Initial Sonography Certification and Registration
Certification and registration is the 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.
ARRT has two pathways to Sonography certification and registration. In either case, candidates must
meet basic education, ethics, and examination requirements, as outlined in ARRT's
for Excellence," 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 Primary Pathway Sonography
Certification and Registration Handbook and the Post-Primary
Pathway Sonography Certification and Registration Handbook. The new post-primary handbook – effective July 1, 2015 – can be found here.
Education Requirements for Sonography Certification and Registration
Candidates pursuing primary pathway certification and registration in Sonography must have — within
the past three years*
— successfully completed a Sonography educational program that is accredited by a mechanism acceptable to the ARRT. Beginning on January
1, 2015, all candidates for primary pathway certification and registration in Sonography must have earned
an academic degree before becoming certified and registered.
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 Sonography 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 and registration, as opposed to the three years that is available to those who complete their program beginning January 1, 2013.
Candidates pursuing post-primary pathway certification and registration in Sonography must be certified and registered
with the ARRT in Radiography,
Nuclear Medicine Technology (registration through NMTCB is also accepted),
or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Certification in any sonography-related modality through ARDMS is also accepted.
In addition, all candidates must document completion of the Sonography Clinical
Experience Requirements. To start documenting procedures, log in to My ARRT Info and click "Pursue Post-Primary Certification and Registration."
Beginning January 1, 2016, candidates must also document completion of 16 hours of structured education. Learn more about ARRT’s education requirements.
Ethics Requirements for Sonography Certification and Registration
Every candidate for certification and registration 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:
- 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 and registration 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 becoming certified and registered through the primary pathway 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 Sonography Certification and Registration
After having met the education and ethics requirements, candidates
for Sonography certification and registration must pass ARRT’s Sonography 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 candidates who have completed an educational
program in order to obtain eligibility obtained through individual program directors. Applications for
candidates who are already certified and registered in a supporting category and want to take
the exam as a post-primary candidate may be submitted online by logging into
My ARRT Info. If you don’t have access to My ARRT Info, please contact the Initial Certification Department at (651) 687-0048, ext. 8560. When completing their applications, candidates
should keep a few things in mind:
- Candidates for primary certification and registration 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 Sonography 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
Find out more about ARRT’s exams,
including details about exam format and exam length,
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 Initial Certification and Registration
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 and registration.
Once you become certified and registered, the credential needs to be maintained. R.T.s must agree to comply with the ARRT Rules and Regulations
and ARRT Standards of Ethics each year, meet the
Continuing Education Requirements
every two years, as well as complete the Continuing Qualifications Requirements (CQR) every 10 years.
Learn more about what happens after initial certification and registration.