Purpose of Recertification
The Certification Committee supports the ongoing professional development of its certificants in all of its certification programs. The mandatory renewal process provides certificants with the opportunity to demonstrate continued competence through the retention, reinforcement, and expansion of their knowledge and skills. Each NAWCO credential requires recertification every five (5) years to maintain use of the credential.
Specific to the WCC credential, the purpose of the WCC recertification program is to promote the continued competence and professional growth of the WCC certificant. The Certification Committee mandates recertification every five years to ensure that the WCC-certified clinician is exposed to clinical advancements and standards of care within the area of skin and wound management. The recertification requirements emphasize active participation in continuing education and practice activities to strengthen competency, knowledge, ability, and skill in the area of skin and wound management.
Rationale for Recertification
The Certification Committee considered a number of factors when evaluating the five-year timeframe for the certification period including the rate of change in the industry and the timeframe with which new products are introduced to the industry. Additionally, the committee noted that the baseline protocols for infection control, one of the most important elements of wound and skin care management, have remained consistent. Research supports that current protocols for infection control are still effective and in use. By consensus, the Certification Committee agreed that five years is an appropriate timeframe for the shelf life of the knowledge and skill required to perform the job role.
Definition of Continuing Competence
The NAWCO Certification Committee defines continuing competence similarly to the definition provided by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Continuing competence is demonstrating specified levels of knowledge, skills, or ability not only at the time of initial certification but throughout an individual’s professional career. Certification establishes a baseline of competence at the time of initial certification, however it is not enough to promote continuing competence over time. Recertification of the certificant helps to ensure the certified individual is actively involved in activities that enhance the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform competently in the job role. Continuing competence is based on lifelong learning throughout the individual’s career.
Audit and Verification Process
In order to maintain the credibility and integrity of the certification process, the Certification Committee verifies the information provided on renewal applications and to ensure the renewal requirements are met. Requests for verification may be made prior to recertification or at a future time. Incomplete applications may result in delays or loss of certification. All renewal applications are reviewed for accuracy and completion. Professional licenses are checked for good standing and expiration dates. Random audits are conducted through the internal quality program to confirm information provided. This information is updated in each candidate’s file.
The National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® conducts random audits to determine compliance with the recertification requirements. A process for auditing CE forms has been established by the Certification Manager. Approximately 15% of all recertification applications are chosen for audit. The Admission’s Specialist reviews all CE submitted forms for compliance and chooses one per day for audit. Selection of the file to be audited is random, and can be chosen from any recertification application submitted either online, by mail, email, or fax. Applications from each submission method will be considered when selecting an application to audit.
Any WCC® selected for audit will be notified by email within two (2) weeks of application receipt. If audited, the documentation required for audit must be submitted to the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® within 30 days of notice.
A WCC® may not renew his/her credential until audit documentation is received and approved by the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® Non-compliance will result in recertification by examination only.