The NMTCB has developed a post-primary certification exam for radiation safety. The NMTCB(RS) credential is designed to establish a technologist's expertise in all aspects of RAM and CT radiation safety issues, while also verifying their competency in fluoroscopy, X-ray, and MRI safety matters.
The NMTCB(RS) Examination will be administered nationally by IQT, Inc. Specific testing locations are available to view at IQT Testing Locations.
The first administration of this exam was Friday, November 3, 2017. The next administration of the NMTCB Radiation Safety exam is tentatively scheduled for August 2018. The exact examination date will be announced in the coming months. The application deadline for the 2018 exam will be July 1, 2018.
A candidate may take the exam a maximum of one (1) time within a 12 calendar month period.
NMTCB(RS) Eligibility Requirements
A candidate for the NMTCB's Radiation Safety examination must show documented evidence of having:
- An active nuclear medicine technology certification (NMTCB, ARRT(N), CAMRT(N)) for a minimum of two (2) years.
- Documented experience performing tasks directly associated with radiation safety over a minimum period of 1 calendar year. Applicant must provide a letter of attestation from a supervisor or the RSO regarding this experience.
Note: Item #2 will be assumed to have been met if the candidate can display that they are currently on or has been on a RAM license in the past 7 years.
Below are examples of tasks related to radiation safety that may be considered as suitable for an applicant’s documented experience:
- Management of radiation safety record-keeping within the nuclear medicine department.
- Maintenance of radiation safety records, including those associated with the receiving and shipment of RAM, daily contamination surveys, weekly contamination wipes, and the administration of radiopharmaceuticals.
- Assisting with the preparation of the RAM license for the facility.
- Management of the personnel exposure monitoring including those for pregnant radiation workers.
- Providing and/or managing the radiation safety training of nurses and non-radiation workers with the nuclear medicine department.
- Performing and/or managing the inventory and wipe tests of sealed sources.
- Performance/maintenance of records for QC of ancillary equipment such as the dose calibrator and well counter.
- Management of the training records for fluoroscopy credentialing or MR safety.
- Maintain quality management records for radionuclide therapy.
- Providing instruction to patients receiving radionuclide therapy and maintaining such records.
- Performing surveys for shipping, receiving and related radiation tasks.
- Using and performing checks for proper operation of instruments used to determine the dose activity, survey meters, and instruments used to measure radionuclides.
- Securing and controlling radioactive materials.
- Using administrative controls to avoid mistakes in the administration of radioactive materials.
- Using procedures to prevent or minimize radioactive contamination and using proper decontamination procedures.
- Using emergency procedures to control radioactive materials.
- Disposing of radioactive materials.
- Evaluate MRI Zone signage.
- Observe multiple procedures in interventional fluoroscopy, x-ray, and MRI.
- Verify 5 gauss lines on new MRI installation plans.
- Review structural shielding reports for new x-ray, fluoroscopic, CT, and PET rooms.
- Attend routine safety training for x-ray, fluoroscopic, and MRI.
- Observe a periodic inspection of the MRI emergence cryogen vent system.
- Attend radiation safety training of nurses and non-radiation workers in fluoroscopy.
Please note: NMTCB(RS) applicants are not required to perform all of the tasks listed above. The tasks are meant to be examples of radiation safety related duties that may be documented for the NMTCB(RS) application purpose.
Radiation Safety Exam Information
- The NMTCB(RS) Exam is available in the United States at IQT Testing Centers.
- The examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions.
- The application fee is $180.00.
- Annual certification renewal will be $30.00 and certificants must have current active nuclear medicine certification/registration in order to complete renewal of the Radiation Safety certification.
The following is an abbreviated list of the content for the NMTCB's Radiation Safety Exam.
- RAM License (~50%)
- Computed Tomography (~15%)
- X-Ray & Fluoroscopy (~15%)
- MRI (~10%)
- Optimizing Radiation Exposure/Other Safety Topics (~10%)
Related Guidelines & References
- AAHP/HPS Qualifications for Health Care Facility Radiation Safety Officer (Jan 2003)
- National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) - Publications
- ACR – Disaster Preparedness for Radiology Professionals
- NRC: 10 CFR Part 35, “Medical Use Licenses”
- AAPM Report No. 124 - A Guide for Establishing a Credentialing and Privileging Program for Users of Fluoroscopic Equipment in Healthcare Organizations (2012)
- AAPM Report No. 160 - Radiation Safety Officer Qualifications for Medical Facilities: Report of Task Group 160;
- AAPM Report No. 204- Size-Specific Dose Estimates (SSDE) in Pediatric and Adult Body CT Examinations
- ACR-SPR Practice Parameter For Imaging Pregnant or Potentially Pregnant Adolescent and Women with Ionizing Radiation
- ACR Guidance Document on MR Safety Practices: 2013. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 37:501–530 (2013) Authors: E. Kanal, AJ Barkovich, C Bell et al.
- Image Gently® - The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging
- Image Wisely® - Radiation Safety in Adult Medical Imaging
The NMTCB(RS) examination consists exclusively of 4 or 5-option multiple choice items. Each item includes a keyed (correct) response and 3 or 4 distractors (incorrect responses).
The NMTCB(RS) Examination is copyrighted and owned by the NMTCB. Any attempt to reproduce any portion of the examination is prohibited by law and violators will be vigorously prosecuted.
Calculators are allowed only if they are noiseless and battery or solar-powered. No provisions or time will be allowed or given to repair or replace broken calculators. You may not share calculators. Calculators capable of storing text (i.e., a key for every letter in the alphabet) will not be allowed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF APPLICATION
Read all instructions listed here carefully before completing the application form. Incomplete applications delay processing and may affect eligibility. Applications for the NMTCB(RS) exam are only submitted online via the NMTCB website.
Once the NMTCB has received your completed application and fees, an acknowledgement email will be sent to the email address provided on your application. Acknowledgement does not imply eligibility to sit for the examination. If you have not received this email within three weeks after you submitted the application, please contact the NMTCB office for instructions.
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION
Applications may be submitted via the online NMTCB(RS) application page available on the NMTCB webpage, with a Visa or MasterCard payment for the examination processing fee of $180.00. Please submit your application well before the deadline. Applications are processed in the order received.
NAME AND ADDRESS CHANGE
If you change your name or address after submitting your application, you must inform the NMTCB in writing immediately. If the NMTCB is not promptly notified, you may not receive your eligibility letter to take the examination, your official score report and certification card may be delayed and your certificate may be incorrectly prepared, resulting in a replacement cost. Your cooperation will ensure the most expeditious receipt of your NMTCB(RS) certificate.
CREDENTIALS AND EXPERIENCE VERIFICATION
Once the NMTCB has received a complete application, it is processed. Verification of the candidate’s radiation safety experience is determined by a letter of attestation provided by the candidate’s supervisor or Radiation Safety Officer regarding their experience. These verification letters must be returned to the NMTCB office in a timely manner to ensure the candidate's eligibility. All of your credentials must be verified or you may be determined ineligible to take the examination.
You will be notified by letter, telephone, or facsimile of any discrepancies between the information provided on your application and the information the NMTCB is able to verify. Any unresolved discrepancies may cause you to be determined ineligible to sit for the examination and result in postponement of your examination or permanent disqualification.
Once your eligibility to sit for the NMTCB(RS) examination has been established, information will be sent to your email address regarding your assigned testing center location. Please make sure your email address is correct on your application.
Please remember take a currently valid photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) to the test site when reporting for your appointment on the scheduled examination date. Candidates without a valid photo ID, or who arrive after the proctor has started instructions will NOT be permitted to enter the test center and will forfeit the entire exam fee.
Your final score will be mailed to you approximately four weeks after the examination. No examination results will be given over the telephone under any circumstances. A request for withdrawal of an application that is received by the NMTCB office will result in total forfeiture of the exam application fee.
You will be notified in writing of any item(s) necessary to complete your file. All completed materials must be received by the NMTCB office in a timely manner or you will be determined ineligible. It is to your advantage to submit your application early in case clarification is required.
REPLACEMENT OF AUTHORIZATION LETTER
If you lose your printed candidate admission email you may reprint it by logging in to your account with the username and password that is provided in your confirmation email. Please note that the username and password are case sensitive.
APPLICANTS WITH A DISABILITY
The NMTCB will make every reasonable effort to accommodate applicants for the Certification Examination who have a disability as that term is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. An applicant who wishes to request modifications in the environment because of a disability must notify the NMTCB in writing at the time of application and provide appropriate documentation about the disability and the needed modification. Upon receipt of a request for modifications in the testing environment, the NMTCB office will provide detailed guidelines concerning the required documentation to be submitted. The supporting documentation must be submitted in sufficient time to make proper arrangements to take the examination under conditions which will accurately reflect the applicant's achievement level. Requests for modifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EXAMINATION
The application fee is nonrefundable. Contact the NMTCB office immediately if circumstances make it impossible for you to appear on the date scheduled. Candidates who fail to appear on the date scheduled or fail to change their scheduled appointment more than 96 hours in advance, forfeit their application fee. Candidates who fail to sit for the exam within one calendar year of eligibility approval will be required submit the full application fee in order to be reactivate the application and be considered eligible.
Checks returned by the bank to the NMTCB office for any reason are subject to a $40.00 returned check fee. The returned check fee and the replacement fee must be submitted in certified funds only (money order, cashier's check, etc.). A personal check cannot be accepted as replacement. All financial obligations to the NMTCB must be met before the eligibility letter is sent.
REACTIVATION OF APPLICATION
If you have previously unsuccessfully taken the NMTCB(RS) Examination, your application will remain on file with the NMTCB. Eligible candidates may repeat the examination by reactivating their eligibility with a written request to the NMTCB along with the current processing fee. A candidate may take the exam a maximum of one (1) time within a 12 calendar month period. For re-examination, the eligibility criteria must still be met (current NMTCB, ARRT(N) or CAMRT nuclear medicine certification). It may be necessary for you to document that you have completed additional preparation if deemed by the NMTCB to be in the best interest of all concerned. Applicants who were determined ineligible to take the examination, but who later meet the current eligibility requirements, may reapply, pay the current processing fee and reactivate their application.
When reactivating your eligibility, your request should include your current name, the name used on your original application (if changed), NMTCB(RS) file number, address and phone number, and date of last examination in your request.
TAKING THE EXAMINATION
- Take your admission letter with you. A valid government issued photo ID (driver's license, military ID or passport) with candidate's name as printed on the application must be presented for admission to the test center. Candidates without a valid photo ID, or who arrive after the proctor has started instructions will NOT be permitted to enter the test center and will forfeit the entire exam fee.
- Report to the examination site fifteen (15) minutes before the exam. Candidates who arrive late will not be allowed to take the examination. Visitors are not allowed in the immediate area of the examination site.
- You will have three hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. Plan your time carefully. You are encouraged to bring a wristwatch. The examination consists of 200 total multiple choice questions.
- Calculators are allowed only if they are noiseless and battery or solar-powered. No provisions or time will be allowed or given to repair or replace broken calculators. You may not share calculators. Calculators capable of storing text (i.e., a key for each letter of the alphabet) will not be allowed by test site personnel.
- Do not bring notes, books, or papers of any kind. All electronic devices brought in the examination room, including telephones, signaling devices and personal digital assistants must be turned off and placed out of view. Any candidate who is observed violating test center rules will be subject to dismissal from the examination, may be barred from future examinations and may be required to forfeit his/her current examination fee(s).
- If you find that you will not be able to take the NMTCB(RS) Exam, contact the NMTCB office immediately at (404) 315-1739 and then notify the NMTCB in writing of your reasons. Applicants will be rescheduled at the Board's discretion.
- If you move after taking the examination, notify the NMTCB office promptly to ensure timely receipt of your results. Be sure to file a forwarding order with the post office.
- Your final score will be mailed to you approximately four weeks after the examination. No examination results will be given over the telephone under any circumstances.
- Notify the test site supervisor in case of sudden illness. If you withdraw from the examination due to illness, your examination will be scored. A candidate who cannot make it to his/her exam must call IQT at (866) 773-1114 or (727) 733-1110.
- When you have finished the exam, you may leave the facility; however, once you leave you will not be allowed to re-enter the facility or review your completed exam.
PRIVILEGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Passing the NMTCB(RS) Examination entitles you to certain privileges and obligates you to fulfill certain responsibilities. These are summarized below:
PRIVILEGES OF CERTIFICATION
CERTIFICATE: The most immediate benefit of certification is your certificate which will be mailed to you in approximately four (4) - six (6) weeks after successful completion of the examination.
CREDENTIALS: Upon certification, you will also be granted the right to use the credential "NMTCB(RS)" after your name.
ANNUAL CERTIFICATION CARD: A personalized pocket-size annual certification card will be mailed to you after you receive your examination results. Most certificants carry the card with them. The certification card is a convenient method to provide your employer, governmental agencies and others with documentation that you are certified and registered in NMTCB(RS). An updated certification card will be mailed to you annually upon payment of the annual registration fees.
DIRECTORY LISTING: The names of all currently registered NMTCB(RS) technologists are listed in the "NMTCB Directory of Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologists", on the NMTCB website. The directory is made available only to other NMTCB, NMTCB(CT), NMTCB(RS), NCT, PET, and NMAA certificants.
NMTCB NEWSLETTER: The NMTCB NEWS, published semi-annually, is provided to all certificants of nuclear medicine technology, CT, radiation safety, nuclear cardiology technology, and PET. NMTCB NEWS covers topics of concern to certified technologists, trends in NMT education, developments in health care, nationwide salary comparisons, and other professional information.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CERTIFICATION
ANNUAL REGISTRATION: Perhaps the greatest responsibility of certification is annual registration. Once you are certified by the NMTCB, you remain certified and certification cannot be revoked without due process. It is necessary for you to register your certification annually with the NMTCB. Your annual registration fee pays for the privileges you enjoy as an NMTCB Certificant. More importantly, your annual registration fee supports the certification process for nuclear medicine professionals, thereby enhancing the profession of nuclear medicine technology.
Responsibilities of NMTCB(RS) certificants include maintaining an active nuclear medicine certification/registration in order to complete the yearly renewal of your NMTCB(RS) certification. You will be allowed to renew your NMTCB(RS) certification only if you maintain active nuclear medicine certification/registration.
The NMTCB(RS) Certification is valid for 10 years. In order to recertify at the end of 10 years, the NMTCB(RS) certificant must show:
- All candidates for recertification should have an Active nuclear medicine technology certification (NMTCB, ARRT, CAMRT)
- If the candidate can show evidence that they were listed on a RAM license any time within the past 7 years, (produce a copy of the license showing that their name is on it) they will automatically be renewed for another 10 year period
- If the candidate is not listed on a RAM license, but has performed radiation safety duties any time within the past 7 years under direction of an RSO and can provide a letter from the RSO with the RAM license # corresponding to the facility were the duties were performed, the candidate will automatically be renewed for another 10 year period.
- A candidate that does not qualify for (b.) or (c.) can sit for the exam again.
Successful completion of the NMTCB(RS) specialty exam will be recognized by the NMTCB as the equivalent of 24 hours of CE.