McLean, VA – September 29, 2011 – The BRPT read with interest the recent ABSM press release regarding the number of RPSGT credential holders opting to accept the offer of ABSM RST equivalency — for a fee of $25 — without a requirement to sit for the RST exam. The RST exam has not been administered to a single sleep professional, therefore the only way for ABSM to issue the credential now is to allow technologists to pay for the “equivalency” by using their RPSGT credential plus a fee.
We strongly disagree with ABSM President Dr. Nathaniel Watson’s statement that the number of RPSGTs who have opted into RST equivalency “…affirms the value of the ABSM’s new registry exam and the RST credential…” It is not possible to “affirm the value” of a credential for which no exam has yet been given, reviewed for reliability and validity, and validated by an independent third party.
No one needs the RST credential if you have earned the RPSGT credential. The RPSGT credential is positioned in all accreditation and licensing bodies. Those individuals currently described as holders of the RST credential are, in fact, holders of the RPSGT credential: a credential which Dr. Watson and other representatives of the AASM leadership have previously indicated is not an indicator of readiness to perform the primary duties of a polysomnographic technologist. This was offered as the reason ABSM created the RST credential in the first place. That assertion was made even as the RPSGT — a 32 year old, NCCA-accredited credential held by over 17,000 sleep technologists worldwide, is positioned as “equivalent” to the RST exam. How do the opposing statements for the RST creation and the one granting RPSGTs “equivalency” for $25 make sense?
The number of RST credential holders is being built on the recognized strength of the RPSGT credential, with financial support from the $31,250 RPSGTs have paid to ABSM. This does not “affirm the value” of an untried credential.
What is valuable and important to note, is that not a single RPSGT holds the credential without having taken and passed the RPSGT exam. At no time in the history of the RPSGT has a technologist been awarded the credential without sitting for the exam.
Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the BRPT is an independent, non- profit certification board that cultivates the highest professional and ethical standards for polysomnographic technologists and technicians. In addition to administering the RPSGT and CPSGT exams in the United States and internationally, the BRPT also maintains the RPSGT registry and CPSGT roster. For more information, please visit www.brpt.org.