Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Practitioner Services & General FAQs

How do I order NBRC products and services?

You must have an account and password before you can log in to order products and services. If you have not set up an account, click the First Time User link to create one. If you have already created an account, you may log in to order anytime.

What are the fees for NBRC products and services?

Fees for NBRC products and services are discounted for credentialed practitioners with active NBRC member status:

Item Active Member Inactive Member
Credential Verification $5 $20
Lapel Pins $40 $60
Replacement Wallet Cards $5 $15
Duplicate Score Reports $25 $25
Replacement Certificates $10 $30
Annual Renewal $25 $25

How do I change my name with the NBRC?

To change your name with the NBRC, send an email to nbrc-info@nbrc.org and include your current name, your previous name, and your address.

How do I order a replacement certificate?

You must submit the following information to obtain a replacement certificate:

  • A request for replacement providing your full name, contact information and Social Security Number
  • A statement indicating your original certificate was lost, stolen or destroyed
  • A payment of $10 for active practitioners and $30 for inactive practitioners

This original letter and documentation may be mailed to the NBRC Executive Office, 10801 Mastin Street, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS 66210, or submitted via email to nbrc-info@nbrc.org.

How can someone verify my credentials?

A letter of credential verification can confirm the information on each credential currently held for you. You may request a letter online or submit a written request including the following information:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Current mailing address
  • Address to which the letter of verification should be mailed
  • Payment in the form of a check, money order or credit card number with expiration date (active status rate: $5, inactive status rate: $20)

Please allow 7-10 days for processing mailed requests and two days for online requests. In addition to these time frames, please allow 5-7 business days for US mail delivery.

I don’t remember the email address I used to log in. How do I update my login information?

To update your login information, send an email to nbrc-info@nbrc.org and include your current name, address, the last four digits or your social security number and the email address you want to use for your login access.

Annual Renewal FAQs

Why should I keep my active status with the NBRC?

When you earned your badge of distinction by successfully completing your credentialing examination, you received active NBRC status for the remainder of that calendar year. We encourage you to set a goal for renewing your active status every year.

Being an active member in the national group of practitioners credentialed by the NBRC means you care about protecting your professional future. Benefits of active status include:

  • Recognition in the NBRC Directory and access to fellow NBRC credentialed respiratory care professionals across the country
  • An online subscription to NBRC Horizons, an informative, quarterly newsletter with the latest news in credentialing developments
  • Reduced fees for products and services
  • Participation in the Continuing Education option of the Continuing Competency Program at no additional cost when you maintain active status for all five years of your credential term
  • Representation with major organizations and state agencies that impact the respiratory care profession
  • A voice in the future of the profession
  • An appreciation gift in recognition of your active status renewal

Log in now to renew your active status.

When does my active status expire?

Annual renewal is based on the calendar year. If you are an NBRC credentialed respiratory care practitioner, you should renew your active status annually by December 31. This expiration is separate from your credential expiration.

Log in now to renew your active status.

Can I renew my annual active status online?

Credential Maintenance FAQs

Continuing Competency Program

Why does my credential have an expiration date?

For everyone whose mission involves protecting patient lives by ensuring quality respiratory care in the field, we all have one thing in common: EXCELLENCE defines us.

That’s why maintaining your credential(s) through our Continuing Competency Program is necessary to ensure your continued competence as respiratory care methodologies and technologies change over time. Through continuing education or examination, maintaining your credential through our Continuing Competency Program demonstrates your ongoing commitment to excellence and patient safety as a credentialed respiratory therapist or pulmonary function technologist.

If you were credentialed by the NBRC on or after July 1, 2002, you must participate in the Continuing Competency Program to maintain your credentials as a respiratory care practitioner. If you were credentialed prior to July 1, 2002, you are not required to participate in the Continuing Competency Program.

What are my options for maintaining my credential(s) through the Continuing Competency Program?

To meet your individual needs as a credentialed respiratory care practitioner, we offer three options for maintaining your credential through our Continuing Competency Program:

  • Option 1: Provide proof of completion of a minimum of 30 hours of Category I Continuing Education (CE) acceptable to the NBRC.
  • Option 2: Retake and pass the respective examination for the highest credential held that is subject to the Continuing Competency Program.
  • Option 3: Pass an NBRC credentialing examination not previously completed.

For more information about these options, view our Continuing Competency Program Brochure

.

What kind of CEUs satisfy the Category I Continuing Education requirement?

Category I Continuing Education is defined as participation in an educational activity directly related to respiratory therapy or pulmonary function technology, which includes any of the following:

  • Lecture – A discourse given for instruction before an audience or through teleconference
  • Panel – A presentation of multiple views by several professionals on a given subject with none of the views considered a final solution
  • Workshop – A series of meetings for intensive, hands-on study or discussion in a specific area of interest
  • Seminar – An advanced study or discussion in a specific field of interest
  • Symposium – A conference of more than a single session organized for discussing a specific subject from various viewpoints and by various presenters
  • Distance Education – Includes materials such as text, Internet or CD, provided the proponent has included an independently scored test as part of the learning package

Depending upon how many credentials you hold, there are several combinations of subjects you may need to submit. The grid shown below provides specific information for all credential combinations.

CRT ONLY 30 hours general respiratory care subjects
RRT (INCLUDING CRT) 30 hours general respiratory care subjects
CPFT ONLY 30 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
RPFT (INCLUDING CPFT) 30 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
CRT-NPS or RRT-NPS 15 hours general respiratory care subjects and 15 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects
CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS 15 hours general respiratory care subjects and 15 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects
RRT-ACCS 15 hours general respiratory care subjects and 15 hours adult critical care subjects
CRT or RRT and CPFT or RPFT 15 hours general respiratory care subjects and 15 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
CRT-NPS or RRT-NPS and CPFT or RPFT 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, and 10 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS and CPFT or RPFT 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects, and 10 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
RRT-ACCS and CPFT or RPFT 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours adult critical care subjects, and 10 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
CRT-NPS or RRT-NPS and CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, and 10 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects
RRT-NPS and RRT-ACCS 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, and 10 hours adult critical care subjects
RRT-SDS and RRT-ACCS 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 10 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic interventional subjects, and 10 hours adult critical care subjects
RRT-NPS and RRT-ACCS and CPFT or RPFT 15 hours general respiratory care subjects, 5 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, 5 hours adult critical care subjects, and 5 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
RRT-SDS and RRT-ACCS and CPFT or RPFT 15 hours general respiratory care subjects, 5 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects, 5 hours adult critical care subjects, and 5 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
CRT-NPS or RRT-NPS and CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS and CPFT or RPFT 15 hours general respiratory care subjects, 5 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, 5 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects, and 5 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects
RRT-NPS and RRT-SDS and RRT-ACCS 15 hours general respiratory care subjects, 5 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, 5 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects, and 5 hours adult critical care subjects
RRT-NPS and RRT-SDS and RRT-ACCS and CPFT or RPFT 10 hours general respiratory care subjects, 5 hours neonatal/pediatric subjects, 5 hours sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention subjects, 5 hours adult critical care subjects, and 5 hours pulmonary function or pulmonary diagnostic technology subjects

What happens if my credential expires?

If you are within six months of credential expiration, you can take part in a grace period and have the option of entering your CEUs online and paying a $250 reinstatement fee. Continuing Education Units must have been earned during the five-year credential term. If the grace period option is not utilized, you have two years following expiration to apply for testing and to reinstate your credential. You will be required to pay the new application fee and a $150 expired credential fee. If you successfully complete the examination, your credential will be reinstated without having to meet the then-current admission requirements. However, if two years lapse and you have not successfully passed the examination, you are required to apply as a new applicant and meet all admission policies in effect at that time. If you have more than one expired credential, you must apply for and pass all examinations to reinstate all expired credentials.

How do I submit CEU information to the NBRC?

Continuing education information must be submitted online, which is fast and easy with the NBRC online portal for credentialed practitioners. Please do not submit paper documents. After logging in, go to ‘Credentialed Practitioners’ and select ‘Continuing Competency Program.’ You will be asked to confirm that your credentialing information is correct, then enter information for each CE course completed. While you will be able to enter your CE course records at any time, you can only ‘Recertify Now’ during the last six months before your expiration date.

What CE courses will the NBRC accept toward compliance with the Continuing Competency Program?

At the NBRC, we intend for the completion of CE credit to coordinate with the requirements of state licensure agencies, which means we permit any course accepted by your state licensing board for the purposes of respiratory care licensure. If your state licensing board does not have its own specific course requirements, rest assured the NBRC will accept any course credits from the American Association for Respiratory Care Continuing Respiratory Care Education Program (AARC-CRCE®) as fulfillment of our Continuing Competency Program requirements.

What if I have a credential not subject to the Continuing Competency Program?

The only credentials that are subject to expiration and require taking part in the Continuing Competency Program are those earned beginning July 1, 2002. Credentials earned prior to that are valid for a lifetime with no expiration date.

Credential Maintenance Program FAQs

The FAQs below are provided to help credentialed practitioners better understand why and how the CCP is changing. We will continue to share information about the new Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) as the implementation date approaches.

Why is the Continuing Competency Program (CCP) changing?

As a credentialed practitioner, you already know that maintaining and enhancing the knowledge established on initial credentialing is a key component to professional development and career advancement, as well as patient care. Changes in accreditation standards encouraged the NBRC to evaluate how the Continuing Competency Program could become more valuable and meaningful to those who document their continued competencies and to the public served by these persons. As a result, key elements for a modified program were recommended to the NBRC by a Recertification Commission (stakeholder representatives including two people required to participate in the CCP). The CCP has been renamed the Credential Maintenance Program to better represent the purpose of the program.

Do I have to participate in the CMP?

If you earned your credential July 1, 2002 or after – Yes. Anyone currently holding a credential that expires will be required to meet the requirements of the current CCP through their current certification cycle and begin using the new CMP for their next certification cycle.  The new CMP still has three options to maintain your credentials; 1) earn another NBRC credential, 2) take quarterly assessments and/or document up to 30 continuing education credits, or 3) pass the same credentialing examination again. Your performance on the assessments will determine whether or not you have to also document CE with the NBRC.

Why does the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) have an assessment component?

The goal in using assessments is to strengthen the relationship between competencies of credential holders and expectations linked to those credentials. Quarterly assessments are a component of the CE option to maintain credentials through the promotion of learning. Practitioners will not be required to take the assessments but are encouraged to do so to demonstrate their competency and knowledge.

What will the assessments cover?

Each assessment is designed to focus on content that changes most rapidly and puts the public at highest risk. Practitioners who participate in the credential maintenance process were surveyed to identify changing content and public risk issues. New assessment items will be created each year, so content will continue to cover hot topics as they emerge. Assessments designed this way will be more meaningful and valuable in comparison to the current system that relies on an accumulation of general continuing education credits.

What is the format of the questions on the assessment?

Each assessment question is in multiple-choice format with four potential answers to choose. Each question must be answered within five minutes of being displayed. Content of the assessments is focused on tasks that put the public at high risk and have a high pace of change. Assessments are taken in an open-book format which means you can access resources during the five minutes before selecting a response. However, no other person should help you.

How much will it cost?

The fee will remain the same at $125.00, collected annually in $25 increments over the 5-year credential period.

Do I still have to document CE with NBRC?

CE may be required depending on your assessment performance. Your assessment score and number of CE required will be updated each quarter on your credential maintenance dashboard within the Practitioner Portal. If your assessment score is high enough, no documentation of CE will be required to renew your credential(s). Other results will place you into one of two groups: those in the yellow zone who will be required to document 15 CE credits and those in the red zone who will be required to document 30 CE credits.

Maintaining a credential is separate from maintaining a license. Even if high assessment performance exempts you from documenting CE for the NBRC, the state in which you live is likely to require CE documentation for your license.

When will the assessment option be available?

Individuals who earn a specialty credential in the fourth quarter of 2018 or in the first nine months of 2019 will be eligible to participate in a pilot program of the new credential maintenance program. All new specialty credentials earned beginning October 1, 2019 will fall under the new program. CRT and RRT credentials earned after January 1, 2020 will participate in the new CMP.

Assessment Group Year of Implementation
RT 2020
PFT 2019
NPS 2019
SDS 2019
ACCS 2019

Where do I take my assessment?

The assessment is accessible online at nbrc.org and may be completed on a mobile device, tablet, or personal computer. Some questions contain images and graphics whose details may be easier to see while using a device with a larger screen. Make the decision about the device you use before starting an assessment because the timer cannot be paused once a question is opened. The timer will continue despite closing a browser or powering off the device.

When do I take my assessment and how much time do I have to complete it?

An email notifying you that an assessment is available will be sent each quarter. The assessment should be completed within 60 days of availability.

How many questions will be on my assessment?

Number of Items Each Quarter Number of Items Each Year
Assessment Group Credentials
RT CRT, RRT 10 40
PFT CPFT, RPFT 5 20
NPS CRT-NPS, RRT-NPS 5 20
SDS CRT-SDS, RRT-SDS 5 20
ACCS RRT-ACCS 5 20

What is the best way to prepare for the assessments?

Reviewing the specific detailed content outline (DCO) to identify your personal areas of strengths and weaknesses before you begin an assessment is suggested. An explanation for all possible responses and a reference citation is provided for each question for use in further researching the topic. This feedback provides an excellent opportunity for professional development, as well as improving performance on future assessments.

What information does the CMP Detailed Content Outline (DCO) provide?

The DCO provides the number of questions you can expect for a one-year period and describes the content areas and complexity levels (recall, application, analysis) covered on each assessment. Tasks are identical to those found on the credentialing examination. However, because CMP assessments are purposely limited to content that put patients at increased risk and tasks that change rapidly, some tasks will not be included on the CMP assessments and are shaded on the DCO to indicate this.

How do I track my assessment progress?

After each assessment, you will be directed to your credential maintenance dashboard within the Practitioner Portal to view your progress. Progress is displayed in red, yellow, and green zones reflecting success while responding to assessment questions. The color-coded progress indicator will include responses from CRT or RRT assessments plus specialty assessments. For example, a therapist who has achieved RRT and RRT-NPS credentials will observe progress after one quarter that is based on 10 RRT questions plus 5 RRT-NPS questions for a total of 15 questions.

You will find learning content in your progress dashboard explaining more about the best response to each question. Continuing education should be sought that builds one’s knowledge about content the assessments cover. Each assessment question has been linked to high patient risk tasks.

What does my progress dashboard show at the beginning of a five-year cycle?

Each person starts at the top of the green zone so quarterly assessment performances will determine whether green-zone status is retained as the cycle continues.

What if I have one credential that expires and one that does not expire?

When an individual has a credential that expires plus a lifetime credential, there will only be one opportunity to opt-in at the beginning of the 5-year cycle for the credential that expires. Opting-in signals an individual’s intent to access assessments linked to both the lifetime credential and the credential that expires. However, an individual may opt-out of participating for the lifetime credential at any time thereafter.

Why is the CMP voluntary for practitioners credentialed before July 2002?

Credentialing standards were different at the time those credentials were earned. Imposing a new requirement for maintaining a credential after someone has started a professional career is different than creating a new requirement for someone who subsequently enters the profession. The NBRC believes that more of these practitioners may participate in the CMP if they know they cannot lose their credential by doing so. The patients served by these practitioners will be better protected because of participation and the learning that is expected to follow.

TMC Exam FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the TMC Examination?

Please ensure you meet the following requirements before applying for the TMC Examination:

1. Be 18 years of age or older.

and

2. Be a graduate of and have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

or

3. Be a CRT for at least four years and have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, micro¬biology, physics, and mathematics.

or

4. Be a CRT for at least two years and have earned a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

or

5. Be a CRT for at least two years and have earned a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory care and shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, and physics.

or

6. Hold the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) RRT credential.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The TMC Examination costs $190 for new applicants and $150 for repeat applicants.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive an email confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks of submitting your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes. If you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.​

Is a free practice examination available?

A free TMC practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the TMC Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase. The TMC SAE has the same number of questions as the credentialing examination.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the TMC Examination?

The testing time for the TMC Examination is three hours.

What content will be included on the TMC Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas. The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

A Detailed Content Outline for the TMC Examination is available here.

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

What do the cut scores mean?

There are two established cut scores for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination. If you achieve the low cut score, you will earn the CRT credential. If you achieve the high cut score, you will earn the CRT credential AND become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination (provided you meet the eligibility requirements and are eligible to earn the RRT credential). If you do not achieve a minimum of the low cut score, you must reapply for the TMC Examination.

Does passing the TMC Examination at the high cut score automatically mean I’m eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE)?

No. You must meet the CSE eligibility requirements, regardless of examination score.

If I currently hold the CRT credential and score below the low cut score on the TMC Examination, will I lose my CRT credential?

No. You can retake the TMC Examination as many times as necessary to regain RRT eligibility or to become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination without impacting the status of your current CRT credential.

Can I qualify to take the TMC Examination with foreign education?

Foreign respiratory therapy education does not qualify for admission to the TMC Examination. You must have a minimum of an associate’s degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program. View a list of accredited education programs.

CSE FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the Clinical Simulation Examination?

Please ensure you meet the following requirements before applying for the Clinical Simulation Examination:

1. Be a CRT and have successfully completed the Therapist Written Examination (WRRT) on or before December 31, 2014; OR Be a CRT and have successfully completed the TMC Examination by achieving the high cut score on or after January 2015.

and

2. Be a graduate of and have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

or

3. Be a CRT for at least four years and have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, micro¬biology, physics, and mathematics.

or

4. Be a CRT for at least two years and have earned a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

or

5. Be a CRT for at least two years and have earned a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory care and shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, and physics.

or

6. Hold the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) RRT credential.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The CSE costs $200 for both new and repeat applicants.

Are any examination fee discounts offered?

Yes, AARC MEMBERS are eligible for a one-time, $40 discount when applying for the first time for the following NBRC examinations:

– CSE
– PFT
– NPS
– SDS
– ACCS

You must register for the AARC Member Discount through the AARC website at https://www.aarc.org/nbrc-discount/. AARC will send an email after registering for the discount containing instructions about accessing the NBRC’s online examination application. You must begin the application process from the link in the instructions you receive from the AARC by email. The discount must be used at the time you submit your application and payment and will not be retroactively applied.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive an email confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks of mailing your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes. If you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.

Is a free practice examination available?

A free CSE practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the Clinical Simulation Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the Clinical Simulation Examination?

The testing time for the CSE is four hours.

What content will be included on the Clinical Simulation Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas. The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

A Detailed Content Outline of the CSE is available here.

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

Does passing the TMC Examination at the high cut score automatically mean I’m eligible for the CSE?

No. You must meet the CSE eligibility requirements, regardless of examination score.

I have already passed one portion of the RRT Examination. What do I do now?

If you passed the Therapist Written Examination (WRRT) prior to January 1, 2015, you are eligible for the CSE. If you passed the CSE but not the Therapist Written Examination (WRRT), you must take the TMC exam and pass at the high cut score to earn the RRT credential.

What happens if I don’t earn my RRT credential before the RRT Three Year Eligibility Time Limit deadline?

If you do not earn the RRT credential within the time limit, you will be required to retake and pass the TMC exam at the high cut score to regain eligibility. Any previous passing performance on the TMC and CSE are nullified. After regaining eligibility by taking and passing the TMC exam at the high cut score, you will have another three years to earn the RRT credential. If you achieve the high cut score on the first attempt, you will receive an additional three years to pass the CSE to earn the RRT credential.

I‘m a CRT and didn’t graduate with an Associates Degree. Can I apply for the CSE?

Yes. You must satisfy one of the following CRT-to-Registry admission requirements:

  • Be a CRT for at least four years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT credential. In addition, you must have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.
  • Be a CRT for at least two years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT credential. In addition, you must have earned a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited entry-level respiratory care education program; or
  • Be a CRT for at least two years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT credential. In addition, you must have earned a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory care and have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, and physics.

If I am applying under the CRT-to-Registry Provision, how do I know if I’ve taken the required courses?

The NBRC offers a CRT-to-Registry transcript evaluation at no charge. To request a CRT-to-Registry evaluation, submit a copy of your college transcripts with a completed CRT-to-Registry Evaluation Form to our office. Do not submit an application or fee since you are only requesting an evaluation of your education. Please allow approximately three weeks for a response to your request.

Please note that an evaluation request with no transcript information attached may result in a significantly delayed response.

PFT Exam FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the PFT Examination?

You must be 18 years of age or older and have one of the following:

  • Have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory care education program that is supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP); or
  • Be a CRT or RRT credentialed by the NBRC; or
  • Complete 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent, including college credit level courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics. You must also have at least six months of clinical experience in the field of pulmonary function technology prior to applying for the examination.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The PFT Examination costs $200 for new applicants and $170 for repeat applicants.

Are any examination fee discounts offered?

Yes, AARC MEMBERS are eligible for a one-time, $40 discount when applying for the first time for the following NBRC examinations:

– CSE
– PFT
– NPS
– SDS
– ACCS

You must register for the AARC Member Discount through the AARC website at https://www.aarc.org/nbrc-discount/. AARC will send an email after registering for the discount containing instructions about accessing the NBRC’s online examination application. You must begin the application process from the link in the instructions you receive from the AARC by email. The discount must be used at the time you submit your application and payment and will not be retroactively applied.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive an email confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks after submitting your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes. If you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.

Is a free practice examination available?

A free PFT practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the PFT Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase. The PFT SAE has the same number of questions as the credentialing examination.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the PFT Examination?

The testing time for the PFT Examination is two hours.

What content will be included on the PFT Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas. The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

A Detailed Content Outline for the PFT Examination is available here.

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

What do the cut scores mean?

There are two established cut scores for the PFT Examination. If you achieve the low cut score, you will earn the CPFT credential. If you achieve the high cut score, you will earn the RPFT credential.

I have already earned the CPFT credential but not the RPFT credential. What do I do now?

If you would like to earn the RPFT credential, you will have to take the PFT exam and pass at the high cut score.

If I currently hold the CPFT credential and score below the low cut on the PFT Examination, will I lose my CPFT credential?

No. You can retake the exam as many times as necessary to earn the RPFT credential without impacting the status of your current CPFT credential.

Are the 2017 ERS/ATS DLCO guidelines incorporated into the examination?

Not entirely. Unless the 2017 guidelines are specifically referenced by an item, all items about DLCO on the PFT Examination will continue to follow the 2005 guidelines.

ACCS Exam FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the ACCS Examination?

You must be a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for at least one year prior to applying for the ACCS Examination.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The ACCS Examination costs $300 for new applicants and $250 for reapplicants.

Are any examination fee discounts offered?

Yes, AARC MEMBERS are eligible for a one-time, $40 discount when applying for the first time for the following NBRC examinations:

– CSE
– PFT
– NPS
– SDS
– ACCS

You must register for the AARC Member Discount through the AARC website at https://www.aarc.org/nbrc-discount/. AARC will send an email after registering for the discount containing instructions about accessing the NBRC’s online examination application. You must begin the application process from the link in the instructions you receive from the AARC by email. The discount must be used at the time you submit your application and payment and will not be retroactively applied.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive an email confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks of submitting your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes. If you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.

Is a free practice examination available?

A free ACCS practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam. This practice examination has 50 items and is shorter than the actual credentialing exam.

The examination committee and the NBRC Board of Trustees agreed that a practice examination that is only a third as long as the actual exam would expedite the process of creating live exams. The practice examination covers the content domains and cognitive item types in the same proportions as the live examinations and was developed by the same committee as the full exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

ACCS Free Practice Examination

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the ACCS Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase. The ACCS SAE has the same number of questions as the credentialing examination.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the ACCS Examination?

The testing time for the ACCS Examination is four hours.

What content will be included on the ACCS Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas.  The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

ACCS Detailed Content Outline – Effective June 2018

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

Why are secondary test specifications included for this examination?

There are two sets of secondary test specifications. One set is for items that will engage you in thinking about ethics of the situation. The other set is defined by patient condition.

Addressing ethics content is important for this examination and credential. As an adult critical care specialist, you will engage in situations that include ethical elements, so part of producing a relevant examination is mirroring those situations. In contrast to a CRT Examination, which should assess whether a therapist is safe and competent to provide general respiratory care, ethical considerations are a part of what it means to be recognized as a specialist. Therefore, we have determined you must have a strong grasp on ethical issues before achieving the ACCS specialty credential.

Because the ACCS Examination is a specialty exam, it is more strongly oriented to clinical situations and less toward the technical elements of respiratory care. Without secondary specifications, we know there is a risk of letting one test form emphasize one type of patient condition too much or differently than another test form. For example, one test form could have five items about patients with congestive heart failure while another form might not include any. Therefore, secondary specifications are critical to aligning examination content with activities of specialists and standardizing test forms among candidates.

How did the NBRC determine the content for the examination?

We conducted a job analysis study to ensure the examination content would be job-related and based on tasks performed by practitioners in this specialty area. To rate the importance of job tasks, we sent several thousand surveys to individuals who are involved in the delivery of care to patients in adult critical care settings.

In developing our ACCS program, we sought input from a variety of organizations representing adult critical care, and we collaborated with other organizations that have a vested interest in protecting the public and improving care for adult critical care patients. Because of this effort, our ACCS program is well respected and supported by several professional organizations, including the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS).

Why should I earn the RRT-ACCS credential?

This specialty examination is unique to the daily tasks you’ll perform as an adult critical care specialist. It goes above and beyond general activities, so you can demonstrate your acquired skill level in this expanding specialty of respiratory care.

NPS Exam FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the NPS Examination?

To qualify for the NPS Examination, you must be an RRT.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The NPS Examination costs $250 for new applicants and $220 for reapplicants.

Are any examination fee discounts offered?

Yes, AARC MEMBERS are eligible for a one-time, $40 discount when applying for the first time for the following NBRC examinations:

– CSE
– PFT
– NPS
– SDS
– ACCS

You must register for the AARC Member Discount through the AARC website at https://www.aarc.org/nbrc-discount/. AARC will send an email after registering for the discount containing instructions about accessing the NBRC’s online examination application. You must begin the application process from the link in the instructions you receive from the AARC by email. The discount must be used at the time you submit your application and payment and will not be retroactively applied.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks of submitting your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes, if you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.

Is a free practice examination available?

A free NPS practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

NPS Free Practice Exam

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the NPS Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase. The NPS SAE has the same number of questions as the credentialing examination.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the NPS Examination?

The testing time for the NPS Examination is three hours.

What content will be included on the NPS Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas.  The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

NPS Detailed Content Outline – Effective October 2018

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

How did the NBRC determine the content for the examination?

We conducted a job analysis study to ensure the examination content would be job-related and based on tasks performed by practitioners in this specialty area. To rate the importance of job tasks, we sent several thousand surveys to individuals who are involved in the delivery of care to patients in adult critical care settings.

In developing our NPS program, we sought input from a variety of organizations representing neonatal/pediatric respiratory care, and we collaborated with other organizations that have a vested interest in protecting the public and improving care for neonatal and pediatric patients. Because of this effort, our NPS program is well respected and supported by several professional organizations, including the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS).

Why should I earn the RRT-NPS credential?

This specialty examination is unique to the daily tasks you’ll perform as a neonatal/pediatric respiratory care specialist. It goes above and beyond general activities, so you can demonstrate your acquired skill level in this specialized area of respiratory care.

SDS Exam FAQs

What are the admission requirements for the SDS Examination?

To qualify for the SDS Examination, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and have completed a CoARC or CAAHEP-accredited respiratory therapist education program that includes a sleep add-on track; or
  • Be a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) for at least six months prior to applying for the SDS Examination; or
  • Be a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for at least three months prior to applying for the SDS Examination.

What is the application process, and how long does it take?

You may apply online or submit a paper application and fee once you have met the admission requirements.

If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks of receipt. An email confirmation notice of eligibility will be sent to you, which includes a website and toll-free telephone number for you to contact to schedule an examination appointment.

If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be notified by mail and email of the additional information required to complete your application.

What are the examination fees?

The Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination costs $300 for new applicants and $250 for reapplicants.

Are any examination fee discounts offered?

Yes, AARC MEMBERS are eligible for a one-time, $40 discount when applying for the first time for the following NBRC examinations:

– CSE
– PFT
– NPS
– SDS
– ACCS

You must register for the AARC Member Discount through the AARC website at https://www.aarc.org/nbrc-discount/. AARC will send an email after registering for the discount containing instructions about accessing the NBRC’s online examination application. You must begin the application process from the link in the instructions you receive from the AARC by email. The discount must be used at the time you submit your application and payment and will not be retroactively applied.

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines. If you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time.

What if I don’t receive an email confirming my eligibility?

If you don’t receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice within four weeks of submitting your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.

When and where are NBRC examinations administered?

NBRC examinations are administered Monday through Saturday at nearly 300 assessment centers across the country (except on nationally recognized holidays). Search for an assessment center near you.

Can I schedule my examination online?

Yes, if you are approved to take an examination and paid the appropriate fee, you may schedule online.

Is a free practice examination available?

A free SDS practice examination is available so you may familiarize yourself with the content and types of questions that will be included on the credentialing exam.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

Is a Self-Assessment Examination available?

If you are assessing your preparedness for the SDS Examination and feel you need more guidance than the free practice exam, there is a Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) available for purchase. The SDS SAE has the same number of questions as the credentialing examination.

ATTENTION – By accessing this examination, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format. Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

How much testing time is given to complete the SDS Examination?

The testing time for the SDS Examination is four hours.

What content will be included on the SDS Examination?

To begin your preparation in an informed and organized manner, you should know what to expect from the actual examination in terms of content areas tested. The detailed content outlines present the specific patient care settings and each of the content areas.  The outlines can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can give you specific study direction. For example, you can determine the relative importance of each content area on the examination by reviewing the number of questions in each section.

A Detailed Content Outline for the SDS Examination is available here.

When will I receive my test scores?

You will receive information about your score at the test center after completing the examination.

What is the NBRC’s Record Retention Policy?

When you apply for an examination, your eligibility records are maintained for one year following application regardless of whether or not you schedule an exam. If you don’t actively pursue credentialing, your eligibility records are inactivated after one year. If you are a candidate whose records are inactivated, you must reapply as a new candidate and meet the most current admissions requirements to be eligible for the exam. Please note: if you have passed one of the examinations to earn the RRT Credential (TMC or CSE) and allow your application records to become inactivated, your passing performance will be nullified, so we encourage you to pursue credentialing in a timely manner after applying and receiving a confirmation of eligibility notice.

To support you through the entire process, we are committed to providing appropriate notices to candidates before their application records are inactivated, so we also encourage you to keep your contact information current with the NBRC.

How did the NBRC determine the content for the examination?

We conducted a job analysis study to ensure examination content would be job-related and based on tasks performed by practitioners in this specialty area. We sent several thousand surveys to individuals who are involved in the delivery of care to patients with sleep disorders to rate the importance of job tasks.

In developing our SDS program, we sought input from a variety of organizations representing sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention, and we collaborated with other organizations that have a vested interest in protecting the public and improving care for patients with sleep disorders. Because of this effort, our SDS program is well respected and supported by several professional organizations, including the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS).

Why did NBRC create the Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination program?

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) requested that NBRC determine the desirability and feasibility of developing a specialty examination for respiratory therapists performing sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention. After following a long established, five-step process to determine if a new specialty examination in this area was warranted and feasible, we discovered the answer was overwhelmingly yes.

Why should I earn the CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS credential?

This specialty examination is unique to your daily tasks as a sleep disorders specialist. It goes above and beyond general activities so you can demonstrate your acquired skill level in this expanding specialty of respiratory care.

What guidelines were followed for examination items pertaining to scoring of sleep results?

The AASM Manual for Sleep Scoring

How is this examination different than a polysomnography examination?

The Specialty Examination for Respiratory Therapists Performing Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention is for respiratory therapists already having earned the CRT or RRT credentials. Content of this specialty examination concentrates on sleep-focused testing and intervention conducted by respiratory therapists and requires respiratory therapy education for eligibility.