Accreditation, Certification and Licensure
Accreditation is a process that applies to institutions, programs and even departments and results in documentation attesting to the attainment of certain minimum standards. Accreditation of colleges and universities is the province of state and regional agencies and attests to certain standards of education in accredited institutions. It is the basis for determining the value of the diplomas granted as well as the value of credits transferred from one institution to another. The independent agency responsible for program accreditation in radiologic technology and radiation therapy technology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in radiologic Technology (JRCERT). For nuclear medicine, the accrediting agency is the Joint Review Committee in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT). A program needs to be accredited or acceptable to the national certification board (ARRT, NMTCB, ARDMS) in order for the student to be eligible for the national certification examination.
Certification is achieved through the successful passing of a national examination. In the field of radiology, such credentials as registration, permits, certificates and licenses all refer to documents that attest to the qualifications of individuals.
ARRT is the most widely used certification board who offers primary certification in radiography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, sonography and MRI. They offer post-primary certification in nuclear medicine, MRI, CT, mammography, sonography, cardiac-interventional, quality management, bone densitometry, breast sonography, vascular interventional radiography, vascular sonography and radiologist assistant.
Certification by ARRT is recognized nationally, and to some degree internationally, as a standard qualification to practice radiologic technology and the post-primary certifications listed above. ARRT certification is a prerequisite for employment in radiology and a prerequisite for employment by most institutions.
Once certified, you must renew your registration annually with ARRT by paying a fee and showing proof of 24 hours of continuing education every two years.
Licensure pertains to individual state requirements. It refers to the granting of "official permission" and is prerogative of state governments. Utah's requirements can be found with the Division of Professional Licensure. A state license is not transferable or acceptable to another state. You will need to determine your new state's requirements. For example, the state of Utah recognizes the limited practical technician (a permit to practice radiologic technology under limited circumstance) but other states will not. A national certification is the key to state licensure.