The active recertification process for RPSGTs launches in January 2011 when the first group of RPSGTs must recertify through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists or risk suspension of their credential. The required five-year recertification cycle, announced by BRPT in 2006, reflects a growing commitment to maintaining current knowledge, skills, and abilities among credentialed allied health professionals.
RPSGTs may earn recertification through the accumulation of 50 hours of continuing education credits or by retaking and passing the RPSGT exam every five years. "These requirements assure that all RPSGTs remain current in a dynamic, rapidly changing field," said BRPT President Janice East, RPSGT, REEGT. "Additionally, recertification is a cornerstone of best practices in a credentialing program. Recertification enhances the RPSGT credential further, reinforcing it as the leading credential in polysomnographic technology by other allied health disciplines, the medical community, legislative and regulatory decision-makers, and the general public."
For RPSGTs who earned their credential after Jan. 1, 2006, the recertification cycle began on the date of certification. For the limited number of RPSGTs certified before January 2006 who chose to voluntarily switch to a 10-year recertification period - an option no longer available - the five-year period began on the date of the request to switch.
For all others, including those previously grandfathered, the five-year recertification period began Jan. 1, 2007. All RPSGTs must now recertify every five years in order to retain the use of the RPSGT credential, including those previously grandfathered, or those who were under the 10-year recertification policy.
The following example tracks the recertification process for an RPSGT whose recertification cycle began on Jan. 1, 2007:
The RPSGT must recertify on or before Jan. 1, 2012. In January 2011, the recertifying RPSGT will receive a notice reminding the credential holder of the need to recertify by Jan. 1, 2012. One-year notices will be sent electronically and by mail. Follow-up notices will be sent electronically only six and nine months before recertification is required. Notices will be sent to the most recent physical and email address on file and entered into the credential holder's electronic record at BRPT.
The RPSGT will be able to enter and track CECs using an electronic tool provided at http://www.brpt.org/ (see below). Using the online tracking tool, the RPSGT will provide the date of the continuing education activity, a brief description of the activity, and the number of continuing education hours earned. Scanned copies of proof of completion of a specific activity may be uploaded for the RPSGT's records using the online tracking tool. However, RPSGTs will not be required to provide copies of completion certificates unless they are audited during the recertification process. RPSGTs are not required to earn a fixed number of CECs in a given year but must complete 50 CECs or retake and pass the RPSGT exam before they can complete the recertification process. The American Association of Sleep Technologists and the American Association for Respiratory Care are preferred continuing education providers. All CECs are subject to BRPT review.
When RPSGTs access the recertification tool on http://www.brpt.org/, they will update all contact information, including email and physical address to assure prompt receipt of all info relating to the recertification process.
The RPSGT may complete the recertification process online anytime in the six-month window before the recertification deadline.
The RPSGT may apply for a one-time 90-day extension of the recertification deadline.
The RPSGT must have a valid CPR/BLS card at the time of recertification.
The RPSGT must reaffirm a commitment to the BRPT Code of Conduct.
The RPSGT may be subject to a random audit as part of the recertification process. Cases in which it appears false or misleading information has been submitted for purposes of recertification will be referred to the BRPT professional discipline committee. Such cases may end in revocation of the credential.
Once the RPSGT successfully completes the recertification process, a new RPSGT certificate will be provided and a new recertification cycle will begin, to be completed over the following five years. In this example, assuming the recertification process has been completed successfully and on time, the RPSGT's new recertification date will be Jan. 1, 2017.
Retesting, credential suspension
Certificate holders choosing to recertify by retaking and passing the RPSGT exam may sit for the RPSGT exam without completing the 14 A-STEP online modules but must have a valid CPR/BLS card at the time they test. RPSGTs recertifying by retaking the RPSGT exam must do so within the six-month window in advance of their recertification date.
Individuals failing the exam may elect to recertify through CECs, but they must be earned and documentation must be submitted before the expiration of the certificate. If the certificate expires, the credential will be suspended and the RPSGT may only recertify by retaking and passing the exam.
If recertification is not completed on or before the recertification date and the candidate for recertification has not applied for and been granted a one-time 90-day extension, the credential will be suspended and the suspension of the credential will be noted in the RPSGT database. The credential may be reinstated by submitting the required continuing education documentation within 90 days of the expiration date.
After 90 days, expired credentials only can be reinstated by sitting for and passing the exam. RPSGTs sitting for the exam to reinstate the credential are subject to all eligibility requirements in place at the time of testing.
Online recertification platform
The BRPT online recertification platform at http://www.brpt.org/ will be a comprehensive resource to manage all aspects of the process. It will be available to all RPSGTs on Oct. 1, 2010. Utilizing this tool, recertifying RPSGTs will be able to:
View a personalized web portal.
Check the date their credential was earned, verify their RPSGT number, and confirm their recertification date.
Update their contact information to assure prompt receipt of recertification notices, with an option to maintain a public or private record.
Track CECs in a secure, electronic format, including number of hours earned and a brief description of how the credits were acquired. The online tool will allow RPSGTs to scan and upload certificates of completion and other documentation for future reference.
Review an ongoing tally of credits earned, credits earned by type, credits approved for recertification, and credits remaining to be earned to recertify.
Upon completion of the required number of credits, and within the allowed six-month window, complete the recertification process online.
Recertification fees, resources
The following fees are in place for recertification:
online recertification in advance of expiration of the credential: $100
recertification by mail in advance of expiration of the credential: $150
recertification by retesting and passing the RPSGT exam in advance of expiration of the credential: $100 plus applicable exam fee
one-time 90-day extension: $125, plus $100 recertification fee
reinstatement of expired credential: $200, plus $100 recertification fee as well as exam fees, if applicable.
In addition to an online recertification tool, a comprehensive RPSGT Recertification Handbook is now available for free download at www.brpt.org. BRPT also has a dedicated email address for questions regarding recertification: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We take recertification very seriously and are committed to making the process as smooth and painless as possible," East said. "Throughout the year at local, regional, and national events, we'll continue speaking with RPSGTs about recertification and encouraging them to update the information in their credentialing records to facilitate the process. Recertification strengthens our credential and our field - and that benefits our patients."
John H. Ganoe, CAE, is executive director of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.
This column is a joint venture of ADVANCE and the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists. For more information on BRPT offerings or the exam, call (703) 610-9020 or email email@example.com.