CTH® Program

The ISTM Certificate of KnowledgeTM

The ISTM Certificate of KnowledgeTM Program was created to:

  • Establish an international standard for travel medicine practitioners
  • Encourage individual and global professional development in the area of travel medicine
  • Formally recognize individuals who pass the Certificate of KnowledgeTM Examination
  • Serve the public by promoting quality travel medicine services
  • Demonstrate the global validity of epidemiological data and of preventive strategies

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 ISTM welcomes applications from all qualified professionals who provide travel medicine-related services on a full- or part-time basis. The exam is open to all licensed travel medicine professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others. Both ISTM members and non-members are eligible to participate.

CTH® Renewal Process/Continuing Professional Development

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.

Renewal Processes

  • Applications for CTH Renewal are due 1 August in the year that the 10 year renewal is required. Applicants will be sent notification on renewal status by 6 January of the year following the submission of the CTH application.
  • Renewal applications confirming the completion of the required number of the professional development activities must be submitted in English to the ISTM Secretariat by 1 August in the renewal year through the online process.
  • ISTM will perform a detailed audit of a minority of professional development based renewal applications being audited. To avoid a delayed audit, all individuals submitting renewal applications are strongly encouraged to collect evidence and documentation of all professional development points claimed as they complete their point application tracker. (For examples of acceptable documentation, see descriptions under each category of professional development, such as Continuing Education events, Teaching and Mentoring activities, etc.).

To Register to renew your certificate, click here starting 20 May 2024.

There are two options to maintain an active CTH®:

  1. Earning a specific number of credits through the professional development activities in which most travel medicine practitioners already participate. The following activities will be included in this option:
    • Educational Events
      • In-Person: Local, State, Regional, National, International
        • Conferences, courses, lectures, short courses
      • Distance Learning Interactive Webinars and Webcasts
      • Enduring Materials within Peer-reviewed Journals or Online
    • Completing Academic Coursework within Schools of Higher Learning
    • Treating Patients/Practicing Travel Medicine
    • Teaching, Lecturing, Speaking, including Invited Conferences, University Lecturing, Internal Teaching (e.g. Grand Rounds), Presenting Posters
    • Publishing, including Authoring, Peer-reviewing, and Serving on an Editorial Board
    • Committee/Volunteer Activities, including serving as a Volunteer or Committee Member with a Travel Medicine Society or in a Travel Medicine Related Activity in a Non-Travel Medicine Society
    • Clinical Supervision of Health Care Professionals and/or Students and Trainees
    • Peer Review/Practice Audits
    • Serving as a Subject Matter Expert, including Expert Witnesses, Governmental & Supragovernmental Advisory Committees (National, Regional, Local, International), Consulting Activities
  2. The second option is to retake the CTH® Examination

Body of Knowledge

Professionals in the travel medicine field need a comprehensive knowledge base that encompasses various areas. Key topics include global epidemiology of health risks for travelers, vaccinology, malaria prevention, and pre-travel counseling aimed at preserving the well-being of individuals on the move.


To expand the reach of the its educational curriculum, in 2011 the ISTM established a distance learning program capturing individual sessions from the Travel Medicine and Review Course as well as from the International Conference of the ISTM and have made them available through the internet. Topics are relevant to all travel medicine practitioners, with both introductory and more advanced content.

Upcoming 2024 CTH® Examinations

  • Wednesday, 18 September 2024 in-person Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 November 2024 Virtual Examination.