Maintaining Your Credentials According to Best Industry Practices
BRPT President Jessica Schmidt, MA, FACHE, RPSGT, CCSH, and AAST President Rita Brooks, MEd, RPSGT, REEG/EPT, FAAST
Editor’s Note: An article entitled "How to Survive a BRPT Audit" ran in the Quarter One 2019/Volume 28/Number 01 edition of A2Zzz magazine. The intent of the article was to remind sleep technologists that they are responsible for assuring they have the appropriate continuing education credits to maintain their credentials and to explain the audit process. Unfortunately, the article unintentionally contained misleading and, in a number of cases, incorrect information, which was confirmed by reviewing message history, document uploads and login records that are tracked and time-stamped in BRPT’s certification database. That article was retracted, has been edited, and will be re-published in the Quarter Two 2019 edition of A2Zzz, conveying the important message that the AAST and BRPT continue to work together to assure that correct information is consistently provided for our members and credential holders. The revised article and the information that follows below provide an accurate description of recertification responsibilities and the recertification audit as well as tips for facilitating a smooth and efficient audit process.
NCCA Accreditation – A Mark of Excellence
The RPSGT examination is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA accredits certification programs complying with its stringent standards. The mission of NCCA is to help ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public through the accreditation of certification programs that assess professional competence. In doing so, NCCA accreditation provides the public and other stakeholders the means by which to identify certification programs that serve their competency assurance needs.
In the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. Recertification — a requirement of NCCA accreditation — is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the clinical sleep health profession.
Recertification, Earning CECs and the Audit Process
Recertification — or credential renewal — is required every five years in order to maintain the RPSGT credential. Recertification may be achieved either by accumulating 50 approved continuing education credits during the last active five-year credential window, or by retaking and passing the RPSGT exam. Certification holders with more than one BRPT credential can apply the same CECs toward multiple recertifications as long as the continuing education content is applicable and occurs within the required time period for recertification.
The certification holder is solely responsible for maintaining a record of the CECs accrued during the five-year recertification cycle and reporting them either electronically through the secure Self-Service Portal/Manage CECs tab on the BRPT website or via the hard copy recertification application (be sure to retain all hard copies for your files).
Continuing Education Credits Documentation
CEC documentation in the online Self-Service Portal includes:
- Date earned
- Accrediting organization (the organization that accredited the course or approved it for credit)
- Course title
- Course ID/# (if your credit does not have a course number, enter the title again)
- Number of credits earned
Maintaining NCCA accreditation also requires the BRPT to perform randomized credit audits. This means the names of credential holders are entered into a list randomizer. BRPT inputs the entire list of names of those who recertified during the audit period; the first 10 percent off the top of the list are the individuals who are selected for an audit. Note: Accreditation requirements mandate a random audit of 10 percent, with a maximum of 40 credential holders, per quarter.
If a sleep technologist is selected for an audit, they receive up to 90 days to complete the task. The BRPT disseminates 30-day notices twice after the original notice is issued to ensure technologists have ample time to gather and submit what’s necessary.
The recertification audit is an important process to validate education activities and ensure compliance with program standards for professionalism, ethics and fairness.
Tips to Ensure a Seamless Process
- Recertify your credentials at least three weeks prior to expiring.
- Enter and upload CECs as you earn them.
- Retain ALL CEC certificates or other documentation.
- Maintain your own spreadsheet to keep track of your credits.
- Periodically review the BRPT recertification guidelines (https://www.brpt.org/recertify/recertification-guidelines/) so you’re informed on the procedures, requirements and process.
The BRPT is proud to offer, maintain, and administer the RPSGT and CCSH exams. In the sleep medicine field, these credentials are marks of a highly skilled clinical sleep health professional who has met and adheres to high standards.
For more on BRPT audits, look for the upcoming article in the Q2 issue of A2Zzz magazine.