Continuing education (CE) requirements for renewal and certification of medical technologists were formulated in 1991 by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In the year 1995, continuing education was obligatory for the registration and renewal or reinstatement of certificates for medical technologists. This paper outlines the CE requirements, including auditing, probation, credit categories, how to get credits, and continuing qualifications requirements (CQR) needed by medical technologists during the renewal of certification and registration process.
The Rationale for Continuing Education
Certification and registration of the medical technologists is an initiative to assure the medical sector and the general public that an individual is certified and can practice in a particular medical profession. After initial certification and registration, a registered technologist may be required to advance in knowledge and skills consistent with advancements in technology and the ever-changing job responsibilities to ensure that the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery are maintained in healthcare facilities.
The CE requirements provide a platform and mechanism through which fully-fledged medical technologists not only fulfill but also maintain the professional competence as provided for by their certification and registration. Registered medical technologists need to participate continually in CE for purposes of accountability. By consistently undertaking CE, registered medical technologists become accountable to various stakeholders in the medical industry such as the general public. Additionally, CE requirements reinforce the code of ethics in the health sector as outlined by ARRT and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). CE also requires all registered techniques to comply with its requirements, as well as the code of ethics endorsed by ARRT and ASRT.
Renewal of Certification and Registration of a Certificate
When an ARRT certificate is first issued to an RT, CE demands that the certificate be registered through the end of the individual’s next birth month. Thereafter, the RT is expected to apply for the renewal of certification and registration corresponding to the technologist’s birth month yearly. ARRT avails renewal of certification and registration forms on its website two months before an RT’s birth month to allow the technologist to access the application forms in time. Incase an RT fails to access the forms two months before the individual’s birth month, then ARRT mails an application for renewal and certification and registration a month before an RT’s birth month. Besides, during the renewal process, CE necessitates an RT to provide current information and agree to continue the practice in the given profession according to the formulated standard of ethics. Moreover, every year fully-fledged and registered medical technologists are obliged to document their involvement in CE. The documentation, which is done on a renewal form, has to include a list of all the completed CE activities.
Biennium Reporting Period
The CE requirements are linked to a two-year period (biennium). The CE establishes that the biennium period should begin on the first day of a registered technologist’s birth month and should extend for two years and end on the last day of the month before the individual’s birth month. The biennium periods are located on the lower right corner of the application for renewal of certification, and registration forms, as well as the, verify credentials tab on the ARRT website. CE requires a registered technologist to fulfill the credits within a flexible two-year period. CE credits earned within a period of two years are transferable to the next biennium. However, the technologist has to apply for the renewal of certification and registration annually, as CE requirements have to be reported every other year.
Requirements for Newly Certified and Registered Medical Technologists
Registered medical technologists are obliged to commence complying with mandatory CE requirements on the first day of their birth month upon their issuance with the certificate renewal and registration requirements and examination administration. Moreover, the CE requires RTs’ who may have qualified in additional disciplines to comply with the requirements related to their initial renewal of certification and registration.
Options for Satisfying CE Requirements during a Biennium (Auditing)
Options for an RT to satisfy CE requirements during a biennium period include one of the following;
- The RT should earn a minimum of 24 CE credits that meet ARRT’s credit criteria.
- The RT should earn certification and registration of an ARRT-recognized fundamental discipline that the technologist has qualified for and not have previously held.
- Earn a post-primary certification and registration of an ARRT-recognized discipline the technologist may have qualified for and has not held it before.
The Satisfaction of CE Requirements by Earning CE Credits
Earning 24 category A or A+ credits of continuing education is one option of satisfying the CE requirements. The category of credit must be evaluated by a recognized continuing education evaluation mechanism during the biennium period. CE states that a maximum of 24 credits can be claimed by a registered technologist in a given biennium. The CE obligates that technologists be used to select topics related to their respective fields of practice to ensure that they maintain professional competence and relevance. Generally, the CE requirement does not depend on the number of ARRT certificates that a registered technologist holds but depends on the disciplines that an individual is certified by knowledge and skills. For example, a qualified and registered medical technologist certified in various disciplines, such as radiology and mammography, can earn the same biennium credits if the technologist decides to focus on other relevant radiologic sciences or patient care.
The Satisfaction of CE Requirements by Passing an Examination
Within a given biennium, CE states that registered technologists who may have been certified and registered in an additional primary or post-primary discipline are considered to have met the mandatory requirements of the current reporting period. ARRT’s official notification documenting an individual’s passing of the requisite exanimation and a technologist’s subsequent certification and registration must be availed by people who are keen on beginning the use of the additional primary or post-primary certification. CE further states that credits should not be awarded for an ARRT initial primary certification and registration.
Probation Status and Continuing Qualification Requirements
The instance an RT fails to meet the necessary CE requirements during the application for certification and registration the technologist automatically gets assigned to a CE probation status. Moreover, an RT may be assigned to the probation status when it is identified that their CE report forms are incomplete. Once assigned to the probation status, these individuals are awarded a credential card indicating that they are under CE probation. During a technologist’s probation period, the CE requirements state that an RT should not be awarded additional credits, rather the individual is required to fill in individual details that may have been lacking in a given biennium period. An RT is required to submit a CE probation report card together with a $50 fee upon completion of the required credits. A fully-fledged medical technologist is awarded a new certificate and registration particulars once CE confirms the individual’s compliance with the mandatory CE probation requirements. A medical technologist’s certification and registration can be terminated upon confirmation of tangible evidence by the CE that the individual has not complied with the CE probation requirements at the end of the probation period.
The CE requirements provide a platform where technologists can maintain their professional competence throughout their practice. Registered medical technologists are required to continually participate in the CE by applying for the renewal of certification and registration corresponding to their birth month. Moreover, the CE requires newly certified and registered medical technologists to start complying with the certificate and registration issuance requirements on the first day of their birth month. Besides, for registered medical technologists to apply for certification and registration, they have to meet the CE requirements. However, when they fail to meet some of the CE requirements, registered medical technologists are placed under probation. The registered medical technologists are only awarded new certificate and registration particulars once they meet the CE probation requirements.