The Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) has developed a certificate-level exam for those entering the sleep technology profession. The exam will be designated the “CPSGT” exam and a certificate holder will be a “Certified Polysomnographic Technician.”

The new certificate will be an entry-level certificate and will not be a prerequisite to sitting for the RPSGT exam.

The first CPSGT exam will be offered in March 2010. The certificate will be time-limited and valid for 3 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,” said 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.”

According to information from the BRPT, “Candidates will be able to sit for the exam with a minimum of 3 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.”

“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,” said Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, RPSGT, president of the AASM.

Work is now under way to develop 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.

The BRPT said that it 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.

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