Congratulations on completing all the requirements for registration! You’re officially a radiologic technologist.
Passing your certification exam is only the first step to working in the field. You also have to continue your education to keep up to date with your registration and continue meeting guidelines provided by the American Society for Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) and other agencies.
What are your CE requirements? We’ll show you what you need to do and when to stay at the top of your game in the field.
CE Requirements: Your Guide to Credits
All radiologic technologists actively working in the field need to complete a total of 24 credits to keep themselves current with the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT).
Twenty-four credits correlate to twenty-four hours of continuing education. You get .25 credits for every fifteen minutes of learning time. However, you only get 0.5 credits for 60 minutes of hands-on labs or clinical practice in activities.
You can’t take any credit to fulfill the requirements. Every credit must come from Category A or A+ to count towards your goal. These credits are approved by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism (RCEEM).
Category A Credits
Category A credits include receiving an official certification in courses approved by RCEEM. You might take practical courses like advanced cardiac life support from the Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
Alternatively, you can enroll in “approved academic courses” at a postsecondary institution. Approved subjects fall within the sciences and reflect the nature of your job in the healthcare field. Some of the topics that count towards your course include:
- Radiologic sciences
- Physical sciences
- Health and medical sciences
- Selected social sciences (sociology and psychology)
You won’t receive credits for classes like history, literature, philosophy, or music because they don’t add knowledge or understanding directly related to your job.
You need to know that ARRT made a few changes to its credit list. It no longer accepts recertification practices as credits. It also doesn’t count basic courses like CPR.
The ARRT considers these to be your professional responsibility and therefore not continuing education.
Category A+ Credits
Category A+ credits are clinical activities provided by three organizations: the ASRT, the Society of Nuclear Medicine – Technologist Section, and the Radiological Society of North America.
How Many A+ and A Credits Can I Take?
The ARRT doesn’t mind how many A and A+ credits you take. Radiologic Technologists may complete all 24 credits in A+ activities if they so choose.
Use that freedom wisely. Take credits that tackle your known weak points and use the education to improve not only yourself but your organization.
How Do I Know if an Activity Is Approved?
All approved continuing education requirements will feature an RCEEM graphic or a statement that the activity has the approval of an RCEEM for use as CE credits.
If you have questions, you can ask the continuing education department of the RCEEM and provide the activity title and the sponsor to double-check.
How Long Do You Have to Complete Your CE Requirements?
You’ll earn CE credits throughout a period two years, but you’ll hear the period referred to as a biennium.
A biennium doesn’t refer to two calendar years from the date of your examination. Instead, the ARRT organizes it this way:
Your biennium begins on the first day of your birth month in the year you pass your first exam. It ends two years later on the last day of the month before your birth month.
Let’s say you pass your exam in June 2019 and your birthday is in September. Your biennium begins on September 1st, 2019 and it ends on August 31, 2021. To meet your obligations, you must complete 24 CE credits in this period.
How to Track and Submit Your Credits
You need to collect and record proof of your participation in any CE activity or credit.
Whether it is a lecture, seminar, class, or workshop, you’ll need a certificate from the sponsor of the activity.
You have the option to allow the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to track your credits for you. If you are a member of the ASRT, it automatically enrolls you in its record keeping system. All you need to do is submit a copy of the documentation of your credit, and the ASRT takes care of the rest.
You’ll then receive an email the week after the ASRT tracks your credits. If there any issues, you’ll get a letter in the mail.
What If You Fail to Meet the Requirements?
If you fail to get 24 CE credits in time it becomes non-compliant.
Non-compliance means you will receive “CE Probation” status and a credential card that notes their probation status.
If you wind up on probation, you will then have six months to make up the credits without a penalty. You can then submit a probation report and a $50 fee, and the ARRT will remove your probation status and send you a new card.
Should you fail to meet the requirements within six months, you’ll lose your certification and registration with the ARRT.
If you try to get a job or your employer or state calls the ARRT, the organization will only tell them that you do not have certification and are not registered. They will not explain why or provide any other information.
Continuing Education Is Part of Your Career
Education never ends for radiologic technologists. Even after registration and certification, you have 24 credits of CE requirements to complete to stay current with the ARRT.
Fortunately, you have plenty of flexibility when completing those requirements. You can take practical classes and certifications, enroll in academic courses, and do anything recognized as Category A or A+ credit by the ARRT.
Continuing education isn’t just a requirement. It makes you a better radiologic technologist and a stronger member of your health care team. Are you looking for more information about a career as a radiologic technologist? Check out this guide to scoring radiologic technologist jobs.