Are you a newly minted Radiologic Technologist?

Or maybe you have a few thousand scans under your belt.

Did you know you have biannual Continuing Education requirements?

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists exam for certification is no joke. You worked so hard to attain your certification. Maintaining it isn’t difficult, so long as you keep learning!

Read on to learn more about ARRT Continuing Education requirements.

Certification Means Skills

Congratulations on your achievements! Passing the ARRT exam is a difficult and arduous process. You have demonstrated knowledge that is both needed and in high demand. As a bonus, you have one of the coolest professions out there.

Maintaining this level of certification requires keeping your knowledge current. To improve patient care, ARRT guidelines require 24 units of continuing education every biennium. The biennium is a two year period beginning on the first day of your birth month and ending two years later.

Credit from year 1 of the biennium carries over to year 2 towards ARRT renewal. Credits do not carry from biennium to biennium, however. Your qualifications were difficult to attain and require regular updates. The medical community and the public trust in your knowledge and skills.

Defining the Biennium

It sounds a little confusing, but it makes more sense using our example. Your biennium begins your birth month after certification. Say that you pass your exam in July 2018. Your birthday is December 2018. Your two year period begins in December 2018 and ends in December 2020.

However, if your birthday is in June, and you pass in July 2018 your biennium begins in June 2019. Your period to earn CE begins June 2019 and ends in June 2021.

You need to keep track of these dates. Your renewal will happen during your birth month each year. Your CE credits strictly follow the biennium period.

Additional Requirements for Registered Sonographers and Registered Radiologist Assistants

Ongoing education is required for recognition of certain specialties. Pay attention to the requirements for Registered Radiologic Technologist Sonographers (R.T.(S.)) 

Registered Radiologist Assistants (R.R.A.) also have special requirements.

R.T. (S.) requires Continuing Education credits in a particular discipline. R.R.A. requires a specific discipline AND 50 CE credits.

Continuing education requirements for the biennium beginning in January 2018 no longer count certain courses. Earning an additional certification in a new discipline does not meet CE requirements. Only ARRT-approved courses may be used for the 24 unit requirement. 

As mentioned before, attaining additional qualifications are not approved for CE credit. CE credits must maintain existing skills and prevent obsolescence. Course for CE credit must be A or A+ rated.

Approved ARRT Continuing Education Courses

Coursework finished for a new qualification in biennium periods beginning BEFORE January 1, 2018 may be used for CE credit.

Biennium periods that start AFTER January 1, 2018 will not count any courses taken in pursuit of an additional qualification.

In a similar way, any CE credit submitted for Advanced CPR Instructors or Instructor-Trainers hours no longer count. There are no active biennium or probationary periods that began before January 1, 2015.

CE credit is dependent on the course’s submission to a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism (RCEEM and RCEEM+). The course organizer makes the submission.

CE credit earning requirements do not depend on the qualifications held by the RT. They are 24 credits per biennium, even if the RT has qualifications in two or more disciplines.

For example, a mammography and radiation therapy qualified RT needs 24 CE hours. Their CE credits need not specifically address either of those topics. Their course hours must address broader patient well-being and care. Broad radiologic sciences and technology courses are also acceptable.

There are other agency requirements for CE (mammography, for example). Courses taken to address these requirements may also meet ARRT requirements.

Finding Courses

Continuing education may be gained through classroom study, home-based learning, or practice. ARRT defines CE formally. It is a learning activity that is planned and organized to increase professional recognition and knowledge. Regardless of the form, proper documentation ensures that your certification remains blemish-free. 

The organization offering the class or course for CE credit must submit the correct documentation for RCEEM or RCEEM+. The only exceptions are approved academic courses, which automatically become Category A.

Use caution when finding courses. Some courses accepted by the American Medical Association are acceptable for ARRT CE credit for R.R.A.s only.

Remember, also, that you are responsible for maintaining documentation and proof of the CE activity. You must keep it for one full year after the end of the submitting biennium. Keep your documents 18 months if you are on probationary status.

Hourly Credits

Category A and A+ courses have contact credit hours values awarded by the RCEEM. Activities lasting less than 15 minutes have no credit value. Learning activities lasting 15-29 minutes receive one-quarter hour credit. Less than 49 minutes but at least 30 minutes are worth one-half hour credit.

Academic credits are awarded CE credits. ARRT awards 12 CE hours for each academic quarter credit. They give 16 CE hours for each academic semester credit. This amount is scheduled to increase, pending membership approval.

Keep Current to Get Ahead

In some states, your license to practice depends on maintaining your ARRT certification. Every two years, you must meet your education requirements. The consequence of not attaining your hours is probation. Failure to make up your hours will result in loss of certification.

There are several ways to earn CE credits. Just make sure they are ARRT-approved before investing your time. And remember, you are not responsible for getting a course approved. The organization or sponsor of the course must submit the documentation for approval.

Your CE must be relevant to radiologic science and patient care. It does not need to be specific to the qualifications you carry. The exception is if you have a specialized certification or outside agency governance.

Excited about Radiologic Technologist certification and ARRT Continuing Education? Keep reading our blog to learn more!