The Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) today announced the launch of its Sleep Technology Approved Resource (STAR) Program as well as changes to the RPSGT and CPSGT exam eligibility requirements. BRPT has been reviewing and approving alternative education programs for exam eligibility for several years; these programs will now receive the STAR designation. The STAR designation does not apply to CAAHEP or CoARC accredited education programs, but to education programs that are alternatives to the CAAHEP or CoARC accredited education. The new STAR program replaces the previous alternative program approval process, which was a function of the BRPT’s Education Advisory Committee. STAR Programs fall into one or more of the following categories: Self-study, Focused, Focused 2.
“The BRPT has been a long-time proponent of formal education for sleep technologists,” said BRPT President, Cindy Altman, RPSGT, R.EEG/EP T. “Unfortunately, the great majority of technologists entering the field today still do so through on-the-job training and on-line self-study. The BRPT developed the STAR program to better recognize the alternative education programs it approves for exam eligibility, and to clarify education requirements for exam pathways.”
At its March Board meeting, the BRPT Board of Directors approved changes to the RPSGT and CPSGT exam eligibility pathways, effective April 1, 2012. The RPSGT changes primarily involve incorporation of the new STAR education designations into the on-the-job training pathways. The paid clinical experience requirement for on-the-job training candidates was retained for the RPSGT exam but it was removed from the CPSGT exam requirement. Two new pathways were added for the CPSGT exam – Pathway 2 for CAAHEP/CoARC students and Pathway 3 for candidates who have completed STAR-designated Focused education or a combination of Self-Study and Focused 2 education.
Added Altman, “The BRPT Board of Directors evaluated several requests for additional CPSGT exam pathways, in particular a student pathway and recognition of other education providers for CPSGT exam eligibility. We’re pleased with the addition of these two pathways to CPSGT exam eligibility and are confident this change will have a positive impact on the field.” Previously the CPSGT exam was linked exclusively to the A-STEP online self-study modules.
BRPT STAR RECOGNITION PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Effective April 1, 2012
STAR programs are reviewed and approved by BRPT to meet exam eligibility. STAR programs are assigned a program provider number allowing the STAR provider to track student performance on BRPT exams. The STAR designation does not apply to CAAHEP or CoARC accredited education programs.
STAR education programs fall into one or more of the following education categories:
STAR-designated programs include the following topics:
Education providers interested in receiving the STAR designation can undergo program review by completing an application form. The list of existing STAR programs, along with STAR guidelines and application materials will be available on the BRPT web site after April 1, 2012.
RPSGT EXAM ELIGIBILITY OVERVIEW
Effective April 1, 2012
There are 4 eligibility pathways for the RPSGT exam.
CPSGT EXAM ELIGIBILITY OVERVIEW
Effective April 1, 2012
The CPSGT exam is geared toward individuals who are new to polysomnography and have limited clinical experience, or are not ready to take the RPSGT exam. There are 3 eligibility pathways for the CPSGT exam. Paid clinical experience is not required for CPSGT exam eligibility.
The updated RPSGT and CPSGT exam eligibility criteria will be posted to www.brpt.org on April 1, 2012.
The BRPT has several pathways for exam eligibility to account for differing entries into the field, ranging from graduation from a formal education program (for example, CAAHEP or CoARC programs) to on-the-job training supported by on-line education. The most widely recognized on-line education program for sleep technologists is the A-STEP module program offered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. BRPT incorporated the A-STEP self-study program into on-the-job training eligibility pathways shortly after the program was developed. Over time other self-study and formal education programs were developed, and BRPT began to recognize “alternative” education programs for the purpose of exam eligibility. Last year, in an effort to better recognize ALL qualifying alternative education programs, the BRPT began developing guidelines for Sleep Technology Approved Resources (STARs). STAR programs must meet these guidelines in order to be approved for exam eligibility for on-the-job training pathways. The STAR designation does not apply to CAAHEP or CoARC accredited education programs, but to education programs that are alternatives to the CAAHEP or CoARC accredited education.
Early in 2012 the AASM announced a major revision to the A-STEP on-line program modules, requiring BRPT to reevaluate the modules used for exam eligibility. The new modules were organized in a significantly different manner and were different in number from the previous A-STEP modules identified for RPSGT and CPSGT exam eligibility. The BRPT STAR Task Force spent considerable time trying to determine the appropriate modules that should be included for exam eligibility, finally recommending unanimously that education programs should not be broken up or divided, that modules built upon each other and were needed in total. Therefore, candidates enrolling in the A-STEP on-line modules as of January 1, 2012 are required to complete ALL of the A-STEP modules to meet eligibility for the RPSGT and CPSGT exams. Candidates who were enrolled in the A-STEP on-line modules prior to January 1, 2012, will not be required to enroll in the new A-STEP modules to qualify for an exam. The specific details regarding the A-STEP modules in reference to exam eligibility can be found below. The BRPT anticipates the development of new education programs specifically designed for CPSGT candidates, but until that time existing STAR education programs must be completed in total for CPSGT exam eligibility.
CLARIFICATION OF A-STEP REQUIREMENTS FOR RPSGT AND CPSGT EXAM ELIGIBILITY
The A-STEP program is one of several STAR-designated programs available to candidates to qualify for RPSGT and CPSGT exam eligibility. Candidates are encouraged to use the education program that best meets their needs. As a result of AASM changes to the A-STEP program introduced in January 2012, candidates enrolling in the A-STEP on-line modules as of January 1, 2012 are required to complete ALL of the A-STEP modules to meet eligibility for the RPSGT and CPSGT exams.
Candidates who were enrolled in the A-STEP on-line modules prior to January 1, 2012, and complete the modules outlined below by April 2, 2012, do not need to enroll in the new A-STEP modules to qualify for an exam. Candidates who have documentation of completion of the A-STEP modules identified below can use them for exam eligibility for 3 years after the date of program completion. Candidates may not use a combination of modules from the new and old A-STEP program to meet exam eligibility.
A-STEP Modules for RPSGT prior to 1/1/2012
A-STEP Modules for CPSGT prior to 1/1/2012