Launch of Introductory, Exam-based Certificate for Sleep Professionals Set for March 2010
The Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT), the non-profit certification board that administers the exam to become a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT), announces the development of a certificate-level exam. The new exam will be designated the “CPSGT” exam and a certificate holder will be a “Certified Polysomnographic Technician.”
The new certificate will not be a prerequisite to sitting for the RPSGT exam, but rather is being offered as an entry-level certificate for those entering the sleep technology profession.
The CPSGT exam will be offered for the first time in March 2010. The certificate will be time-limited and valid for three years/36 months, within which time a certificate holder must earn the RPSGT credential, or the CPSGT certificate expires.
“This is the first step in establishing a tiered credentialing system in sleep technology,” says BRPT President Becky Appenzeller, RPSGT, R. EEG T., CNIM. “We strongly believe an entry-level certificate will enhance professionalism in our field. Within a limited time, individuals new to sleep will be asked to make a commitment to education, to competency-based testing, and, once they have earned the certificate, to continuing education,” says Appenzeller.
Candidates will be able to sit for the exam with a minimum of three-months of full time experience in sleep and must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent, a current CPR/BLS certification, and verification of completion of a designated sub-set of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) A-STEP Self-Study Online Modules. Certificate holders will be required to earn 10 continuing education units each year they hold the certificate.
“Earning the certificate,” notes BRPT President-elect Janice East, RPSGT, R. EEG T. “means an individual new to sleep will make a serious commitment to learning and growing in the field. And, we strongly believe it enhances the value of the RPSGT designation, highlighting the RPSGT credential as an indicator of professional achievement in sleep technology.”
Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, RPSGT, President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sees the new certificate as a positive step for the field of sleep technology. According to Kushida, “Competency-based testing from the beginning of a technologist’s career is integral to the professional growth of sleep technologists and also to ensuring a highly-qualified pool of certified sleep personnel.”
Cindy Kistner, RPSGT, R. EEG T., President of the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) echoes her colleagues in the professional sleep societies. “The certificate exam,” says Kistner, “elevates the level of professionalism in our field, starting from the first months of a career in sleep. At AAST, we are particularly enthusiastic about the commitment to continuing education required from certificate holders.”
Substantive work is well underway on development of the exam, which will be administered through Pearson VUE, BRPT’s testing partner. The exam will consist of 75 multiple-choice questions, with exam content based on introductory level topics that are compatible with the level of knowledge and experience required to establish eligibility to sit for the exam. The CPSGT exam blueprint will mirror the exam blueprint of the RPSGT exam.
BRPT is in the process of building web resources in support of the certificate exam and anticipates opening the application process for the exam in the last quarter of 2009.
“Announcing the development of a new exam always generates questions,” says Appenzeller. “Further details related to the CPSGT exam will be released at the 2009 BRPT Symposium in Savannah, GA September 18-20. We believe this is a good move for our field. We look forward to launching the introductory-level, CPSGT certificate exam and to keeping the RPSGT credential strong as the gold standard for sleep technologists.”
BRPT is an independent, non-profit certification board that cultivates the highest professional and ethical standards for polysomnographic technologists. For more information, visit www.brpt.org.