January 13, 2012
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEER TECHNOLOGIST CERTIFICATION
By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst
You asked if the state requires biomedical engineer technologists who work in Connecticut hospitals to be certified.
Biomedical engineer technologists (also called biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs)) install, calibrate, inspect, maintain, repair, and operate biomedical and related technical equipment. Most BMETs are employed by hospitals, clinics, research labs, and medical equipment manufacturers.
Connecticut does not require BMETs to be certified in order to work in a hospital, but a hospital may require this as a condition of employment. We contacted the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the New England Society of Clinical Engineering, and Hartford Hospital's biomedical engineering department, none of which was aware of any state with such certification requirements.
According to ASHE, two types of voluntary certification are available for biomedical engineers working in hospitals. The first is a “clinical engineer” certification (CCE) administered by the U.S. Board of Examiners for Certification in Clinical Engineering and the Healthcare Technology Certification Commission. The second is a “biomedical equipment technician” certification (CBET) administered by the International Certification Commission for Clinical Engineering and Biomedical Technology (affiliated with AAMI).
CCE certification allows biomedical engineers who apply engineering and management skills to healthcare technology to demonstrate competency and obtain professional recognition. The certification program is jointly administered by the U.S. Board of Examiners for Certification in Clinical Engineering and the Healthcare Technology Certification Commission. The board develops the examinations and renewal processes and determines candidates' eligibility for certification. The board reports to the commission, which manages the examination process and finances the CCE program.
To be eligible for certification, an applicant must pay a $375 application fee and document professional, educational, and work experience that meets one of the three standards listed in Table 1.
Table 1: CCE Professional and Educational Eligibility Requirements
Professional and Educational Credentials
Engineering and Clinical Engineering Experience
U.S. licensure as a professional engineer
Three or more years of clinical engineering
Bachelor's or higher degree in engineering
Four or more years of engineering practice, including three or more years of clinical engineering
Bachelor's degree in electronic engineering technology
Eight or more years of engineering practice, including three or more years of clinical engineering
Source: CCE certification website, http://thehtf.org/certification.asp
In lieu of two years of engineering experience, an applicant may substitute either (1) a graduate degree in engineering or (2) experience teaching advanced engineering subjects at a higher education institution.
Applicants who meet these requirements must then pass written and oral examinations.
CBET certification indicates excellence in theoretical and practical knowledge of biomedical equipment. The International Certification Commission for Clinical Engineering and Biomedical Technology administers the CBET certification program.
To be eligible for CBET certification, an applicant must pay a $375 fee and have one of the following:
1. an associate's degree in a biomedical field and two years of full-time biomedical equipment technology (BET) work experience,
2. completed a U.S. military BET training program and two years of full-time BET work experience,
3. an associate's degree in electronics technology and three years of full-time BET work experience, or
4. four years of full-time BET work experience.
Applicants who meet these requirements must pass a written examination.
Clinical Engineering Certification program website, http://thehtf.org/certification.asp, last visited on January 10, 2012.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Certification program website, http://www.aami.org/certification/about.html, last visited on January 10, 2012.