Proof of education or experience isn’t necessary to sit for these exams.However, due to the level of expertise required of medical coders, AAPC expects certified coders to be able to perform not only in an exam setting but also in the real world. Those who pass the CPC®, COC™ exams but have not yet met this requirement will be designated as an Apprentice (CPC-A®, COC-A™) on their certificate.
CPC-A®, COC-A™ Status:
Requirements for Removal of Apprentice Designation
To remove your apprentice designation via on-the-job experience, you must obtain and submit two letters of recommendation verifying at least two years of on-the-job experience (externships accepted) using the CPT®, ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM, or HCPCS Level II code sets. One letter must be on letterhead from your employer*, the other may be from a co-worker. Experience includes time coding for a previous employer and prior to certification. Both letters are required to be signed and will need to outline your coding experience and amount of time in that capacity. Download our Apprentice Removal Template for easier submission. Letterhead and signatures are still required when using this template.
Submit proof showing completion of at least 80 contact hours of a coding preparation course (not CEUs) AND one letter, on letterhead, signed from your employer verifying one year of on-the-job experience (externships accepted) using the CPT®, ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM, or HCPCS Level II code sets.
Send proof of education in the form of a letter from an instructor on school letterhead stating you have completed 80 or more contact hours, a certificate/diploma stating at least 80 contact hours, or an unofficial school transcript.
- If you have completed the Distance Learning course by AAPC your 80 education hours will be automatically applied, you do not need to submit a certificate of completion
- Completion of the AAPC Practicode is counted towards the 1 year of experience a completion certificate must be submitted.
All proof of education must be submitted as a scanned attachment to an email once ALL apprentice removal requirements have been met.
Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing.
* Employers can only verify time spent coding with their organization. Proof of experience letters may be from previous employers, current employers, or a combination of both.