Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has been training and certifying Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTS) throughout the country since 1999. We take pride in the quality and intensity of our evidence-based training and certification program.
As of September 1, 2003, UMass will be offering two levels of certification, (1) an entry level certification which requires 240 hours experience in tobacco treatment in the last 5 years for licensed healthcare professionals* (approximately 4 hours/month) OR 480 hours experience in tobacco treatment in the last 5 years for other healthcare professionals (approximately 8 hours/month), and (2) a Master TTS certification for those tobacco treatment providers who have at least 2000 hours documented experience within the last 5 years.
The information below describes the certification process, including required training and the final review process, as well as training and certification fees and the requirements for recertification.
- Important! Anyone planning to attend our Core Certification Training and apply for TTS certification must be tobacco-free for at least six months prior to training, and be in stable abstinence. We believe that concurrent use of tobacco while treating someone for tobacco dependence is detrimental to the success of the person receiving treatment.
- Complete Basic Skills and TTS Core Certification trainings.
- Pass the TTS written exam after completing Core training. Click here to download the Application for Examination.
- Submit an application for certification.Click here to download the Application for TTS Certification.
- For Entry Level Certification (CTTS): 240 hours experience (licensed healthcare professional*) / 480 hours experience (other healthcare professional) within past 5 years
- For Master TTS Certification (CTTS-M): 2000 hours experience in tobacco treatment within past 5 years
- What counts as Tobacco Treatment experience?
1. Facilitating or leading group quit smoking classes
2. Conducting face-to-face or telephone quit smoking counseling
3. Preparing for and documenting smoking cessation sessions/classes
4. Providing training to other providers specifically related to tobacco treatment
5. Providing supervision to other tobacco treatment providers
- Prepare and submit case study to the TTS Review Board along with the application for certification.
- Interview with the TTS Review Board.
- The Review Board will issue a 2-year certification upon satisfactory completion of this process.
*This category includes certified substance abuse counselors, clinical psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, licensed social workers, pharmacists, and registered nurses/NP/PA.
Required Training for Both Levels of Certification:
All persons wishing to become certified are required to complete the following training:
- Basic Skills for Working with Smokers, online course.
- TTS Core Certification training, a 5-day course held in Worcester, MA, two times a year.
- There are currently no options to test out of various modules. Such options may be developed in the future.
- See 'Scheduled Trainings' for a list of upcoming programs and information on how to register for Basic Skills Online and Core Certification training.
Final Review Process:
The TTS exam consists of multiple choice questions, short written answers and a case study. It is based on the PHS Clinical Practice Guideline and covers material presented in Basic Skills and Core Certification training. This exam may be taken at any time after a person has completed Core Certification training. Arrangements can be made for a proctor to administer the exam for non-Massachusetts residents.
Once a person has passed the exam and acquired the necessary hours to be eligible for certification, s/he is required to submit an original case study with his/her TTS application to the TTS Review Board. Applicants will be provided with instructions and format for this case study upon completion of Core Certification training.
- Certification Review Board
After submitting the case study, UMass Medical School will arrange a convenient time for applicants to discuss their case with the TTS Review Board. For persons living outside of Massachusetts , this may be done over the phone. The Review Board has the authority to grant TTS certification or to require additional training and/or resubmission of the case study.
Recertification is required every 2 years. A total of 20 continuing education credits that relate to tobacco treatment specialist core competencies must be earned during the 2 year cycle and an application submitted to UMass Medical School for recertification.
Exam and Review Fees:
New candidate: $250
Recertification fee: $50
For Basic Skills Online Course: There is no refund once payment has been received. Substitution may be permitted if coursework has not yet been initiated.
For TTS Core Certification Training: If you cancel your registration 2 weeks prior to the course, your fee is refundable less a $50 processing charge. After that date NO refunds will be given.
Registry of Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists
Click here to view our national Registry of Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists!