ARRT COVID-19 UPDATEs and faq

ARRT is based in Minnesota, where the Governor’s Stay Safe Minnesota Executive Order directs people to work from home if they’re able to do so. Because of that, most of our staff is working from home and spending limited hours in our office. This hybrid staffing model is designed to maintain safety while carrying out ARRT’s essential functions during the pandemic. 

You should know:

  • We’re temporarily extending deadlines for many of our requirements (see Extensions section, below).
  • If you call us during this time, please be prepared for longer hold times.
  • Because of higher call volumes, we might experience intermittent phone outages during this time.
  • Our primary vehicle for posting updated information is this ARRT COVID-19 Update page. Please check here regularly for updates.
  • We’ve begun webinars for Program Directors (see Program Directors/For More Information below).

ARRT Exam Candidates, Program Directors, R.T.s, and R.R.A.s should review the sections below that pertain to them. 

Thanks for your patience during this time.

frequently asked questions

  • For R.T.s and R.R.A.s
    • Deadline Extensions
    • CQR
    • Exams for Postprimary Eligibility Pathway and R.R.A. Candidates
    • Credential Cards
    • For More Information
  • For Program Directors
    • Requirements
    • Applications
    • Exams
    • For More Information

R.T.S and R.R.A.S

Last update: May 8, 2020, 1:15 p.m. CDT

Extensions

Q: May I get an extension on my renewal, continuing education, postprimary eligibility pathway, or CQR requirements?

ARRT has temporarily extended deadlines for many of our requirements. Log in to your online ARRT account for more information about your particular situation. To do so, see For More Information, below. 

Postprimary eligibility pathway and R.R.A exams

Q: Is ARRT processing exam applications for the postprimary eligibility pathway or for R.R.A. exams?

Yes. We are processing postprimary eligibility pathway applications online. If you apply for an exam using the postprimary eligibility pathway, we’ll post a Candidate Status Report to your online account within one business day after you apply. Note: If you need an ethics review or Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations, we’ll need more time to process your application.

If you apply for the July 9, 2020, Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.) exam, we’ll process your application if it’s postmarked no later than May 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 situation, however, you’ll have until July 3, 2020, to submit your clinical requirement forms. If you submit supporting documentation after May 14, 2020, we’ll hold your exam scores until we can verify that you’ve completed all requirements.

Q: Can I schedule exams for credentials using the postprimary eligibility pathway or for R.R.A. exams?

Pearson VUE continues to update its information regarding the availability of limited testing appointments at its testing centers. Check this link regularly. If you have an examination window from ARRT, you can schedule or reschedule an appointment by visiting Pearson VUE for available dates, times, and testing centers.

CQR

Q: Can I take my Structured Self Assessment for CQR?

Yes, Structured Self Assessments for CQR are available through an online proctored option and at some Pearson VUE test centers, which are operating on a reduced capacity exam schedule. To schedule or reschedule an appointment, visit Pearson VUE and log into your Pearson VUE online account for available dates, times, and testing centers.

Credential Cards

Q: When will I receive my credential card?

ARRT has limited staff in the office processing our mail. At this point, we’re focused on processing applications and other time-sensitive material. Because we’ve had to delay our distribution of credential cards, employers and others should use our Verify Credentials online directory as their primary source of information, rather than calling ARRT regarding credential cards. 

The online directory immediately shows an R.T.’s certification and registration status. It also notes an R.T.’s Continuing Qualifications Requirements compliance period and completion status, if applicable. It helps ensure that only certified and registered R.T.s present themselves as such. 

You can confirm that we’ve processed your renewal by visiting your online ARRT account. 

Late last year, we announced that we’ll stop mailing paper credential cards to R.T.s on Dec. 31, 2020—once all R.T.s have received notice of their final paper credential card during the renewal process. We’ve decided to discontinue the cards for several reasons, including the fact that paper credential cards are subject to alteration and forgery. 

For More Information

Q: How can I contact someone about my situation?

We recommend using your online ARRT account. Log in from our home page, click on Contact in the upper right corner, then select Message Us from the dropdown menu. Someone will typically get back to you within one business day. 

You also may call us at 651-687-0048. Be aware, however, that you might experience longer hold times or intermittent phone outages. We’ll answer your call as soon as an agent is available.

Q: Is there a relief fund for R.T.s facing financial difficulty during this period?

Yes, you can learn more about the ASRT Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund here.

Q: Where can I find authoritative resources regarding COVID-19?

These links offer radiology-specific resources from authoritative sources about COVID-19:


PROGRAM DIRECTORS

Last update: May 20, 2020, 10:25 a.m. CDT

Requirements

Q: What changes is ARRT considering because of COVID-19?

Recently, we sent a survey to all Program Directors asking about their specific challenges and their ideas for solving those problems. We’ve asked for input because we recognize that one type of solution might not benefit all programs and all disciplines. In addition, we need to prepare for future as well as present needs.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our Board of Trustees has discussed possible temporary modifications. Although we won’t waive requirements, we’ll consider alternative ways to meet the intent of our didactic (classroom) and clinical competency requirements. Topics under consideration include:

  • Modifying the number of simulated procedures permitted
  • Changing the order in which students must meet ARRT requirements (“sequencing”) 
  • Completing simulated procedures in a different manner

We’ll combine the results of the Program Director survey with options we’ve already discussed to help determine the best strategies.

To date, all requirements remain as stated in our Governing Documents and other reference documents. If our Board approves any changes, we’ll communicate them on this web page and through other communication channels—including emails to Program Directors and messages on our Program Directors website

Q: Are there changes ARRT isn’t considering?

We have no plans to change our exam length or content; the need to earn at least an associate degree; the need to complete an ARRT-recognized educational program; requirements for passing an ARRT exam; or our ethics requirements. 

Q: Why hasn’t ARRT made any changes yet?

We’ve made some adaptations since the pandemic began. For example, we’ve automatically extended many deadlines by 90 days. That applies to deadlines that affect current Registered Technologists and Registered Radiologist Assistants as well as to time constraints for taking ARRT exams. 

We understand the difficulties that students and programs are facing, and we want to support realistic access to obtaining and maintaining our credentials. Nevertheless, we can’t make any changes that would affect the integrity of an ARRT credential. We must ensure that our credentials continue to meet the requirements of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and of state licensing agencies. The NCCA must approve any changes we propose to our requirements before we make them.

Q: When do you expect to announce any changes?

We’ll do so as quickly as we can, given the various stakeholders with whom we must communicate. Our Board has frequent online discussions, and we’re tabulating results from the Program Director survey immediately. Our Board members don’t need to meet in person to approve any changes. In addition, we don’t expect to make all modifications at once. The disruption caused by COVID-19 is likely to continue, and we may need to consider more modifications if the situation worsens. We’re looking at options both for students nearing the end of their education programs and for those who are just beginning the process. 

Q: How many procedures can students simulate?

That differs depending on the discipline. You can find the information under Didactic and Clinical Competency Requirements. Click on the document for your discipline, and review Section 4. At present, we haven’t modified those requirements.

Applications

Q: How can I get copies of applications for my students using the primary eligibility pathway?

You may submit your request for primary eligibility pathway applications in the usual manner, using our Program Directors’ website. A limited number of our staff members are serving as essential workers and are mailing applications in the order our office receives the requests. 

Candidates using the postprimary eligibility pathway can apply by logging in to their online ARRT account. Candidates who want to apply for certification and registration as a Registered Radiologist Assistant can print an application from our website.

Q: What should I do if I can’t get mail because my campus has closed?

If you’re unable to receive mail at your campus, let us know (see For More Information, below). We can mail applications to your home.

Q: Can we use electronic signatures to approve student applications for certification and registration?

Currently we can’t accept electronic signatures, although we hope to put that option into place in the future. That said, many Program Directors are meeting students off campus to transfer and sign applications. If you need guidance for your specific situation, please contact us. (See For More Information, below.)

Q: If I’m not sure when students will complete their program, when should my students mail their applications for certification and registration?

We suggest waiting until you have a better idea of when your students will meet their educational requirements. Keep in mind that students can apply for certification and registration up to three months before they complete their educational program and other requirements.

Q: Does ARRT offer online applications?

Candidates using the postprimary eligibility pathway have access to online applications using their online ARRT account. People who want to apply for certification and registration as a Registered Radiologist Assistant can print an application from our website. We don’t offer online applications for candidates using the primary eligibility pathway.  

Q: Is ARRT processing applications for certification and registration?

Yes. Keep in mind, however, that our primary eligibility pathway applications are paper-based and depend on physical delivery from the U.S. Postal Service. Although our office continues to receive mail, during our state’s Stay Safe Minnesota period we can’t process it as efficiently as we did in the past. Although a limited number of our staff members are processing applications in the order we receive them, we're unlikely to be at full capacity for quite some time. 

Our Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook has always told candidates to allow at least 30 calendar days for us to process an application. Under current conditions, that period is likely to be much longer.

Our postprimary eligibility pathway applications are computer-based. For that reason, we’ve continued to process them while working remotely.

If students apply for the July 9, 2020, Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.) exam, we’ll process the application if it’s postmarked no later than May 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 situation, however, they’ll have until July 3, 2020, to submit their clinical competency requirement forms. If students submit supporting documentation after May 14, 2020, we’ll hold their exam scores until we can verify that they’ve completed all requirements.

Q: What's the status of applications that students have already sent to ARRT?

For students using the primary eligibility pathway: 

  • We have thousands of applications that need processing, and each one requires multiple steps. We don’t know that we’ve received an application until we’ve begun processing it. Once students receive their Candidate Status Reports, they can schedule their exams with Pearson VUE by following the instructions on the report. 
  • If we received completed applications after March 20, 2020, we’re processing them in the order we received them. Although completing those applications is a priority, we’re under strict state guidelines concerning how many staff members can return to our office. 

For candidates using the postprimary eligibility pathway:

  • We’ve continued processing applications as we received them. 

For students applying for the July 9, 2020, Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.) exam:

  • We’ll process the application if it’s postmarked no later than May 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 situation, however, those students will have until July 3, 2020, to submit their clinical requirement forms. If students submit supporting documentation after May 14, 2020, we’ll hold their exam scores until we can verify that they’ve completed all requirements.

Q: When will ARRT acknowledge the receipt of new applications from primary eligibility pathway candidates? 

If candidates using the primary eligibility pathway want to know when we receive their application, they should include a self-addressed stamped postcard with their application. 

Once we determine the student’s eligibility status, we’ll send either a Candidate Status Report or a letter explaining why the candidate isn’t eligible. Our Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook has always told candidates to allow at least 30 calendar days for us to process an application. Under current conditions, that period is likely to be much longer.

Exams

Q: When can my students who've received candidate status reports take an ARRT exam?

Pearson VUE continues to update its information regarding the availability of limited testing appointments at its testing centers. Check this link regularly. Candidates who have an examination window from ARRT should visit Pearson VUE for available dates, times, and testing centers.

Q: May my students use test centers other than Pearson VUE to take their exams?

Standardized administration procedures are essential for high-stakes testing. We use only Pearson VUE professional test centers because the centers provide a standardized testing environment with many security procedures. The centers collect biometric data (such as palm scans), use video recording, offer exams in secure testing rooms, and monitor candidates throughout the exams. In general, other test centers lack the same level of monitoring, and candidate safety. For example, without video recording we couldn’t go back and check on reported incidents.

Each Pearson VUE professional test center has the computer equipment needed to deliver exams like ours, with images, videos, hot spots, and the like. Pearson VUE centers are available in training centers, academic institutions, corporations, correctional facilities and U.S. military installations worldwide. At one time ARRT arranged its own test administrations at educational institutions and is aware of the logistical complexity, technical demands, threats to standardized administration, and liability such a model presents.

For More Information

We’re scheduling regular webinars for Program Directors. You’ll receive an email invitation when we hold a webinar for your discipline. Although attendance is limited, we’ll send links to the recording to everyone we invite, and we’ll post the links below. 

Q: How can I contact someone if I have more questions?

If you have specific questions, you can reach us the following ways:

  • As your first contact, visit our Program Directors’ website. Log in and select Quick Content Form under the Contact ARRT tab. Then select Educators’ Website Question from the Subject drop-down list and submit your question. We will respond as soon as possible.
  • Call us at 651-687-0048. Be aware that you might experience longer hold times or intermittent phone outages if you choose to call during this time.

Please discourage your students from calling to check on the progress of their applications. Instead, direct them to the For ARRT Exam Candidates section of this web page.


ARRT Exam Candidates

Last update: May 18, 2020, 7 a.m. CDT

Requirements

Q: What if I can't complete all my educational requirements but I'm supposed to be graduating soon?

We understand that rapidly changing circumstances have created challenges for students and educational programs. At this time, we haven’t approved any deviations from our stated educational requirements—but we’re exploring ways students can meet the intent of our educational requirements if disruptions to traditional educational opportunities continue. Please monitor this page for updates.

Applications

Q: When will ARRT process my application for certification and registration? 

Our primary eligibility pathway applications are paper-based and depend on physical delivery from the U.S. Postal Service. Although our office continues to receive mail, during our state’s Stay Safe Minnesota period we can’t process it as efficiently as we did in the past. A limited number of our staff members are processing applications in the order we receive them, but we're unlikely to be at full capacity for quite some time. 

Our Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook has always told candidates to allow at least 30 calendar days for us to process an application. Under current conditions, that period is likely to be much longer.

Our postprimary eligibility pathway applications are computer-based. For that reason, we’ve continued to process them while most of our staff is working remotely.

If students apply for the July 9, 2020, Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.) exam, we’ll process the application if it’s postmarked no later than May 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 situation, however, candidates will have until July 3, 2020, to submit their clinical competency requirement forms. If candidates submit supporting documentation after May 14, 2020, we’ll hold their exam scores until we can verify that they’ve completed all requirements.

Q: Does ARRT offer online applications?

We offer online applications for the postprimary eligibility pathway, available through your online ARRT account. People who want to apply for certification and registration as a Registered Radiologist Assistant can print an application from our website. We don’t offer online applications for candidates using the primary eligibility pathway. 

Q: How can I learn the status of my application?

If you’re using the primary eligibility pathway: 

  • We have thousands of applications that need processing, and each one requires multiple steps. We don’t know that we’ve received your application until we’ve begun processing it. Once you receive your Candidate Status Report, you can schedule your exam with Pearson VUE by following the instructions on the report.
  • We’re processing completed applications received after March 20, 2020, in the order we receive them. Although completing those applications is a priority, we’re under strict state guidelines concerning how many staff members can return to our office.

If you’re using the postprimary eligibility pathway, we’ve continued processing applications as we received them. 

If you’re applying for the July 9, 2020, Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.) exam, we’ll process your application if it’s postmarked no later than May 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 situation, you’ll have until July 3, 2020, to submit your clinical requirement forms. If you submit supporting documentation after May 14, 2020, we’ll hold your exam scores until we can verify that you’ve completed all requirements.

Q: When will ARRT acknowledge the receipt of new applications from primary eligibility pathway candidates? 

  • If you’re using the primary eligibility pathway, and you want to know when we receive your application, include a self-addressed stamped postcard you’re your application. 
  • Once we determine your eligibility status, we’ll send either a Candidate Status Report or a letter explaining why you aren’t eligible. Our Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook has always told candidates to allow at least 30 calendar days for us to process an application. Under current conditions, that period is likely to be much longer.

Exams

Q: When can I take my exam?

Pearson VUE continues to update its information regarding the availability of limited testing appointments at its testing centers. Check this link regularly. If you have an examination window from ARRT, you can schedule or reschedule an appointment by visiting Pearson VUE for available dates, times, and testing centers.

Q: May I use test centers other than Pearson VUE to take my exams?

Standardized administration procedures are essential for high-stakes testing. We use only Pearson VUE professional test centers because the centers provide a standardized testing environment with many security procedures. The centers collect biometric data (such as palm scans), use video recording, offer exams in secure testing rooms, and monitor candidates throughout the exams. In general, other test centers lack the same level of monitoring, and candidate safety. For example, without video recording we couldn’t go back and check on reported incidents. 

Each Pearson VUE professional test center has the computer equipment needed to deliver exams like ours, with images, videos, hot spots, and the like. Pearson VUE centers are available in training centers, academic institutions, corporations, correctional facilities and U.S. military installations worldwide. At one time ARRT arranged its own test administrations at educational institutions and is aware of the logistical complexity, technical demands, threats to standardized administration, and liability such a model presents.

For More Information

Q: Where should I go if I have questions?

If you have questions about completing your requirements, or other questions that aren’t answered here, contact your Program Director. Program Directors can pass questions on to ARRT if necessary. Please don’t call ARRT with questions about your specific application at this time.

INFORMATION ABOUT MASKS/PPE and advocacy

Last update: May 20, 2020, 10:25 a.m. CDT

Q: How can I advocate for more personal protective equipment for R.T.s and others health care workers? 

Leading organizations within the diagnostic imaging community—including ARRT—recently sent this letter to President Trump. It urges the federal government to increase the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for R.Ts and other health care workers. To voice your support, visit the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)  Advocacy Action Center. The link enables you to send a message to your state and federal lawmakers.

Q: Are there guidelines for R.T.s and other health care workers about using and reusing respirator masks?

The American College of Radiology has shared this information, from the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI), about how to use N95 respirators safely during shortages. The information includes advice on using outdated or expired masks, using masks multiple times, cleaning and disinfecting masks, and other pertinent topics. ECRI is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of health care worldwide.

Q: Is there legislation being considered in Congress that would benefit R.T.s?

Yes, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced H.R. 6484, the Hazard Pay for the Frontlines During Health Emergencies Act. This bill requires employers to pay specified health care workers 125 percent of such workers’ regular rate of pay during a federal public-health emergency. ARRT sent this letter to the bill’s co-sponsors in support of the legislation.