ABRET’s first dive into micro-credentialing has taken a left turn, and there is nothing micro about it. Due out in mid-2020, their much anticipated neuroanalyst credential will instead be a full-fledged advanced practice credential. So announced Rebecca Khozein, ABRET President-Elect, at the 2019 annual meeting of ASET: The Neurodiagnostic Society.

ABRET, the neurodiagnostic field’s main credentialing and accrediting body, is working closely with ASET to develop the exam and requirements for this new credential in the area of long-term monitoring. The aim is to further illuminate the value technologists in this arena bring to the healthcare team.

The neuroanalyst was initially envisioned as a micro-credential, or digital badge, that would involve a shorter exam. This would have been ABRET’s first foray into what is fast becoming a staple job-advancement tool in the healthcare industry. Pharmacists are probably the most well-known professionals to make use of microcredentials. ABRET soon realized, however, that the scope of practice for their new credential warranted a larger exam and more substantial designation.

“The knowledge base is so extensive that it really warrants its own full credential,” said Khozein. “That has been responsible for a little bit of a delay. We had hoped to get it out sooner, but we want to do it right, and we want to make sure that the credential really represents the vast body of knowledge, and [functions] as we intend it to as a physician extender.”

ABRET currently offers credentials and certifications (none of which are considered micro-credentials) for neurodiagnostic technologists in two tiers.The most elemental, or first tier, is the Electroencephalographic Technologist (R. EEG T.). With this credential in hand, technologists become eligible for a second tier of credentials including the following:

Instead of being a micro- or add-on-, the new neuroanalyst designation will introduce a third tier of certification. It will build upon the current Certification for Long Term Monitoring (CLTM). In addition to having passed the CLTM exam, candidates must have two to three years of experience reviewing and writing reports. As per their other exams it will also likely require a current CPR/BLS certification and documentation of a certain number of LTM cases.

The exam will be offered through Prometric Testing Centers, following a test-site switch ABRET is making this January to better accommodate their candidates. Prometric offers “8,000 secure test centers across more than 160 countries.” Because ABRET anticipates small numbers initially, they are also looking into the possibility of remote proctoring for this new credential.

“The Practice Analysis (exam blueprint) has already been developed,” said Khozein, but no further details have been released. At the time of this writing, an official at ABRET estimated more information would be available on their website by the end of January. So stay tuned.

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