The New Sleep Credential
The ABSM has recently released the new test information. They have also released the information for RPSGTs to be grandfathered into the new credential. There are some interesting differences with this test and the BRPT's exam and not all of them are negative. In fact, I am surprised at some of the requirements added to be eligible.
The first thing I noticed is that they will only be charging the grandfathered techs $25 to apply for the credential. Although they do require CEUs, this is a lifetime credential. Anyone taking the test will not have a lifetime credential but will have to be recredentialed every five years. This is a road that I wish the BRPT had taken. It is similar to the road the NBRC took when they changed from a lifetime credential to a five year renewal.
The next thing I looked at was the blueprint for the exam. As I looked it over I see there are is an easier blueprint to study for. There is also less about theory and history than on the BRPT exam. There also appears to be a bigger concentration on disorders.
The questions are, what will the pass rate be on the exam and who is actually writing the questions? I had the opportunity to write questions for the CPSGT the last time I went to the BRPT conference. The information provided to us were resources I have used in the past and were accessible to all sleep techs. The questions were written by RPGSTs who were working in the field and understood what was expected while they worked.
The drawbacks are big as well. In order for you to sit for the test you must take an introductory A-Step course as well as take all the A-Step modules or be an RPSGT, or take a college program that is accredited. You will also perform 50 sleep studies and one MSLT. In theory that means if you work 4 days a week you are ready to sit for your credentials in seven weeks. In those seven weeks you will also have done scoring and two inter-scorer reliability QAs for your facility. You would have to do one day shift to do an MSLT. In our facility we do not do many MSLTs and there might be a long wait to have the chance to perform one.
Am I going to get this credential? Yes. For $25 what do I have to lose? Am I going to encourage my students and techs to take this test? Well, my techs are not eligible so they will have to stick with the BRPT. My students are also encouraged to take the RPSGT exam as it is still the gold standard and well respected in the field. Also, as of right now the new is not written or accepted anywhere. Will I always have this opinion? I am not sure. I have to see what happens in the future.