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Radiation Safety Exam Information
Section 1: Introduction
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) exam is administered on specific dates each year. Once an applicant's eligibility is confirmed, they will be able to schedule to sit for the exam at the next scheduled date(s). The NMTCB(RS) exam will be administered nationally by IQT, Inc. Specific testing locations are available to view at IQT Testing Locations.
Although every attempt will be made to allow you to take the NMTCB(RS) examination at the location of your choice, please be aware that not all testing centers are available every day of the year and some have limited hours available. For this and similar reasons, you may not be able to take the exam at the site closest to you. NMTCB and our testing company, Iso-Quality Testing, will work to find the closest available test center location on either day for eligible candidates.
The first administration of the NMTCB Radiation Safety exam was Friday, November 3, 2017. The 2021 Radiation Safety certification examination will be offered August 12 - August 14, 2021. The deadline to meet eligibility for this examination is July 1st. Exam results are processed and mailed via USPS in approximately four to six weeks from the date of exam.
A candidate may take the exam a maximum of one (1) time within a 12 calendar month period.
The examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions with three hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. The application fee is $185.00.
These instructions will familiarize you with the NMTCB's application and examination administration procedures. It is important that you understand and follow the procedures outlined in these instructions. Read them entirely and carefully before completing and submitting your application. You are responsible for knowing what is contained in these instructions. You will be more comfortable at the test site if you first familiarize yourself with the procedures and policies relating to the examination. Refer to these instructions for reference and contact the NMTCB office at the address at the bottom of this page if you have any questions. The NMTCB application and instructions are revised annually to reflect changes in policies and eligibility requirements. It is important that you complete and return the current application form.
The NMTCB does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, physical impairment, marital status, or national origin.
A total of 184 individuals are Active NMTCB(RS) Certificants.
Section 2: 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)) or an active CAMRT(RT),CAMRT(RTT), ARRT(R) or ARRT(T) certification 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 listed as an RSO or Associate RSO 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.
Section 3: Application Processing
Submitting Your Application
Read all instructions listed here carefully before completing the application form. Incomplete applications delay processing and may affect eligibility.
Applications may be submitted via the online NMTCB(RS) application page available here, with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover payment for the examination processing fee of $185. The application fee is nonrefundable. Please submit your application well before the deadline (July 1, 2021). Applications are processed in the order received. A request for withdrawal of an application received by the NMTCB office will result in total forfeiture of the exam application fee.
Acknowledgement of Application
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.
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.
Once the NMTCB has received a complete application, it is processed in the order it was received. 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 submitted/verified by the deadline 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 eligibility has been established, you will be emailed a username, password and instructions for scheduling your examination. This email will contain a link where you will login and schedule your appointment. Eligible candidates will schedule an individual appointment on a date that the exam is being offered as posted on the NMTCB(RS) page. During the scheduling process, you will be provided with a list of test sites and available examination times. If you do not see an appointment available on your desired testing date and location, please call IQT at 1-866-773-1114 so that they may assist you in making those arrangements. Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will be able to print your candidate admission letter. Take your candidate admission letter and a currently valid government issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) to the test site when reporting for your appointment. Make sure to review the authorized materials list included in your candidate admission letter.
There may be delays in scheduling due to testing volume. It is to your advantage to schedule your appointment soon after receiving your authorization letter.
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.
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.
Replacement of Candidate Admission Letter
If you lose your printed candidate admission letter 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.
Schedule/Reschedule/Cancellation of Examination
The NMTCB Specialty examinations are offered through IQT, Inc. A list of the testing centers and their locations is available to NMTCB candidates on the IQT website.
The NMTCB(RS) Specialty Examination is available on select dates. Once your application is approved, you may schedule yourself to sit for the exam on a date that the exam is being offered. Once you are determined eligible for the exam, you will be emailed instructions on how to schedule your examination day/time through IQT. You are expected to make an appointment and appear for the examination within your testing period.
If you fail to show up for your examination at the scheduled time, do not have the proper identification, or do not have your admission document, you will not be allowed to sit for your exam. You will be considered a "No-Show", your examination fees will be forfeited, and you will be required to re-register and pay all fees prior to sitting for the exam. However, if an issue arises that prohibits you from making it to your scheduled exam, you may reschedule prior to (5) calendar days before your scheduled exam date by contacting IQT at 1-866-773-1114. You may be required to pay a rescheduling fee to process your request. If it is less than (5) calendar days, you will not be allowed to cancel or reschedule your exam unless one of the following 4 situations have occurred:
- Jury Duty
- Death in the immediate family
- Military Deployment
The immediate family is defined as a person's grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings and children.
If you experience any of the above, you MUST provide IQT with proper documentation before being rescheduled to a new date. Documentation must be submitted to IQT within 10 calendar days of your missed examination or it will not be considered for a reschedule. If none of the above are the reason for wanting to reschedule or cancel your exam less than 5 days prior to your exam date, then you will not be allowed to reschedule or cancel your exam.
If your area is experiencing inclement weather, it is your responsibility to contact your testing center to confirm if it is closed or delayed in opening. Most likely there will be a voice message on the testing center’s phone system to notify candidates of any change in business hours during the inclement weather. If you are unable to take your examination due to the inclement weather, you must contact IQT directly at 1-866-773-1114 or 1-727-733-1110 to reschedule your examination for a later date.
Candidates who fail to make an appointment during the eligibility period will have their application fee rolled over one time to apply towards the next exam date. This request must be submitted in writing to NMTCB and a candidate cannot be scheduled for an exam date at the time of the request. Candidates who fail to sit for the exam after the one time roll over opportunity will be required to 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 $45.00 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). 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. To reactivate an application you can visit the application page here.
Section 4: Taking the Examination
The NMTCB(RS) exam is a computer-based test. 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 examination consists of 200 total multiple choice question and you will have three hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. You cannot skip an answer to a question, but you are able to mark a question for later review. You may also change answers.
The NMTCB values and welcomes your opinions and comments on the examination facilities, examination application and administration procedures, and the examination itself. You will be given an opportunity to make comments during the exam. All comments are later summarized and presented to the Board of Directors. In addition, you may send a letter of concern by writing the NMTCB office directly and referring to the examination date, examination site, and specific issue(s) of concern. If you have comments about particular examination questions, please try to restate the question as accurately as possible in the letter to the NMTCB office. The Board of Directors will review all comments and send a reply, if possible.
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%)
Click here to see the more detailed exam content specifications.
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
Examination security includes sign-in rosters, lockers, and proctoring but may also include, but not limited to, sleeve checks, metal detecting, pocket checks, and spyware checks (e.g. cameras in glasses). Failure to follow candidate instructions will result in your application being voided and forfeiture of your application fee. Conduct that results in violation of security or disrupts the administration of the examination could result in cancellation of your examination and dismissal from the testing center. In addition, your examination will be considered void and will not be scored. Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following: writing on anything other than the IQT Authorized Scratch Paper provided to you, looking at another candidate's computer monitor, or talking with other candidates anytime during the entire examination period. Do not bring notes, books, or papers of any kind. Cellular phones and beepers are prohibited in the testing area. The use of headphones inside the testing area is prohibited. Electrical outlets will not be available for any reason. Earplugs for sound suppression are allowed. 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). Refer to the Authorized Materials List in the candidate admission letter for authorized materials allowed during the examination.
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.
Use of Calculators
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 by test site personnel. You will be observed at all times while taking the examination. This will include direct observation by test site personnel.
- To schedule, you must login online with the username and password that is provided to you by email from IQT once NMTCB pre-registers you for the exam. You will receive an email from NMTCB when you have been determined eligible and pre-registered for the exam. Scheduling your appointment well in advance of your desired date is strongly recommended during the summer and fall heavy testing periods. Take your candidate admission letter with you. Bring at least one current (not expired) piece of photo identification with your signature, such as a driver's license, Government Issued ID Card, Military ID card, or passport. No examination candidate will be admitted to the examination site without proper identification and will forfeit the entire exam fee. The name on your photo ID must match the name on your admission letter.
- 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.
- Please refer to the candidate admission letter you received after scheduling your exam appointment regarding reschedule/cancellation policies.
- 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.
Your final score will be mailed to you approximately four to six weeks after the examination. No examination results will be given over the telephone under any circumstances.
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.
Strict quality control procedures are performed to ensure the accuracy of the examination results reported. You may have your examination manually rescored for a fee. Any requests for rescoring must be made in writing within two (2) months of receipt of the original official score report and must include the rescoring fee of $50.00 (made payable to the NMTCB). Rescoring very seldom changes reported score results.
Section 5: 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 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 certificants.
NMTCB NEWSLETTER: The NMTCB NEWS, published semi-annually, is provided to all certificants of nuclear medicine technology, CT, radiation safety, nuclear cardiology technology, PET, and NMAA. NMTCB NEWS covers topics of concern to certified technologists, trends in NMT education, developments in health care, nationwide salary comparisons, and other professional information.
Successful completion of the NMTCB(RS) post primary exam will be recognized by the NMTCB as the equivalent of 24 hours of CE
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.
Section 6: Appeals Procedure
Every effort is made to ensure that the NMTCB examination procedures are reasonable and that fair and equitable treatment is accorded to all applicants. To ensure fairness and a right of redress in the evaluation and processing of applications, examination procedures, and certification activities, the Directors of the NMTCB have established a formal appeals procedure which you must follow for appeal of any NMTCB policy, requirement, or decision.
If you are dissatisfied with or adversely affected by any action or decision of the administration of the NMTCB, you have the right to appeal such action or decision. If you wish to appeal any action or decision, your appeal must follow these guidelines which can be found here.