National Credential
Credential: Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification. Certified individuals are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. These coding practitioners: review patients' records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure, possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM and CPT coding systems, and are knowledgeable about medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology. This is an entry level certification. Applicants must meet one of several eligibility requirements to qualify to sit for the exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68G Patient Administration Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 2 years
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
233 N. Michigan Avenue
21st Floor
Chicago, IL  60601-5809
Phone: (312) 233-1100
Fax: (312) 233-1500
Contact Page

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Option 1: Candidate must hold the RHIA, RHIT, or CCS-P credential from AHIMA.

Option 1: Candidate must complete a coding training program that includes anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, reimbursement methodology, intermediate/advanced ICD diagnostic/procedural and CPT coding

Option 3: Candidate must have a minimum of 2 years of related coding experience directly applying codes.

Option 4: Candidate must hold the CCA credential from AHIMA and have 1 year of coding experience directly applying codes.

Option 5: Candidate must hold a coding credential from another certifying organization and have 1 year of coding experience directly applying codes.

The Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential has the following other requirements:

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

  • Health Information Documentation (8-10%)
  • Diagnosis & Procedure Coding (64-68%)
  • Regulatory Guidelines and Reporting Requirements for Acute Care (Inpatient) Service (6-8%)
  • Regulatory Guidelines and Reporting Requirements for Outpatient Services (6-8%)
  • Data Quality and Management (2-4%)
  • Information and Communication Technologies (1-3%)
  • Privacy, Confidentiality, Legal, and Ethical Issues (2-4%)
  • Compliance (2-4%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by Pearson VUE. The test centers are located in the U.S. They also have some test centers on military bases.

To find out more, use the following links on the Pearson VUE website:

For more information on the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential has the following recertification information:

  • CCSs must earn 20 CEUs, including two mandatory annual coding self-reviews during the recertification cycle.  Each mandatory annual coding self-review is worth 5 CEUs toward the total CEU requirement of a coding credential. More information can be found in the AHIMA Recertification Guide.

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Additional considerations for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) include:

  • The CCS exam is based on ICD-10-CM codes and ICD-10-PCS codes. Candidates are required to bring a ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, and CPT code book to the test site. Only the American Medical Association CPT codebook is permitted. For more information, visit the AHIMA web site.