What is the Wound Care Recertification Process?

wound care certification

Is it time for your wound care recertification? Not sure how to start? Read below!

Any initial wound care certification done through the AWBM® (including CWA®, CWS®, CWSP®) will last ten years. Once that ten-year mark is reached, you must go through the wound care recertification process. This process is virtually the same for any of their wound care certifications.

How do I get my CWCA® recertification?

In order to recertify your CWCA® credentials, you must take the exam again. Luckily, this only has to be done every ten years. The CWCA® exam is offered year-round at close to 200 locations. Once you retake your exam, you will be notified in writing if you passed your wound care recertification. The CWCA® recertification fee is $375.

How do I get my CWS® recertification?

Much like the CWCA® recertification, the CWS® recertification requires candidates to retake the wound care certification exam at the same fee – $575. The CWS® recertification exam is also offered year-round at the same locations. Exam testing is done by appointment only after AWBM gives their approval. To find a location, visit http://www.abwmcertified.org/abwm-certified/exam-scheduling

How do I get my CWSP® recertification?

If initially certified as a CWS®- MDs, DOs, and DPMs will have the option to re-certify as CWSP® if they initially received the CWS® certification. The process for CWSP®, including applicable recertification timeline, is the same as CWS® and CWCA® candidates. The only difference is the level of medical license needed to achieve. The recertification cost for CWSP® candidates is $995. 

Since the CWCA®, CWS®, and CWS® are all regulated by the AWBM®, the rules regarding active certifications, expired certifications, and recertification are similar.  All recertification applicants must have an active, current medical license and retake the wound care certification exam at the end of their ten-year period. 

If you are CWS®, CWSP®, or CWCA® certified, you must also renew your certification each year within that ten-year period. Take note – Wound care renewal is different than wound care recertification! The annual ABWM® wound care certification renewal fee is $150. This certification is based on the calendar year – all certification holders must submit their renewal before January 31. After January 31, late fees will occur. These late fees increase as time lapses – $75 late fee after January 31, and $150 late fee after February 28th.

The reason the AWBM® requires annual wound certification renewal is to maintain the prestige of their certifications. Renewal requirements include the renewal fee and a simple proof of 6 wound management CE hours. The AWBM® concludes:

“The process of renewing annually ensures that certificates participate in professional development activities that are directly related to the provision of wound care on a continual basis, enabling them to remain up-to-date with current best practices and emerging knowledge.”

It is important to turn in your renewal on time. You do not have to retake the wound care certification test each year – just at the end of the 10-year certification period.

To download the recertification form for CWS®, CWSP®, or CWA® certifications – download the AWBM recertification form

How do I renew my CWCN® certification?

wound care recertification exam

The CWCN is regulated by the WOCNCB®. You can renew your CWCN® certification in one of two ways – the first is like the AWBM®’s wound care recertifications – by retaking the exam. The other is called the Professional Growth Program (PGP). The WOCNCB’s PGP includes a few requirements:

  • 10+ CEs in the clinical specialty.
  • Must have a portfolio – 50% of the portfolio must pertain to the clinical specialty.
  •  Must create online PGP profile
  • Must continually log activities through www.wocncb.org/pgp

The PGP Portfolio is reviewed for content and approved by PGP Committee for CWCN recertification approval.

The CWCN® recertification exam cost is the same as the initial exam – $395 for one specialty. This must be taken every five years unless you choose to pursue the PGP program. Unlike the CWCA®, CWSP®, and CWS® wound certification renewals, the CWCN® does not have any yearly fee to maintain. However, the CWCN® certification only lasts five years, where the others mentioned earlier last ten. The CWCN® does still require you to have an active medical license. To begin your recertification, visit the WOCNCB page

How do I get my WCC® recertification?

The WCC® certification renewals are regulated by NAWCO®. The certification duration is five years, and the WCC® wound care recertification fee is $380. Unlike the other wound care certifications, NAWCO® does not collect annual fees to maintain the certification. 

Like the CWCN®, there are multiple ways to achieve recertification. You can renew your WCC® wound care certification by taking the exam again or by providing a record of 60+ contact hours of approved Continuing Education. WCC® certified individuals can also recertify by taking a course and/or mentoring. Unlike the AWBM® certifications, which expire on a 10-year, calendar-year schedule, WCC® certifications expire on the exact month and date of initial certification. For example, if you received your WCC certification in July 2015, it will expire July 2020 unless you recertify. If you let your WCC® wound certification expire before renewing, you will have to pay a late fee of $300.

Instead of letting your certification lapse, we suggest you apply for recertification as early as six months before expiration. Doing so is a smart move to avoid hefty late fees and ensure you can keep your same wound care certification number. To learn more about the WCC® recertification process, download the WCC recertification handbook. When you are ready for WCC® recertification, submit your payment and re-application form via email to [email protected]

Keep Your Wound Care Certification

You’ve worked hard to achieve wound care certification – make sure you keep it! By going through the appropriate wound care recertification process, you will show your commitment and dedication to the field of wound management. In addition, wound care certified employees are typically paid higher salaries than their non-certified colleagues. Staying educated on the recertification criteria for various wound care certifications listed above will allow you to streamline the submittal process and maintain your certifications with ease. Consider us your one-stop source for all wound care recertification information!

Achieve Your Initial Wound Care Certification

Just starting? For initial certifications, LPNs, and LVNs typically choose the CWCA certification. Associate RNs and BSNs choose the CWS certification. Doctors opt for the CWSP certification. All of these accredited wound care certifications are associated with the AWBM except the CWCN and WCC. See our wound care certification courses to begin the process online today. You can use our wound care certification courses to achieve initial certification or to prepare for wound care recertification. 


  1. This is Lila J Bruna, I was a CWS and it is over 10 years now and Can I still get recertified. I got My certification from the American Academy of Wound Specialist.. If I can re apply and do the recertification I would appreciate the Opportunity.

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