Frequently asked questions

Program information, application process and payments

What is the cost of attending the Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Certification Program?


How many participants are accepted into the trainings held in Rochester, Minnesota?

The program accepts 32 participants and an additional eight participants on the waitlist.

Is Mayo Clinic's TTS Certification training accredited?

Yes. It is accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP).

What is the length of the training and where is the training held?

The TTS Certification is a five-day training, which is held at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

Does the program offer TTS trainings elsewhere if requested?

Yes, the TTS trainings can be located elsewhere for a sizable group upon request. For further information, please contact the Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) Education Program at 800-344-5984 and ask to speak with the TTS program director.

Once I decide to apply for the training, what do I need to do?

Look for the Application Checklist link, which is located on the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification website. This checklist provides step-by-step instructions.

How do I secure a spot in the program?

Register online and make a payment. Also, as part of the application process, you must submit the Service Hours form as well as your official academic transcript (no copies) prior to attending the course.

The database says my application status is "incomplete." What does this mean?

The program requires four components as part of the application process. Once all components indicated below are received, your application status will change from incomplete to complete:

  • Registration (online only).
  • Payment (check or credit card). All major credit cards are accepted.
  • Service Hours form.
  • Academic transcript (official — no copies accepted — and only need highest academic degree transcript).
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Service hours

Can I still apply for the training if I do not meet the minimum service hours requirement for certification?

Yes, you may attend the training even if you have not acquired the minimum service hours.

Do I need to fill out a Service Hours form even if I have not acquired any service hours prior to the training?

Yes, please fill out the Service Hours form and submit the form with an indication of "0" hours.

Why do I need a supervising signature on the Service Hours form?

This is our way to ensure you have acquired the service hours claimed. You do not need a supervising signature if you indicate "0" hours.

The Service Hours form requires a brief description for service hours claimed. How detailed does this need to be? We are not looking for documented visits but rather a brief summary of your work experience in acquiring the service hours claimed.

Please clarify the definition of service hours and criteria for approval.

Service hours are defined as your work experience in providing direct patient care with treating tobacco use and dependence in individual patients or a group of patients. Work experience is approved for either over-the-phone or face-to-face counseling that is tobacco specific.

What type of service hours is not accepted?

  • Teaching other health care professionals
  • Tobacco control or prevention activities
  • Classroom teaching, working at a health fair or exhibit booth, or working on public or organizational policy

What is the minimum amount of service hours needed to meet certification requirements?

  • 240 hours for master's degree or higher
  • 480 hours for bachelor's degree
  • 480 hours for an associate's degree and licensure or certificate in a health care profession such as a registered nurse (R.N.), dental hygienist, respiratory therapist or chemical dependency counselor. Exceptions for other licensed professionals may be considered.

What is the deadline for acquiring the minimum service hours?

You have two years post-training to acquire the minimum service hours needed for certification.

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What are the minimum educational requirements needed to acquire certification?

  • Associate's degree and licensure or certificate in a health care profession such as an R.N., dental hygienist, respiratory therapist or chemical dependency counselor. Exceptions for other licensed professionals may be considered.
  • Bachelor's degree in any career field
  • Master's degree or higher in any career field

What is the deadline for acquiring the minimum academic degree?

You have two years post-training to acquire the minimum academic degree needed.

Do I need to send in transcripts from all the academic institutions I attended?

No, the program only needs the official transcript that reflects your highest academic degree.

Is a copy of a transcript accepted?

No, copies of your transcript are not accepted. The program needs an official copy sent directly from the academic institution. The program accepts an official transcript from you only if it is still in a signed and sealed envelope.

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Will I receive a full refund if I cancel a course in which I am already enrolled?

You will receive a refund minus a $100.00 administrative fee if you cancel 14 days or more before the course start date. No refunds are granted less than 14 days before the course start date. Please see the TTS Certification website for the full cancellation policy.

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What does it mean if I receive notice that I am on the waitlist?

This means that the course you applied for is currently full. You will remain on the waitlist until an opening occurs in the program. If an opening does not occur, you are given the choice to enroll in the next scheduled training or receive a full refund.

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Can I recertify if I have a provisional certification?

You must meet both the minimum service hours requirement and educational requirement to be eligible for recertification. If at the time of training you received a provisional certificate due to either not meeting the minimum service hours requirement or the minimum educational requirement, you must submit one or both of these items to remove the provisional status. This is required prior to or during the recertification process, which requires submission of a Recertification Application form, payment and continuing education hours.

What does it cost to recertify?

Please see the Recertification Application form for the most current fees as they are subject to change.

Can I recertify if I decided to recertify more than six months past my certification expiration date?

If a lapsed certification status is reached, you are required to retake and successfully complete the five-day training, as well as pass both exams to regain certification status.

How often do I need to apply for recertification?

The certificate expires every two years.

How many continuing education hours do I need to acquire in order to recertify?

The NDC policy requires obtaining 18 continuing education hours (CEHs) every two years.

What type of courses does the program approve continuing education hours for?

  • Tobacco-focused courses. The program approves 100 percent credit for tobacco-focused courses
  • Nontobacco courses. The program has expanded the policy to approve 50 percent credit for the following types of CEHs:

    • Nontobacco motivational interviewing.
    • General or specific addiction in an area other than tobacco.
    • Health behavior, wellness, prevention and public health courses or workshops.
    • Note: The program also approves college course credits that fit the above criteria guidelines; please visit the website to see the credit approval chart.

If I attend a motivational interviewing (MI) course, will the continuing education hours be approved for 100 percent credit or 50 percent credit?

The NDC program approves 100 percent credit for tobacco-focused MI courses. If it is not a tobacco-focused MI course, only 50 percent credit is approved. If the title of the course doesn't reflect that it's tobacco-focused, please submit learning objectives.

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What is the passing rate?

Testing consists of two separate exams. The NDC program requires an 80 percent passing rate on each exam.

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What does it cost to retest?

Please see the Retest Application form for current fees as prices are subject to change.

What is the process to retest?

On the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification website, select the Retest Application form link. Fill out the Retest Application form and submit it with your retest fee. The TTS course coordinator will contact you and the proctor with next steps.

Is there a minimum time frame I need to wait before I can retest?

You may retest at any time within the two years post-training. There are two exams, but if you failed just one exam you retest only that exam.

How many times may I take the retest?

You may retest a maximum of three times within the two years post-training.

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