AACVPR Program Certification

The AACVPR Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Certification process is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual facilities for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies.


Looking for currently certified programs in your area? Please visit our Program Directory for a complete listing of all currently certified programs.




2017 Application Information

The certification process and requirements are updated each year, and may have changed since your previous certification.

Click here to view a free recording of the 2015 AACVPR Annual Meeting session titled "AACVPR Program Certification 2015-2016 Update" as presented by the Program Certification Chair and Vice-Chair. Link not working? Click here to view this video session on YouTube.

Primary Certification Contact Form

Please Click Here to set up a new Primary Contact for the 2017 application cycle or to update your contact for your currently certified program. The Certification Primary Contact is the chief individual responsible for completing certification application(s) and receiving important updates about AACVPR Program Certification.

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Clinical Questions?

For clinical questions regarding the Program Certification application content and requirements, please visit our FAQ page and Certification Application Resources page. If you are an AACVPR member and have a question not addressed in the FAQ, please submit your question by email to certification@aacvpr.org to be forwarded to a clinical expert. 

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Access Your Program Certification Dashboard

Primary & Secondary Program Certification Contacts: The AACVPR 2017 Program Certification application opens in December 2016. Click on the Dashboard icon on the left to access your dashboard and view your program's recent applications or create a new application.     





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Benefits of AACVPR Program Certification

Customize and submit this letter to your program leaders to let them know about the benefits of AACVPR Certification. The letter outlines the following benefits:

  • AACVPR certification demonstrates that your program is aligned with current guidelines as approved by the American Association of Cardiovascular and
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation for the appropriate and effective early outpatient care of patients with cardiac or pulmonary issues.
  • Physicians can refer patients to your certified program with confidence, knowing that you can be an extension of their care to the patient.
  • Hospital administrators embrace program certification as a vehicle to demonstrate excellence for state department of health or TJC surveyors.
  • Insurance companies recognize that performance measures in patient care are part of the essential standards required for AACVPR certification.
  • Certification offers peace of mind to knowledgeable healthcare consumers. Certification can also help patients decide between your program and an uncertified program in the area.
  • Patients and family members can feel confident in knowing that your staff has the experience and skills necessary to deal with the variety of issues that a life-changing cardiac or pulmonary diagnosis can lead to.

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Important Dates for the 2017 Program Certification Cycle

  • December 1, 2016: Application opens
  • February 28, 2017: Completed applications and payments due
  • March - May 2017: Program Certification Committee Review Team completes initial application review 
  • June - August 2017: Program Certification Committee Chair and Board Liaison oversight review; and Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR) testing
  • August 31, 2017: Letters sent by US Mail notifying programs of application decisions

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Getting Started

How do I know if my program is eligible?

Please refer to our Program Certification Policies and Procedures document on our Program Certification Application Resources page. Please also refer to our Program Certification FAQs page for additional eligibility information.

Why should my program become certified? 

Among the benefits of program certification are the following:

  • The certification process helps programs meet essential standards of care. 
  • Essential standards required in certification are being recognized by insurance companies as part of performance measurements in patient care.
  • JCAHO auditors are familiar with the AACVPR certification process and have limited their questioning of certified programs.
  • Patients and their family members want to participate in programs that are considered the best, and the “Certified” designation helps them decide between programs. 
Read some success stories from AACVPR Certified Programs.

How much does it cost for the 2017 application?

  • Certification: A non-refundable application fee of $780 per program is due with the completed application form.  The fees cover the cost of program administration.

  • Recertification: A non-refundable application fee of $660 per program is due with the completed application form. The fees cover the cost of program administration. 

Does AACVPR certify new programs?  
Your program must be open for at least one year prior to applying for certification. This is to ensure that all information and policies are in place and functioning. If your program is new to certification, please have the individual you wish to be in charge of completing the application complete our New Primary Certification Contact Form.

How long does it take?
The Certification Center will be open from December 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017 for you to complete your application. You do not need to complete your application in one sitting; the Center allows you to come back as many times as you need to complete your application. Your work will be saved when you exit the system.  The actual time it takes to complete an application will vary by applicant.

Who decides if a program is certified or not?
The AACVPR Program Certification Committee will review each application for completeness and adherence to standards. The Committee shall recommend approval or denial of certification to the AACVPR Board of Directors. The AACVPR Program Certification Committee reserves the right to perform a site inspection. For those approved for certification, the AACVPR Board of Directors will issue a certificate valid for three years. The certificate is suitable for framing and can be displayed proudly as a symbol of meeting essential standards for quality patient care in cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation.

I want to be certified as a practitioner in cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation – will AACVPR certify me?
AACVPR currently offers a Certified Cardiac Rehabiltion Professional (CCRP) certification.  Please see the Professional Certification page for more details.

Where can I find more information on the program certification guidelines and application process?
The 2017 application will be available online in the Certification Center from December 1, 2016 - February 28, 2017. Additional information is posted here and on the Certification Application Resource Page

What is the data collection period for the 2017 cycle? 
The data collection period is January 1 to December 31, 2016. Please see individual application pages for details.

Does there need to be a current AACVPR member within my program to submit a certification or recertification application?
Yes, in order to submit your program certification or recertification application you must have a current AACVPR member within your program. It is also required that your program have an active AACVPR member on staff for the full three-year term of certification. Click here to Join AACVPR or renew your membership.

The certification application window is scheduled during the busiest time of year for our program. Why is the application period December through February?
The timeline for application submission has been a subject of much conversation with both AACVPR leadership and membership over the years. Spring and summer are not favored by applicants because so many families travel during that time. Fall and early winter are not favored because there are too many conflicts with the start of the school year and numerous holidays. Consequently the least disruptive time for the majority of applicants was December through February. 

The application looks like it will require an overwhelming amount of time from our staff – how can we get all this done by the deadline?
The application process (data collection, gathering the required documentation, reviewing policies and procedures, completing competencies and emergency drills, etc.) should be an active process that takes place during the entire year. If a program has taken these steps during the prior year, the actual application process (completing the online program profile, providing a few brief narrative responses, and uploading or faxing existing completed patient documentation) should only take a few hours to complete. 

Many programs use the certification application as a guide for program development well in advance of submitting their application, and programs that are already certified review the new application when it is released each year to make sure they are updating policies, collecting the necessary data, monitoring appropriate outcomes, maintaining staff competencies, etc. according to the most recent evidence and requirements. This is one key reason for the certification requirement to have an active AACVPR member on your staff for the full three year term of certification; you then receive all the relevant updates and information necessary to be proactive in your program design and management. We encourage you to approach certification as a year-long process with a generous three-month window for application submission, rather than as a tight timeline demanding a lot of staff time prior to the deadline.

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