ABRET has been credentialing technologists for over 50 years. During this period, over 11,000 technologists and 160 laboratories have earned certification or accreditation from ABRET.
The purpose of this article is to continue to educate candidates and certificants about cheating and other unethical behavior which undermines the integrity of the examination process and can cost them their credentials.
The development of examination questions requires a significant effort and outlay of resources by ABRET. Examination development includes training writers, reviewing items, contracting of professional services, developing and evaluating examinations, coding, and conducting various studies to prepare an examination for administration. These efforts and associated costs constitute a major investment for ABRET. When questions are compromised by theft or other events, they must be permanently removed from the item bank and replaced prior to the next examination administration.
ABRET will pursue legal recourse against the individuals involved in any activity which exposes ABRET items.
ABRET requires that candidates have a level of knowledge and competency in order to be eligible to take an ABRET credentialing examination. The process of studying and reviewing literature should make someone a better candidate and ultimately a better technologist. Gaining an understanding of one’s profession and building on experience is what makes one a competent and desirable employee. Earning credentials should be a goal and a stamp of accomplishment for everyone who considers themselves a professional. Credentials should be earned, and therefore be legitimate proof of one’s expertise. Cheating undermines this process.
ABRET advises that you:
- Be cautious when selection a “board prep” program. ABRET does not sanction or review and “board prep” program. Each program should provide attendees with this disclosure. In addition, they should never use ABRET’s trademarked credentials in advertising their programs without a disclaimer.
- Be aware of the “brain dump” method which is a violation of the ABRET security and non-disclosure agreements. Under this method, test takers write down everything they can remember after taking an examination and share or sell that information. This information may be unreliable since it is dependent on the memory of the test taker, and may or may not appear on future examinations, rendering it useless to the program attendee.
- Report to ABRET any website or service that makes claims of having actual test questions.
Falsification of credentials and violation of intellectual property laws are serious matters. ABRET’s trademarked credentials are reserved for technologists who have met the requirements and successfully completed the ABRET examinations. Misuse of ABRET intellectual property (such as divulging or disclosing test questions memorized from the exam) is a violation of ABRET’s Code of Ethics and may also violate federal and state laws. Candidates and certificants caught cheating, stealing questions, or otherwise misusing ABRET intellectual property are at risk of being banned from taking the ABRET examinations in the future or losing credentials already earned. Persons attending a program where they unknowingly were provided protected test questions may be at risk of having their examination scores invalidated. ABRET is committed to protecting the ABRET examinations and credentials on behalf of all of those who legitimately earn them.
Board of Certification Newsletter. (2008, Spring). BOC Exam Security Measures [Electronic version]. Omaha, NE: Author.
Hoover, L. (2006). Watch out for brain dump test prep sites. Retrieved June 11, 2008, from
Williams, R. (2008, March). Braindumps, Gunmen, and Cheaters (revisited). Retrieved June 11, 2008 fromhttp://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25581
Testing Professionals (“CAP”). ABRET encourages and promotes quality technical and clinical standards world-wide for neurodiagnostic technologists and laboratories through certification and accreditation. ABRET Registered and Certified Technologists should recognize their responsibilities, not only to their patients, but also to the public, to other health care professionals and to themselves.
The following principles have been adopted by the Board of Directors in order to encourage personnel to aspire to the highest possible professional practice. An ABRET Registered technologist or Certified individual shall
- Do everything in his or her power to insure that the current Guidelines of the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society are complied with in the department in which he or she works.
- Preserve human dignity, respect patient's rights and support the well being of the patient under his or her care. The Registered or Certified person shall avoid discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex, age and national origin.
- Appreciate the importance of thoroughness in the performance of duty, compassion with patients and the significance of the tasks he or she perform.
- Preserve the confidentiality of medical and personal information of a patient.
- Strive to remain abreast of current technology and to study and apply scientific advances in his or her specialty. Carry out their professional work in a competent and objective manner.
- Abide by laws related to the profession and to general public health and safety and avoid dishonest, unethical or illegal practices.
- Refuse primary responsibility for interpretation of testing or monitoring of Electroencephalograms, Evoked Potentials, or Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring for purposes of clinical diagnosis and treatment. Individuals who are licensed or otherwise authorized by practice standards to provide interpretation are excluded.
- Be truthful, forthcoming, and cooperative in their dealings with ABRET.
- Be in continuous compliance with ABRET’s rules (as amended from time to time by ABRET).
- Respect ABRET’s intellectual property rights.
VIOLATIONS TO ABRET CODE OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
PURPOSE OF STANDARDS:
ABRET has developed this Code of Ethics and the Grounds for Disciplinary Action to articulate standards of conduct required for eligibility for certification and continued certification of EEG, EP, CNIM, CLTM and CAP technologists. Maintenance of board certification will require adherence to these and other ABRET rules. Individuals who fail to meet these requirements may have their certification suspended or revoked. ABRET does not guarantee the job performance of any individual.
An individual convicted of a felony related to electroencephalographic, evoked potential, long term monitoring or neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring, or autonomic testing practice and/or public health and safety (including, but not limited to felonies involving rape, sexual abuse of a patient or child, actual or threatened use of a weapon, violence, and the prohibited sale, distribution or possession of a controlled substance) must notify ABRET of such conviction and shall be ineligible to apply for registration, certification, or renewed registration for a period of three (3) years from the exhaustion of appeals or final release from confinement, whichever is later.
Grounds for Disciplinary Action. ABRET may deny, suspend, revoke, or take other action regarding an application or certification if an individual is not in compliance with this Disciplinary Policy. Grounds for disciplinary action include (but are not limited to):
- Ineligibility for certification, regardless of when the ineligibility is discovered;
- An irregular event in connection with an ABRET examination including (but not limited to) copying answers, copying examination materials, and causing a disruption in the testing area;
- Providing fraudulent or misleading information;
- Failure to pay fees when due;
- Unauthorized possession or misuse of ABRET credentials, examinations, and other intellectual property;
- Misrepresentation of certification status;
- Failure to provide requested information in a timely manner;
- Failure to inform ABRET of changes or adverse actions;
- Impairment of professional performance because of habitual use of alcohol, drugs, or other substance, or any physical or mental condition;
- Gross or repeated negligence or malpractice in professional work;
- Noncompliance with laws related to the profession and to general public health and safety;
- Accepting primary responsibility for interpretation of testing or monitoring for purposes of clinical diagnosis and treatment (Individuals who are licensed or otherwise authorized by practice standard to provide interpretation are excluded.);
- Failure to maintain a current professional credential as required by the jurisdiction in which the individual practices (this may include a license, certificate, or registration);
- The conviction of, plea of guilty to, or plea of nolo contendere to a felony or misdemeanor related to public health and safety or the profession;
- Disciplinary action by a licensing board or professional organization other than ABRET; and
- Other failure to maintain continuous compliance with ABRET standards, policies, and procedures.
Sanctions. If an individual is not exonerated or acquitted of all allegations, ABRET may impose one or more of the following sanctions for a violation of this Disciplinary Policy:
- Denial or suspension of eligibility;
- Denial of certification;
- Revocation of certification;
- Non-renewal of certification;
- Suspension of certification for a specific period of time;
- Probation; or
- Other corrective action.
Candidates or certificants may appeal the decision of the Discipline Committee to the ABRET Board of Directors by submitting a written appeals statement within 30 days. It is the candidate’s responsibility to initiate this appeal in accordance with ABRET’s policies.
Each candidate must affirm that the information provided in the Application is true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge. Each candidate further agrees to hold ABRET and its sponsoring organizations blameless from any claim for damages as a result of any action it may take in connection with this Application, the registration examination, or the results thereof.