Frequently asked questions

Application Process/Payments

What is the cost of attending the Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Program?

How do I secure a spot in the program?
Payment secures enrollment into the program if the course has not been filled. The other application materials and transcripts can be sent as they are available.

Can I assume that I am enrolled in the Tobacco Treatment Specialist program as soon as I send payment?
No, please do not assume that you are enrolled in our program unless you have received written confirmation directly from us stating that you have been enrolled.

Once I decide to apply, what do I need to do?
Look for the application checklist which is located on the upper right corner of the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification home page for all the application materials necessary to apply for our training.

Can I still apply for the training if I do not meet the minimum requirement of service hours prior to the start of the program?
Yes, you may attend the training even if you have not acquired the minimum service hours (240 hours for Master’s degree or 480 hours for Bachelor’s degree). If you pass the testing, you will be given a Provisional Certificate which allows you two years to acquire the minimum service hours.

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Service Hours Form

Do I need to fill out a Service Hours form even if I have not acquired any service hours at the time of application?
Yes. Even if you have not acquired service hours at the time of application, you still need to fill out the form and indicate “0” hours.

Please clarify exactly what type of hours I can claim on the Service Hours form?
The service hours that the NDC requires for TTS certification are to be "clinical" hours. They are hours that need to have been spent in direct patient care, helping individuals to stop using tobacco. We do not accept tobacco control or prevention activities for service hours. We do not accept hours spent in classroom teaching, working at a health fair or working a booth, or working on public or organizational policy. These hours are to be specifically spent on treating tobacco use and dependence in patients or groups of patients, not teaching other healthcare professionals.

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Do I need to send in transcripts from all of my academic institutions that I attended?
No, you can just send in the transcript from the institution where you achieved your highest academic degree.

Can I just send a copy of my transcripts directly to you?
You may send us the transcripts directly only if they are “official” and enclosed in a sealed and signed envelope. Otherwise, we need the academic institution to send your transcripts directly to us through regular mail. We will not accept faxes or copies of transcripts, nor will we accept a seal that has been broken.

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What does it cost to re-certify?
The cost is $30.00 if submitted before the two-year recertification deadline. The cost increases to $100.00 if submitted 30 days after your certification expiration date and up to 6 months past the certification expiration date (Inactive Status) before you would be considered "Lapsed". Once you have reached a "Lapsed Status", you will be required to retake the full 5-day course again in order to recertify.

How often do I need to apply for re-certification?
Your certificate expires every two years.

How many continuing education hours do I need to acquire in order to re-certify?
Our policy requires that you obtain a total of 18 continuing education hours every two years. We require all 18 hours to be tobacco-focused hours.

If I have acquired all my service hours at the time of training, do I need to continue to track service hours when I apply for recertification?
No. You only need to continue tracking service hours if you did not meet the minimum requirement at the time of the training. Once you have acquired your service hours (this correlates with your academic degree), you no longer need to track service hours for future recertification.

Can I recertify with a Provisional certificate?
At the time of the first recertification timeframe, two years after the initial training, participants will need to submit either a "Service Hours Update form" or an official academic transcript, or possibly both. This depends on the reason a participant was granted the Provisional certificate at the time of training. Participants must meet the minimum service hours experience requirement and/or minimum educational requirement at the two-year timeframe after training or will be required to retake the entire 5-day training to maintain certification status.

If I attend a Motivational Interviewing course, will all continuing education hours acquired be considered tobacco-focused?
Do not assume that all hours obtained will be approved as tobacco-focused continuing education hours. Some Motivational Interviewing courses are not tobacco-focused. If that is the case, we will allow 50 percent credit as tobacco-focused hours.

What if the agenda submitted does not clarify that a presentation is tobacco-focused within the title of the presentation?
In those situations, I would recommend submitting learning objectives along with the agenda. All submissions are reviewed by our TTS committee to assess whether or not they meet the criteria for continuing education hours.

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Will I receive my full refund if I cancel from a course in which I am already enrolled?
You will receive a refund minus $100.00 if you decide to cancel two weeks or more PRIOR to the start of the course. If you cancel less than two weeks prior to the start of the course, you will not receive a refund for your registration fee. The cancellation dates for each course are listed on our website.

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Re-testing — Failed Certification Examination

If I fail the certification examination, how long before I can retest?
Should the applicant fail the certification examination, the application to retake the certification exam (without repetition of the course) will be accepted immediately.

How many times can I retest?
An applicant may retake the part(s) of the exam that was failed a maximum of 3 times within a two-year timeframe after completing the course. There is no required time interval between retesting. After two years from the date of the original exam, the applicant will no longer be eligible to retest and will need to retake the entire 5-day certification course to acquire certification.

Retest fee:

Where do I find the forms to retake exam?
Log into the database using an email address and password.

Look for "Next Steps" and the link titled "Apply for Retest". There you will find the online “Retest Application Form” link and payment options (either online credit card or check payment will be accepted).

Retest Application Form may be mailed or faxed (507-255-0652).

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What does it mean when 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 our program. If an opening does not occur, you will be given the choice to enroll in the next scheduled training or receive a full refund.