The American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders has developed a comprehensive examination designed to test the applicant's knowledge in the essential core domains of addiction treatment. In addition to fulfilling all of the American Academy's educational and experiential requirements, applicants are also required to pass this examination to receive the CAS credential.
The examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam is proctored and taken online. The exam questions represent five treatment domains within clinical practice, guidelines and protocols, and specialized training as defined by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England. The examination content (domains) include:
- Marriage and family therapy
- Screening instruments and techniques
- Treating special populations
- Treatment techniques
- Intervention skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Assessment and diagnostic skills
- Developing a diagnostic and treatment formulation
- Relationship between addictions and other problems
- Referral skills
Professional and Ethical Responsibilities
- Legal and ethical issues
- Training activities that lead to credentials
- Administrative skills
- Treatment process skill
- Dual diagnosis
- Theoretical models of addiction
- Addiction concepts
Client, Family, and Community Education
- Signs and symptoms of addiction and withdrawal
- Therapy organization and movement skills
The examination includes all five of the Academy’s specialty areas (alcoholism, other drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, and sex addiction). The Certification Board reviews key certification policies every three to five years.
Applicant Preparation & Process
Once the completed application and the $95 application fee are received and approved by the Academy, applicants may sit for the examination. Applicants may prepare for this examination by studying contemporary clinical material in each of the five areas outlined above. A suggested reading list has been compiled by the Academy as a reference list to correlate with the examination topics.
Web-based Examination & Administration
The Certified Addiction Specialist Examination is a web-based proctored examination administered by the Academy via the internet. Candidates may schedule a time to take the exam once their application has been reviewed and accepted. Candidates are allowed two and one half hours to complete the examination and the results are available within two weeks from the testing date. The exam is pass/fail based on raw score. The raw score indicates the number of questions that were answered correctly. The minimum score required to pass the CAS exam is established by a committee of CAS subject matter experts, using the Angoff method. The Angoff method is a criterion-referenced methodology in which subject matter experts estimate the passing probability for each exam question. These ratings are averaged to determine the passing score. The exam must be proctored.
Examination Fee: $275.00 Re-Testing Fee: $100.00
Once applications are reviewed and accepted, the examination fee will be due. Candidates who do not successfully complete the exam will be contacted and given the opportunity to re-test for the certification.
Steps to Certification:
- Applicants will be notified within two weeks of the outcome of the exam.
- Upon successful completion of the exam, the applicant will be awarded Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) certification.
- A letter confirming certification, a certificate for framing, and a certificant card will be mailed.