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Radiography Certification

Certification is the initial recognition of an individual who satisfies certain standards within a profession. Employers, state licensing agencies, and federal regulators look at the ARRT credential as an indication that a person has met a recognized national standard for medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy professionals.

As outlined in ARRT’s "Equation for Excellence," candidates for ARRT's Radiography certification must meet basic education, ethics, and examination requirements to become eligible. The following sections outline the eligibility requirements for all three areas. Note that there is no such thing as "registry-eligible" as far as the ARRT is concerned. Additional eligibility details can be found in the Radiography Certification Handbook.

Education Requirements for Radiography Certification

Radiography certification candidates must have — within the past three years* — successfully completed a radiography educational program that is accredited by a mechanism acceptable to the ARRT. Beginning on January 1, 2015, all candidates for certification in Radiography must have earned an academic degree before becoming certified. ARRT recognizes only accreditation agencies that are recognized by CHEA and/or USDE. A list of accrediting agencies recognized by ARRT for the academic degree and professional education requirements is available here.

As part of their education, candidates must also demonstrate competency in didactic coursework and an ARRT-specified list of clinical procedures by completing the Radiography Didactic and Clinical Competency Requirements.

* Candidates graduating from an educational program by December 31, 2012, will have five years to establish eligibility for ARRT certification, as opposed to the three years that is available to those who complete their program beginning January 1, 2013.

Ethics Requirements for Radiography Certification

Every candidate for certification must, according to ARRT governing documents, "be a person of good moral character and must not have engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with the ARRT Rules of Ethics," and they must "agree to comply with the ARRT Rules and Regulations and the ARRT Standards of Ethics." ARRT investigates all potential violations in order to determine eligibility.

Issues addressed by the Rules of Ethics include convictions, criminal procedures, or military court martials as described below:

  • Felony;
  • Misdemeanor;
  • Criminal procedures resulting in a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), a verdict of guilty, withheld or deferred adjudication, suspended or stay of sentence, or pre-trial diversion.

Juvenile convictions processed in juvenile court and minor traffic citations not involving drugs or alcohol do not need to be reported.

Additionally, candidates for certification are required to disclose whether they have ever had any license, registration, or certification subjected to discipline by a regulatory authority or certification board (other than ARRT), as well as any honor code violations that may have occurred while they attended school.

Candidates may complete a pre-application to determine their ethics eligibility prior to enrolling in or during their educational program.

Read all about ARRT’s ethics requirements.

Examination Requirements for Radiography Certification

After having met the education and ethics requirements, candidates for Radiography certification must pass ARRT’s Radiography examination, which assesses the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff technologists practicing at entry-level within the discipline. Applications for the exam can be obtained through individual program directors. When completing their applications, candidates should keep a few things in mind:

  • Candidates for primary certification may mail their application up to three months prior to their anticipated graduation date.
  • All photos, signatures, and dates of signatures on an application form must occur within the six months before the date the application is received at the ARRT office.
  • Be sure to include the correct application fee.

The Radiography Content Specifications provide an outline of the topics covered in the exam. Since ARRT uses many references to build its exams, it does not provide specific lists of study materials or textbooks, nor does it recommend or endorse any review programs, mock registries, or study guides.

Individuals who are determined eligible by ARRT will receive, via the USPS, a Candidate Status Report (CSR) that details eligibility status and provides information on scheduling an exam appointment within the 90-day window. The CSR also addresses how to change an exam window or appointment, and how to prove identity at the test center.

Find out more about ARRT’s exams, including details about exam format and exam length, test centers, and how to request testing accommodations.

Candidates are allowed three attempts to pass an exam, and they must complete the three attempts within a three-year period that begins with the initial ARRT examination window start date.

Beyond Certification

ARRT offers an easy way to publicly recognize a technologist's accomplishments and promote a facility's commitment to quality — a news release template that can be accessed easily, customized personally, and distributed locally. Find out how easy it is to announce a newly earned certification.

Once you become certified, the Registered Technologist (R.T.) credential is maintained through ongoing registration. R.T.s must agree to comply with the ARRT Rules and Regulations and ARRT Standards of Ethics each year, as well as meet the Continuing Education Requirements for Renewal of Registration every two years.

Learn more about what happens after certification.

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