ISTM Certificate of KnowledgeTM

cth logo

Click here to see the list of ISTM Members who have achieved the CTH® designation.

Upcoming CTH® Examinations

The examination will be offered twice in 2018.  The first exam will be offered on 21 March 2018 immediately preceeding the Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.  Registration for this event is currently FULL and we are no longer accepting waiting list applicants. Those who are already on the waiting list for the Bangkok exam will be contacted no later than 21 February 2018 if space becomes available. 

The second 2018 exam will be offered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America in early September.  The date and venue for this exam will be posted when confirmed, and registration will open for the September 2018 exam in March of 2018.

Please note that space for examinations is limited, and candidates should plan to submit their applications early.

Top of page

ISTM Certificate in Travel HealthTM

As with most healthcare disciplines, the practice of travel medicine is a changing and evolving field. In recognition of the critical need for travel medicine practitioners to maintain and increase their skills and knowledge, the ISTM has developed a continuing professional development program for travel medicine practitioners. The program is structured around a 10-year cycle of professional education, study and involvement in the field of travel medicine. Activities which comprise this program include, but are not limited to: passing an examination, educational programs and products, writing, editing and reviewing publications, teaching, research, clinical work and other professional development in which travel medicine practitioners participate.

The first step of this process is passing the CTH® examination. Beginning with the CTH® Certificates awarded in 2011, there is a mandatory maintenance process every ten (10) years to keep the certificate active. There are two avenues for maintaining an active CTH® - either accruing a specific number of credits through the professional development activities in which most travel medicine professionals already participate or retaking and passing the CTH® examination. Since the program became effective in 2011, travel medicine professionals who were awarded certificates prior to 2011 are encouraged to consider participating on a voluntary and not mandatory basis.

The ISTM Travel Medicine Continuing Professional Development Program will provide greater confidence to the public and patients we treat, and enable the CTH® holders demonstrate to compliance authorities that the credential is relevant. Additionally, these activities will enhance and elevate the practice of travel medicine around the world.

Top of page

ISTM Travel Medicine Review and Update Course

Top of page

ISTM Certificate in Travel HealthTM Renewal Program

Program Overview

To maintain their CTH® credential, candidates who received their certificate beginning in 2011 must complete required activities and apply for renewal every 10 years. Renewal may be accomplished through participating in continuing professional development (CPD) activities directly relating to topics identified in the CTH® Body of Knowledge OR retesting (i.e., taking and passing the CTH® examination).

Candidates seeking renewal through CPD activities are required to accumulate 200 CPD points within the 10-year renewal period. At least 80 of the 200 points must be earned during the last 5 years of the renewal period. One hundred and forty (140) of the 200 points must be earned through participation in a minimum of three continuing education events defined as face to face, educational events and/or distance learning events.

Acceptable professional development activities include:

  • participating in continuing education events;
  • teaching, lecturing, speaking, and mentoring;
  • publishing, including authoring, peer-reviewing, and serving on editorial boards;
  • direct travel medicine patient care and clinical activities;
  • committee/volunteer activities;
  • clinical supervision of healthcare professionals, students or trainees;
  • peer practice review/travel medicine practice audits; and
  • serving as a travel medicine consultant.

Top of page

Professional Development Activities and Point Allocations

All professional development activities must be focused on travel medicine topics as identified in the most current ISTM Body of Knowledge.


Point Allocation

Mandatory Minimum Points

Maximum Allowable Points


Continuing Education Events

  140 Points from a minimum of 3 Events    
  • Instructor-Led
1 Point Per Hour     International instructor-led continuing education events accrue double the number of points per hour
  • Self-Directed Learning
    60 Points  

Teaching and Mentoring Activities

3 Points Per Hour of Teaching/Presentation Time; 3 Points for each Scientific Poster Authored; 1 point for each hour of structured supervision/mentoring     Repeat presentations where the majority of the content is the same, credit will be given for the first time it is presented in a 12 month period of time.

Publishing Activities

    60 Points, with a maximum of 6 Points from non peer-reviewed or lay traveller publications  
  • Editor, Peer-Reviewed Travel Medicine Journal
10 Points Per Year      
  • Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal
  • Lead Author
8 Points Per Article      
  • Contributing Author
6 Points Per Article      
  • Peer Reviewing
5 Points Per Article      
  • Lead Author
1 Point Per Letter to the Editor      
  • Editorial Board Member
1 Point Per Year      
  • Medical Textbook
  • Lead Author
5 Points Per Chapter      
  • Contributing Author
4 Points Per Chapter      
  • Editor, Non Peer-Reviewed Travel Medicine Publication
4 Points Per Year      
  • Non Peer-Reviewed Travel Medicine Publication
  • Lead Author
3 Points Per Article      
  • Contributing Author
2 Points Per Article      
  • Travel Medicine Related Website Author
3 Points Per Year      
  • Travellers' Lay Website Author
3 Points Per Year      
  • Author of a Travel Medicine Book Review
3 Points Per Published Review      

Clinical Activities

1 Point Per Day   60 Points
Full credit for this activity will be granted for providing patient care to 250 travellers or patients abroad each year.
Day is defined as 5 to 10 hours of patient care or seeing 10 patients, whichever is less.

Volunteer Activities

    10 Points  
  • Officer of Travel Medicine Society
2 Points Per Year      
  • Chair of Travel Medicine Related Committee, Working Group or Task Force
2 Points Per Year      
  • Member of Travel Medicine Related Committee, Working Group or Task Force
1 Point Per Year      

Review and Auditing Activities

2 Points Per Review and Per Audit      

Consultant Activities

1 Point Per Year in Each Role/Project   10 Points Points only allotted for a minimum of 8 hours of service in a particular role/project.

Top of page

Professional Development Activities Descriptions

All professional development activities must be focused on travel medicine topics as identified in the most current ISTM Body of Knowledge.

Continuing Education Events

Instructor-Led Events

Description: Instructor-led continuing education events are those in which the participants have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter(s). For purposes of this program, International Events are defined as: Events in which at least two and a minimum of 30% of the faculty must be from a different country than the country in which the event is being held and/or events which are held in a country other than one's home country.

Examples: Face-to-face conferences; courses; academic coursework leading to a certificate, diploma or degree; lectures; short courses, and/or distance learning activities (including online and telephonic events). Travel medicine sessions from events and coursework not primarily focused on travel medicine are acceptable. Educational events sponsored by pharmaceutical companies in which all scientific content is developed independently of any influence from the pharmaceutical companies, are eligible. There are no specific criteria for the providers of academic coursework; all academic institution programs are accepted.

Documentation: Written documentation required includes the event agenda including the name of the event provider, date, location, topics and speakers, (or a copy of the program) and a certificate from the provider acknowledging the number of hours completed, if provided.

Teaching and Mentoring Activities

Description: Lecturing, speaking, clinical supervision, mentoring, university lecturing, internal teaching, grand rounds and presenting posters on travel medicine topics and focused on travel medicine issues. Grand Rounds are defined as: The presentation of medical problems, review of a topic related to travel medicine and/or discussion of the treatment of a patient or patients to an audience consisting of healthcare professionals.

Examples: Conferences, congresses, short courses, interactive distance learning activities (including online and telephonic events), and scientific posters authored and presented at an educational event.

Clinical supervision of health care professionals and/or students and trainees focused on travel medicine issues.

Documentation: Written documentation required includes the abstract title, all authors, event title, provider information and date(s) of presentation (or a copy of the program).

Written documentation for clinical supervision and mentoring includes date(s) of meetings, and length of meeting(s).

Publishing Activities

Description: Serving as editor, on an editorial board and/or contributing as authors and reviewers to print and electronic publications on travel medicine topics as indicated in the Body of Knowledge.

Examples: Serving as editor or on the editorial board of a publication; serving as a reviewer of a publication; authoring articles, letters to the editor, book chapters, and websites.

Documentation: For Editor and Editorial Board service written documentation required includes the journal title, publisher, and year(s) of service.

For Publication Authoring service written documentation required includes the full reference: all authors, publication title, publication date, topic, journal volume, page number(s) of the article and publisher.

For Medical Textbook Authoring service written documentation required includes the full reference: all authors, title of publication, and title of chapter, publication date and publisher. For Website Authoring service of organisational and institutional websites written documentation required includes an electronic file containing the publication and a screen shot of the website. Work on individual clinic and practitioner websites is not applicable.

Clinical Activites

Description: Providing direct travel medicine patient care, pre-travel, during travel or post-travel.

Examples: Direct travel medicine patient care as part of a clinical practice, and paid or unpaid volunteer health care provided abroad.

Documentation: Written documentation required includes a small spreadsheet or description regarding patient care activities including the date of activity(ies), and purpose.

Volunteer Activities

Description: Committee and society activities on topics directly relating to topics identified in the most current body of knowledge. Volunteer health care provided abroad is included in clinical activities.

Examples: Chair, Officer or Committee Member

Documentation: Written documentation required includes the name of the organisation, committee/project name, volunteer title, and dates of service.

Review and Auditing Activities

Description: Peer practice review and travel medicine audits.

Examples: Providing practice reviews to professionals and conducting travel medicinie audits.

Documentation: Written documentation required includes the date(s) of the activity(ies) and type of the activity(ies).

Consultant Activities

Description: Serving as a travel medicine consultant.

Examples: Expert Witness, govermental and supragovernmental advisory committees (national, regional, local, international), WHO consulting activities and WHO teleconferences

Documentation: Written document required includes a brief description of the role, the activity, the date(s), number of hour(s) and the type of organisation for which the role was performed.

Top of page

Renewal Processes

  • Once renewal criteria are met the certificate would be renewed for a 10-year period beginning on 1 January of the year immediately following the satisfaction of the requirements.
  • Renewal application confirming the completion of the required number of the professional development activities must be submitted to the ISTM Secretariat no later than ninety (90) days prior to the renewal date through the online process.
  • ISTM will perform a detailed audit of a minority (likely 10%) of professional development based renewal applications each year to ensure compliance. Additional documentation may be required for approval of the applications being audited.

Top of page

About the Program

Top of page

Body of Knowledge