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.
  • Use our Verify Credentials online directory to verify your certification and registration. ARRT will stop issuing paper credential cards on Dec. 31, 2020—after we’ve sent the final paper credential cards to all R.T.s during the renewal process.
  • Our primary vehicle for posting updated information is this ARRT COVID-19 Update page. Please check here regularly for updates.
  • R.T.s who have questions related to their postprimary eligibility pathway requirements, renewals, CQR, or other issues should log on to their online accounts to see if they've received an update specific to their concerns. 

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: Sept. 2, 2020, 8:25 a.m. CDT

EXTENSIONS

Q: May I get an extension on my renewal or postprimary eligibility pathway 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.

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 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?

Employers and others should use our Verify Credentials online directory as their primary source of verification information. 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. 

CE AUDITS

Q: Are CE audits in effect during the pandemic?

Yes, any R.T. who is selected for a CE audit is still required to respond to avoid discontinuation of their certification and registration.  

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: Sept. 2, 2020, 8:25 a.m. CDT

REQUIREMENTS

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

We sent surveys to all Program Directors asking about their specific challenges and their ideas for solving those problems. Following are links to summary results from three surveys:

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. 

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. 

Q. Is ARRT making modifications to clinical competency requirements for ARRT’s primary eligibility pathway?

At the July 2020 ARRT Board of Trustees meeting, the Board decided not to make modifications at this time and maintain the clinical competency requirements for each of ARRT’s disciplines with a primary eligibility pathway as published. This includes radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical competency requirements for each discipline using the primary eligibility pathway can be found here.

This decision was made to protect the integrity of ARRT credentials for R.T.s and the radiologic technology profession. It’s essential to ARRT’s mission to promote high standards of patient care by recognizing qualified individuals in medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy. 

We must take the long view and not take shortcuts that undermine the value of the ARRT credential, particularly those credentials issued during the pandemic.

The Board continues to explore possible modifications to the requirements that would maintain the credibility of the credential. For example, allowing assessment of selected tasks under conditions that deviate from those allowed by the existing requirements continues to be considered.

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 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

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: What should I do if my students have submitted their application and will not meet the graduation date they entered?

Program directors can log in to the ARRT Program Directors’ website and change students’ graduation date in the program completion verification area. Students should check that their Candidate Status Report (CSR) exam windows are valid for the new graduation date.

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, we're processing applications within 30 calendar days of the date received by ARRT as outlined in ARRT's  Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook.

Our postprimary eligibility pathway applications are computer-based and we're processing them while working remotely. 

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

For students using the primary eligibility pathway: 

  • We're processing applications within 30 days of receipt, in the order received. Once students receive their Candidate Status Reports, they can schedule their exams with Pearson VUE by following the instructions on the report. 

For candidates using the postprimary eligibility pathway:

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

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.

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

Below are links to webinars conducted by ARRT during the pandemic:

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: Sept. 2, 2020, 8:25 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? 

We're processing applications within 30 calendar days of receipt as outlined in ARRT's Primary Eligibility Pathway Handbook

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.

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: 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 with 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.

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.