American Board of Wound Management (ABWM)

The American Board of Wound Management is dedicated to the multi-disciplinary team approach in promoting the science of prevention, care, and treatment of acute and chronic wounds. The primary function is to establish and monitor a national certification process, recognize competency, promote education and research, and elevate the standard of care across the continuum of wound management. ABWM grants certificates of competency as Certified Wound Care Associates® (CWCA®), Certified Wound Specialists® (CWS®), and Certified Wound Specialist Physician® (CWSP®) to those candidates who have met all qualifications and demonstrated competency and proficiency in wound management.

On April 30, 2013, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the American Board of Wound Management Certified Wound Care Associate (CWCA) for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance). The NCCA Standards were created in 1977 and updated in 2003 to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. The American Board of Wound Management joins an elite group of more than 130 organizations representing over 330 programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation.

ABWM Certification Exams

We offer three certifications, the Certified Wound Care Associate® (CWCA®), the Certified Wound Specialist® (CWS®), and the Certified Wound Specialist Physician® (CWSP®). All three certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Candidate handbooks, including detailed content outlines, and links to our online applications can be found at:

Exam Preparation

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®, CWS® and CWSP® 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. Applicants 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.

Exam Re-Test Policy

If you did not pass the CWCA, CWS, or CWSP exam and would like to re-test, please submit a re-test application online a minimum of 15 business days prior to your desired testing date. Applicants who wish to retake an exam must wait 30 days after their previous exam date before their new three-month eligibility window begins. Applicants may submit a Re-Test Application prior to the end of the 30-day waiting period; the new three-month eligibility window will start 30 days after their previous exam date. Applicants who wish to re-test more than three times will need to provide documentation of 20 CEUs in wound care for each exam attempt. Applicants may submit a Re-Test Application to retake an exam for up to 2 years from their original exam date.

Maintaining Your Certification

You must renew your ABWM certification annually in order to keep it active. Renewals are due by the end of January of each year. The renewal fee is $175. In addition to the renewal fee, 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 ABWM account prior to the annual renewal deadline. Your continuing education must be completed each calendar year.

Last updated 2024-04-10