September 15, 2009
Earlier this month the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) announced the development of the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) certificate exam, scheduled to be offered for the first time in March 2010. In the weeks since our initial announcement of the CPSGT Exam we have – as expected – heard from a wide range of sleep professionals, some very supportive of the certificate exam and some quite concerned that the new exam is not a positive step for our field. I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to my fellow RPSGTs and our colleagues in the broader sleep community as we move forward with the development of the CPSGT Certificate exam.
I want to begin by pointing you to a feature on our website intended to address many of your questions about the CPSGT Exam. On our homepage, click on the CPSGT Certificate button and then on the link to questions about the certificate. This feature provides information about the development, administration and delivery of the CPSGT Exam, so I won’t address many of those details here. I want to focus instead on how we believe the CPSGT Exam will benefit our field, elevate the level of professionalism in sleep technology, and enhance the value of the RPSGT Credential.
The CPSGT Certificate is an entry level certificate to be earned by individuals new to the sleep field. By committing to earn the CPSGT Certificate, a CPSGT candidate makes a commitment to begin formal education in sleep and, then, to continuing education as he or she works toward the advanced, RPSGT Credential. An individual beginning a career in sleep will be asked to make an early commitment to professionalism, and that commitment is vital to our growing – and increasingly visible – profession.
The CPSGT Certificate is not positioned as a pre-requisite to the RPSGT Credential. RPSGT candidates are encouraged to sit for the RPSGT Exam when they have completed the eligibility requirements for the RPSGT Exam pathway they have chosen. However, the CPSGT Certificate is valid for a maximum of three years and is not renewable: within that three-year window a certificate holder is expected to earn the RPSGT Credential. Earning the CPSGT Certificate indicates that a sleep professional has moved quickly to build a solid base of knowledge in sleep, passed a competency-based exam, made a commitment to continuing education, and, most importantly, made a commitment to advancing toward earning the RPSGT Credential. The CPSGT Certificate, strongly supported by both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Association of Sleep Technologists, will give our field a growing pool of individuals who have demonstrated – in a measurable way – a commitment to professionalism, to a code of ethical conduct, and to quality patient care.
BRPT is committed to a certification and credentialing program that serves our profession well and is firmly grounded in best credentialing practices. When the CPSGT Exam is firmly established, we look forward to moving ahead with the development of an advanced and/or specialty credential, continuing our move toward a strong, tiered credentialing program in sleep.
The investment BRPT will make during the remainder of 2009 and throughout 2010 in the development and delivery of the CPSGT Certificate exam is substantial. And, we believe that investment is a sound one: for individuals new to a career in sleep, for current RPSGTs, and for our patients. Please forward your comments and concerns about the CPSGT Exam to [email protected]. Our executive office staff will work to review and respond to all comments as quickly as possible.
Your commitment to your field is appreciated.
Becky Appenzeller, RPSGT, R. EEG T., CNIM