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American Board of Wound Management Standard of Excellence in Multidisciplinary Wound Certification

The American Board of Wound Management (ABWM), is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization established for the purpose of credentialing multi-disciplinary professionals in the field of wound management. ABWM offers three certifications:

The organization was founded by individuals with years of experience in wound care who are dedicated to helping patients who suffer from acute and chronic wounds of various etiologies. ABWM’s Board of Directors is a multidisciplinary panel of experts in the field of wound care consisting of practitioners, academicians and researchers. The American Board of Wound Management is a full voting member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

The purpose of the American Board of Wound Management is to administer a certification process that elevates the standard of care across the continuum of wound management.  The Board is dedicated to a multi-disciplinary approach in promoting prevention.

Mission Statement

The American Board of Wound Management is dedicated to the multidisciplinary team approach in promoting the science of prevention, care, and treatment of acute and chronic wounds.  The primary function is to establish and monitor a national certification process, recognize competency, promote education and research, and elevate the standard of care across the continuum of wound management.


1. To encourage the study and elevate the standards of wound care.

2. To act upon applications for certification of qualified health care professionals to ascertain their expertise and competency in the art and science of wound care.

3. To grant certificates of competency as Certified Wound Care Associates™ (CWCA®), Certified Wound Specialists® (CWS®), and Certified Wound Specialist Physician® (CWSP®) to those candidates who have met all qualifications and demonstrated competency and proficiency in wound management.

4. To perform such other duties as are appropriate for the advancement and promotion of the art and science of wound management.

5. To promote and encourage education programs, clinical trials, and publication of research findings in the realm of prevention, care, and management of complications of acute and chronic wounds.

6. To establish a code of ethics, responsibility, and high professional standards for certified individuals.

Code of Ethics

All candidates for the CWCA®, CWS® and CWSP® are required to read the ABWM Code of Ethics and sign a statement affirming adherence to the code when they submit their applications.

ABWM Code of Ethics

The American Board of Wound Management acknowledges the diversity of etiologies and associated problems that patients with chronic non-healing wounds endure. The American Board of Wound Management therefore supports the interdisciplinary commitment, which professionals from a variety of disciplines, can make to the field of wound management. The conduct of individuals certified by the American Board of Wound Management shall be consistent with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, and with codes of conduct as established by the certified individual’s primary discipline. Additionally, individuals who are certified by the American Board of Wound Management shall be committed to increasing their knowledge of the mechanisms of wound healing, tissue repair, and modalities to effectively treat indolent wounds. It is part of the mission of The American Board of Wound Management to safeguard the health and welfare of patients who seek the services of Certified Wound Care Associates, Certified Wound Specialists, and Certified Wound Specialist Physicians.

a. Responsibility

All Certified practitioners must be responsible to determine that standards are applied evenly and fairly to all individuals who receive services. Certified individuals shall provide accurate documentation and timely feedback to members of the team, and other interested parties, in order to assure coordinated, managed care. All reports will be objective and based upon an independent professional opinion within the Certified individual’s expertise. Certified individuals will provide only those services for which the individual is competent and qualified to perform. Certified individuals will refrain from providing services, which are counter to the ethical standard of their discipline.

b. Professional Conduct by Specialty

Certified individuals are obligated to maintain their education and competency such that it confirms to the standard of conduct both to the individual’s community, practice, and discipline. Wound management is a coordinated multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary effort. Certified individuals will conduct their professional behavior so that it facilitates the services of all team members for maximum benefit of the patient.

c. Education, Training and Competence

Certified providers shall maintain high moral values, ethics, and professional competence. They shall recognize the limits of their skills and license. They shall offer services consistent with the standard of their profession. Certified individuals have an obligation to accurately represent and disclose their training, education, and experience to the public. Certified providers shall engage in continuing education. Certified providers recognize that the field of wound management is developing rapidly and shall be open to evaluate and consider new products and approaches to wound management. Certified providers should refrain from any activity which may result in harm to a patient without first considering alternatives to such an approach, seeking services which may achieve the same benefit without the associated risk, obtain consultations from other providers, and inform the patient of any risk inherent to any procedure or approach.

d. Confidentiality

Certified providers are obligated to safeguard information obtained in the course of their involvement with a patient. Information may be released with a patient’s permission; and circumstances where there is a clear and imminent danger to the patient, or others, and where required by court or subpoena. The patient has the privilege to the extent feasible and practical, and those cases where there would be no legal or clinical contraindications, to see their chart when this can be arranged at a mutually convenient time.

e. Business Procedures

Certified providers will abide by all prevailing community standards. They will adhere to all federal, state, and local laws regulating business practice. Competitive advertising must be honest, actual, and accurate. Such advertising shall avoid exaggerated claims. Certified providers will not enter into any arrangement where fees are exchanged that would be likely to create conflict of interest or influence their opinion about service rendered. Certified providers shall engage in behavior which conforms to high standards of moral, ethical, and legal behavior. Certified providers will not engage in sexual contact with patients.

f. Research

Certified providers are encouraged to engage in research. In doing so, they shall have the safety of their subjects as a priority. Investigation shall be consistent with the traditions and practices of the certified individual’s discipline.

What Are Others Saying?

“My CWS® enhances my practice and range of influence. It demonstrates my specialty in wound care to providers outside traditional physical therapy circles. The CWS® is the gold standard of wound care certification.”

Stanley K. McCallon, DPT, CWS®, FACCWS