AACVPR Program Certification Homepage

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.


More 2016 Updates Coming Soon!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) For Program Certification

Program Certification Application Resources

NEW - Highlighted Application Changes for 2016

NEW - 2016 DRAFT Applications

The certification process and requirements are updated each year, and may have changed since your previous certification. Please visit our Application Resources & Frequently Asked Questions webpages for the best information about the 2016 application cycle.

New Primary Certification Contact?

Be sure to receive important updates about AACVPR Program Certification by keeping your program’s Primary Certification Contact current. Please Click Here to submit updated information or set up a new Primary Contact for the upcoming 2016 application cycle.

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. 
Access Your Program Certification Dashboard

Click here to continue to your Dashboard Click on the Dashboard icon on the left to access your dashboard and view older applications. The 2015 application has closed.  The AACVPR 2016 Program Certification application will open on December 2nd, 2015.





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.

Important Dates for the 2016 Program Certification Cycle

  • December 2, 2015: Application opens.
  • February 28, 2016: Completed applications and payments due.
  • March - August 2016: Program Certification Committee reviews applications
  • June - August 2016: Certification committee review; Chair and Board Liaison oversight review; and Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR) testing.
  • August 31, 2016: Program Letters sent by US Mail notifying programs of application decisions.

Getting Started

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 2016 Application?

  • Certification: A non-refundable application fee of $755 per program is due with the completed application form.  The fees cover the cost of program administration.
  • Recertification: A non-refundable application fee of $640 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

How long does it take?
The Certification Dashboard will be open from December 2, 2015 to February 28, 2016 for you to complete your application. You do not need to complete your application in one sitting; the Dashboard 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 2016 application will be accessible online in the Certification Center from December 2, 2015 - February 28, 2016. Aditional information is posted here and on the Certification Application Resource Page

What is the data collection period for the 2016 cycle? 
The data collection period is January 1 to December 31, 2015. 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 yerm 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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