Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) is one of the most distinguished designations the College offers its members, honoring those with advanced training and education who have shown a commitment to the profession and the College.

With a focus on recognized national board certifications and member interests in advanced learning, skill building and professional recognition, the designation is a high honor reserved for those cardiovascular team members who have taken their commitment to transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health to the highest level.

As an Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) you’ll gain recognition as a cardiovascular professional at the top of your field and receive voting privileges on College decisions.

What it Means to Be an AACC

As an Associate of the ACC, you’ll be able to use the professional designation, AACC, to signal to both patients and colleagues alike of your commitment to only the highest standards of cardiovascular care, and that you have been conferred to the highest credential by your peers. Additionally, you’ll unlock voting privileges and be able to participate in ACC’s Annual Convocation Ceremony held each year during the ACC Annual Scientific Session.

Criteria for AACC

To advance to AACC you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a current state licensure
  • Hold a nationally recognized Board certification**
    Download the How to Become an AACC document to find out more >>>
  • Spend the majority of your professional time on the field of cardiology
  • Present three letters of recommendation
    • Letters must be from current FACC members of the College
    • Sponsors must be well-acquainted with the applicant’s current professional activities.
    • Relatives may not sponsor applicants
    • Letters must be original in content (no form letters)
  • Be employed in a practice that is primarily cardiovascular focused—at least 75%
  • Have been committed to CV practice for five years or more
  • Have been a CV Team member of the ACC for at least two years
  • Complete at least 12 hours of CV-related CE/CME credit hours annually
  • Be a member of the ACC’s Cardiovascular Team Member Section
    • Note: You may join the Section when you apply for AACC

**Note: The national board certifications for AACC designation were selected by the CCA Designation Working Group and approved by the ACC's Credentialing and Membership Committee. Selection of these national board certifications was based on the amount of cardiology-specific content on the board examination. Applicants that hold a national board certification that is not currently on the approved list are still invited to apply for the designation and will be approved for advancement to AACC by the Credentialing and Membership Committee, on a case by case basis.

How to Apply

To apply, submit your application packet consisting of:

  1. Completed application
  2. Three letters of recommendation from current FACC members
  3. Copy of current license
  4. Proof of Board certification
  5. Proof of CE activities over the last calendar year
  6. Payment of $25 application fee

Submit the application packet to:

ACC Member Services
2400 N Street, NW
Washington, DC, 20037

Email resource@acc.org to check on the status of your application.

Questions regarding the application process? Contact Kelli Bohannon at kbohanno@acc.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC)?

The Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) is a professional designation that was created by the College to recognize cardiovascular team members who, through advanced training, professional development and service to the ACC, have proven their commitment to providing quality cardiovascular care.

How was the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) designation developed?

The American College of Cardiology worked with a select group of CVT member volunteers and the ACC’s Credentialing and Membership Committee (CMC) to develop the designation. The criteria for the AACC designation were approved by the ACC’s Board of Trustees.

What are the criteria for Associate of the American College of Cardiology?

The criteria for Cardiac Care Associate members to advance to Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) are as follows:

  1. State Licensure
  2. Nationally recognized board certification
  3. Majority of professional activities must be devoted to the field of cardiovascular disease.
  4. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation. Letters must be from FACC members that are well acquainted with the applicant’s current professional activities. Relatives may not sponsor applicants.
  5. Employed in a practice that is primarily cardiovascular focused – at least 75%.
  6. Commitment to CV practice for five years or more.
  7. CVT member for two years prior to applying for designation.
  8. At least 12 hours of CV related CE/CME credit hours annually.
  9. Member of the ACC’s Cardiovascular Team Section.

How were the national board certifications for AACC designation selected?

Selection of the AACC-approved national board certifications was based on the amount of cardiology-specific content on the board examination. An effort was made to include the most common board certifications for cardiac care team members.

What national board certifications are recognized for advancement to AACC?

The following credentialing bodies are deemed acceptable for AACC. Each of the following bodies provides board examinations that are nationally recognized:

  • Accreditation Council for Clinical Lipidology
  • American Associate of Critical-Care Nurses
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • Heart Rhythm Society (formerly NASPE)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

My national board certification is not on the list of AACC-approved certifications. May I still apply for AACC?

Yes. While the national board certifications selected and approved by the College are among the most common for care team members, other national board certifications will be considered on a case by case basis by the Credentialing and Membership Committee.

With regard to proof of national board certification, may I provide a copy of my current certification certificate or do I need to submit an official verification from the credentialing body?

Applicants must request an official verification from the credentialing body as proof of certification. The verification must be submitted with the applicant’s completed application form.

How can I get a list of my ACC CE/CME activities?

Members can access their CE/CME information by first logging into ACC.org and then clicking on My ACC, located under the search bar in the top right hand corner of the ACC.org home page. Once you've expanded My ACC, you will see a drop down list of links. Click My CME / CE Transcript to review your activities. Requests for this information may also be submitted to the ACC’s Resource Center at resource@acc.org or by telephone at 800-253-4636, ext. 5603. Please allow up to 24 hours for requests submitted to the Resource Center.

Membership with the Cardiovascular Team Section is listed as a requirement for Associate of the American College of Cardiology. What is the Cardiovascular Team Section and how do I join? How much does it cost?

The Cardiovascular Team Section was approved by the ACC’s Board of Trustees in 2009, to further integrate CCA members in to the College by providing them with increased opportunities to participate on national working groups. The Section provides insight to help steer College initiatives and programs related to the cardiovascular team, and helps to ensure the perspective of the care team is integrated in the College’s overarching programs and direction.

Does the ACC have a form letter that AACC applicants can provide to their sponsors? If not, what information should the letters of the recommendation include?

No. Applicants should request letters of recommendation from AACC or FACC members of the College that are well acquainted with the applicant’s professional activities. The letters should be originally written, on the sponsor’s business letterhead and highlight the applicant’s professional accomplishments and why the applicant should advance to AACC.

How much does it cost for Cardiovascular Team members to apply for Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC)?

To apply for AACC, cardiovascular team members must pay a $25 application fee for processing.