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HDS Education Approval Program

What is Education Program Approval?

The healthcare documentation (formerly called medical transcription) program approval process was instituted by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) to encourage adoption of AHDI’s Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation, maintain sound educational programming, produce competent entry-level healthcare documentation specialists, and assure consistency and high-quality outcomes for healthcare documentation education. Programs must comply with specific educational and institutional criteria as established by AHDI. There is no formal accreditation process for healthcare documentation programs; however, AHDI program approval is regarded by industry employers as an emerging benchmark for job-ready workforce candidates.


AHDI announced a new umbrella title for medical transcriptionists—healthcare documentation specialist— which was adopted in the 5th edition of AHDI’s Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation Programs. This latest 6th edition affirms AHDI’s commitment to the highest standards in education and training in healthcare documentation. The changes in healthcare information and documentation continue to offer new opportunities for well-educated, well-trained individuals; and this latest edition has been re-purposed as an educational program for a broadly conceived suite of still-emerging roles under the label of healthcare documentation.

Education Approval Governing Bodies

AHDI’s Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP) evaluates programs that have voluntarily opted to submit their program and curriculum for approval and determines whether such programs comply with AHDI’s Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation. AHDI’s National Leadership Board has oversight over the ACCP. The ACCP has the authority to manage the approval program according to the policies and procedures approved by the Board.

Approved Programs

View the list of approved healthcare documentation education programs


AHDI recommends approved programs to all potential students seeking an education in the healthcare documentation industry. A successful career starts with a solid education, and students are encouraged to analyze their options carefully. AHDI-approved educational programs may display the approved program logo to denote their approval status and must adhere to the guidelines in the Manual for advertising approval status.

A Program’s approval period expires 3 years from the last day in the quarter in which the program was approved. For example, a program approved at a third quarter meeting in 2020 is approved through September 30, 2023. For new applicants, the approval period of 3 years starts from the point at which they first become Approved. For renewals receiving Renewal of Approval, the approval period of 3 years starts from the quarterly date in which their renewal expired.

Model Curriculum

The Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation was developed by AHDI to assist educational institutions in the development of healthcare documentation educational programs. The Model Curriculum incorporates a competencies profile for healthcare documentation into an educational program outline. The curriculum materials are intended solely as a guide and carry no explicit or implicit assurances of approval. However, a program intending to achieve program approval must be based on the Model Curriculum.

The most current version of the Model Curriculum is the 6th edition, which was released on December 18, 2020. Click to download a complimentary copy.

Instructors seeking guidance on implementing the Model Curriculum may consider purchasing the eSource for Healthcare Documentation Instructors: Implementing the Model Curriculum, 2nd Edition.

Getting Started

Download a flowchart of the application process:

Complete information regarding the education approval process may be found in the Education Program Approval Manual.


Program Approval Fees

Approval Administrative Fees
(Fees are subject to change)
AHDI Educational
Member Fee
Preliminary Program Assessment $100 (waived)
$100 (waived)
Self Study Application $1,700 $2,000
Annual Report Included with Self Study fee Included with Self Study fee
Approval and Re-Approval Pending Change Extension $100 $100
Appeal $850 $1,000
Program Renewal
(every 3 years & preliminary program assessment not required)
$1,700 $2,000

AHDI Educational membership is $200 per year. To view the benefits of membership, please click here. Membership in AHDI is not required for a program to apply for, and obtain, Approved Program status.

ACCP Quarterly Meetings & Deadlines

Quarterly Meeting: March 9, 2024
Self-Study Application Deadline: January 13, 2024
Approval Pending Change Deadline: February 10, 2024
Annual Report due: February 10, 2024

Quarterly Meeting: June 8, 20224

Self-Study Application Deadline: April 20, 2024
Approval Pending Change Deadline: May 17, 2024
Annual Report due: May 17, 2024

Quarterly Meeting: September 14, 20224

Self-Study Application Deadline: July 19, 2024
Approval Pending Change Deadline: August 16, 2024
Annual Report due: August 16, 2024
Quarterly Meeting: December 14, 2024
Self-Study Application Deadline: October 15, 2024
Approval Pending Change Deadline: November 15, 2024
Annual Report due: November 15, 2024