Next CLS Testing Window

Apply now and take the exam online any time before January 31, 2021. Applications must be received no later than December 15, 2020 to be eligible for examination this year.

Many testing centers are experiencing closures due to COVID-19. As an alternative, the CLS exam will be administered online rather than in a testing center. Contact the ACCL office at (904) 309-6250 for more information.

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CLS Certification
Recognized by ACC

The CLS certification is now recognized by the American College of Cardiology as qualifying criteria to become an Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC), a distinguished designation honoring those with advanced training and education in the field of Cardiology.

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CLS Certification Featured on Today's Dietitian

Learn more about this certification and why RDNs should pursue it.

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Dietitian/Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist/Specialist

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • United States or Canadian Resident
  • Licensed to practice*

*Documentation: Please provide a copy of professional license with current expiration date.

Patient Care/Education Requirements


Licensure Status

Patient Care Requirement

Master's or higher in related health science* Licensed/Registered 2,000 hours of demonstrated clinical experience in the management of patients with lipid or other related disorders. (~1 year)*
Bachelor's in related health science* Licensed/Registered 3,000 hours of demonstrated clinical experience in the management of patients with lipid or other related disorders. (~1.5 years)*

*Documentation: Copy of diploma of highest degree earned and One letter of recommendation from an individual qualified to comment on your work and/or experience in the management of patients with dyslipidemias.

Training Requirements

Minimum of 200 points is required to successfully credential for certification. Points are earned through primary and subspecialty board certifications, relevant academic practice, involvement in relevant clinical research, and participation in lipid-focused continuing medical education activities.

Note: Applicants do not need to earn points from all 5 categories listed.

Dietitian/Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist/Specialist Criteria


1. Certification in Adult Weight Management from the ADA, certification from other relevant advanced training, including Certified Diabetes Educator or FADA, or other appropriate certificate programs.

Documentation: Copy of certificates.

50 points**

2. Higher education level: Doctoral Degree OR other relevant advanced training.

Documentation: Copy of certificates.

50 points**

3. Relevant academic practice and faculty appointment at a recognized institution (i.e., relevant to lipid practice)

Documentation: Letter from Department Chair or Division Chief at the recognized academic institution(s) confirming appointment(s) and explaining relevance to lipid management.

50 points

4. Clinical research and/or scholarly publications in the management of lipid disorders

Documentation: Please list and highlight all relevant scholarly, peer-reviewed publications in a WORD document or on your CV.

10 points per publication
(up to 50 points)

5. Balance of points not obtained in 1-4, must be earned through lipid focused continuing education credit obtained within the previous five calendar years.

Documentation: Complete the ACCL CE/CME Credit Tracking Form and attach copies of certificates of attendance for the CE activities that you submit for points. The titles of the activities must be clearly identified.

2 points per credit hour earned
**The combined points earned from these categories may not exceed 100 points.