registration form.
15. My certification has lapsed without my knowledge, and I have received a letter stating that I have been revoked.
A) Why wasn’t I notified by e-mail or phone?
B) I did not receive any notices prior to this.
C) I wish to keep the CWS®, credential.
D) 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 previous to the “Revocation Letter.” Please contact the AAWM to check and see if we have your correct address. Please contact the AAWM to request your “re-instatement,” however, you must provide your CEU information and send the AAWM your yearly re-registration payment of $150.00.
16. I have recently changed addresses, but am not sure which address you have. Can I change this information online, or should I contact the AAWM?
You may update your address with us via e-mail or by calling the office.
17. I am trying to choose a wound care education seminar/conference to attend to brush up on my wound care knowledge and obtain continuing education credits. Which ones are the best?
Please refer to the AAWM website under “Meetings and Seminars” for a list of current conferences taking place regionally and nationally. Note: The AAWM does not endorse any meetings or seminars listed.
18. As a CWS®, will I receive any complimentary subscriptions to wound care journals or magazines?
Yes, all CWSs receive a complimentary subscription to Advances in Skin and Wound Care. All CWSs receive the AAWM Quarterly News via e-mail as well. The Newsletter is also posted on the website.
19. Do you have a list of CWSs in ____ city or ______ state?
Please visit the website (www.aawm.org) and click on “Certified Wound Specialists” and search for CWSs in a particular area of the country. You may request a National Registry Book from AAWM for free if you are currently a CWS®. If you are not certified, then you may purchase the book from AAWM for $75.00.
20. 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 to the AAWM office via mail, fax or e-mail with your full name and address and the questions will be forwarded to the Exam Committee for review.
21. Do you have a mailing list?
Yes, we offer a mailing list of our current Diplomates. The mailing list fee is $100 for CWSs and $1,500 for non-CWSs. The list is available in hard-copy mailing labels only.
22. I would like to be on the Exam Committee, but it always seems like it is full. How can I participate in this committee?
Please call the AAWM office to request a position on the Exam Committee and we will notify you when a position opens.
23. Can the AAWM answer questions about a specific course of treatment or wound care product?
At this time the AAWM is strictly a certify organization only and cannot answer these types of questions.
24. When do I re-certify?
Each CWS® will recertify 10 years after their certification date. The first group of CWSs will re-certify in January 2006. The re-certification process requires you to complete a self-assessment examination. The re-certification fee is $400.00. Diplomates may use whatever materials and resources desired (books, journals, internet, colleagues, etc.), but they must achieve a passing score on the assessment (approximately 80%). If Diplomates do not successfully pass the self-assessment, they must then register and pay to take the next regularly scheduled written examination. Failure of this examination will result in revocation of their CWS® certification. The testing agency, Professional Testing Corporation, will forward the self-assessment examination to you within two weeks of receiving your recertification application. Re-certification applicants will have up to 90 days after they receive the exam to return it to PTC. It would be to your advantage to complete the self-assessment as soon as it is convenient so as not to inadvertently miss the deadline.