As the leading Society advancing surgical care in transplantation, the American Society of Transpalnt Surgeons (ASTS) and Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council (TACC) are committed to defining and promoting training and the career-long education of transplant surgeons. The primary avenue by which ASTS and TACC defines and promotes training is through accreditation of abdominal transplant surgery fellowship training programs and is the only provider of this service to the transplant community. To see a list of all our training programs, click here

ASTS accreditation provides validation that a training program meets prescribed high standards and is a seal of approval formally recognized the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and others. ASTS accredited training programs serve as the primary pathway for transplant surgeon designation and associated privileges.  Regulatory bodies, third-party payers, and academic transplant centers increasingly view completion of an ASTS accredited training program as an important qualification.

The objective of a transplant surgery fellowship training program is to develop proficiency in the surgical and medical management of patients with end-stage organ diseases amenable to transplantation. Candidates for such training must have satisfactorily completed a residency which satisfies the educational requirements for certification by the American Board of Surgery or the American Board of Urology or foreign equivalency. 

Fellowship Training Programs are subject to an initial accreditation review, site visit, evaluation and approval by the Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council. Subsequent program reaccreditations typically occur every three years.  Please see below for specific application requirements, deadlines and procedures. 

Program Accreditation Application Deadlines:

Accreditation applications are accepted during the following dates. All applications are reviewed by the Fellowship Training Committee and Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council. See below for application submission deadlines. Applications received after the deadline will not be processed until the next review period.

Accreditation Applications are accepted June 30 - August 1
Reaccreditation Applications are accepted June 30 - September 15

Applications will not be reviewed during the months of the Annual Fellowship Match. All applications received during this time will be reviewed after the match has closed, and recommendations will be put forward at the Fall Council Meeting.

The Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council has established guidelines and standards for programs to earn and maintain Fellowship Training Program Accreditation. It is the responsibility of all programs and fellows to review the below documents and be familiar with the requirements.  

Program Accreditation Documents 

Programs are required to adhere to the following requirements:


Applications are reviewed by the Fellowship Training Committee (FTC) and Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council (TACC) and presented for approval at the Fall Council Meeting. No applications will presented to the Council between the winter and spring meetings, due to the Annual Match.  This ensures any changes happen prior to match day.  Below are important dates for 2018 - 2019:
New Program Applications
    *  Submissions will be accepted between June 30, 2018 - August 1,2018
    *  Council review in Fall 2018
    *  Notification of final approval approximately 3 weeks after the relevant Council meeting

2019 Reaccreditation Applications
    *  Submission deadline of September 15, 2018
    *  Council review in Fall 2018
    *  Notification of final approval by December 2018

Accreditation and Reaccreditation Information

All data submitted must be from the Academic Year (July 1 - June 30).

The completed application will be reviewed by the Fellowship Training Committee (Chair, Co-chair and 2 committee members). The applicant institution will be notified of the names of the reviewers and are asked to cooperate with the reviewers' requests for additional information if necessary.

If the application is from a program not previously accredited, or if the accreditation has lapsed, a site visit to the applicant institution must be arranged for the reviewers. The ASTS National Office will notify the program of the complete application and will work with both the institution and the reviewers to organize the site visit. The applicant institution is expected to develop an itinerary that is mutually acceptable with the reviewers' goals and objectives. 

Direct expenses associated with travel to the site visit are borne by the applicant institution. The ASTS National Office will invoice the applicant institution after the site visit and payment is due after the application ruling is determined by the Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council on behalf of the ASTS Council. If the application is a renewal from an institution previously accredited, a site visit is not mandatory, and will be at the discretion of the reviewers.

The reviewers will submit a detailed report to the Chair of the Fellowship Training Committee and recommend whether the program meets the requirements for approval, whether additional information is necessary or whether the application should be disapproved. The Chair will submit the recommendations of the Committee to the Transplant Accreditation &Certification Council who is charged with granting final approval or disapproval.

The function of the Fellowship Training Committee is one of support to the ASTS Council and Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council and the committee will provide only recommendations. The Council holds ultimate authority in all decision-making matters.

If the program is granted approval by the Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council. The Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council will announce the decision directly to the applicant institution via letter. That communication will serve as documentation of the approval as well as the date approval was granted, the conditions under which approval is granted and the duration of the approval. The process typically takes three to four months, and can take as long as six months, from the receipt of the application to final approval and notification.

Need more information? Contact Chelsey Gordon, Specialist, Training and Certification at

Approval of Programs

It is not essential nor even desirable that all institutions adopt exactly the same content and structure of their programs, but it is necessary that all programs meet the essentials for approval and demonstrate that they can provide a high quality of education through the clinical experience provided to the trainee.