The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT*) has implemented a system of Structured Education and Continuing Qualification Requirements (CQR). If you were certified as a Radiologic Technologist before January 1, 2011, the new requirements will not apply to you.
However, technologists who first earned their certificate on or after this date have a license that is time-limited to 10 years. Renewing certification for an additional 10 years requires completion of the CQR process. Also, moving forward as of now, R.T.’s who pursue additional credentials using the ARRT's* postprimary pathwaywill need CE credits based on specific subjects. This is known as structured education.
According to the ARRT*, because of accelerating advancements in technology and growing capabilities in the healthcare field, the idea of “Once certified, forever qualified” no longer meets the expectations of patients or the profession.
The ARRT* claims that there are a number of important benefits for completing CQR such as confidence building, but mainly that this seems to be a quality control mechanism. However it's interesting that they are very unclear about what will be accepted and what will not. However, they are careful in their press releases and literature and it seems that they either do not want to cause a panic, or have no intention of failing anyone. So it seems that the real reason for this is to keep everyone on their toes and to appeal to the rest of the medical community and other medical organizations as being strict.
The ARRT* has outlined CQR as having three related components.
- A professional profile. R.T.s will assemble a professional profile that highlights achievements related to education, work, special skills and professional development. This important first step gives a big-picture look at how an R.T. has maintained qualifications since first becoming certified.
- A self assesment. ARRT* is developing a unique, structured self-assessment process. They state that it is not a test, because it can't be passed or failed, but more like a survey designed to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills based on the qualifications expected of those becoming certified in the current year. Assessments will use the current content specifications at that time based upon the most recent practice analysis.
- Structured CE. Through the self-assessment findings, participants will receive a report listing any "targeted" learning opportunities identified by the assessment. Completing continuing education activities in these identified areas is the third component of the CQR process.