One of the most-asked questions about certification renewal is “How many points do I need?” That’s an easy one. The answer is 15 points over a three-year period. Which usually brings up the next question: “How do I get that many points?” This brings me to one of my favorite subjects – biomed associations.
One of the best ways to get certification points is to be involved with your local biomed or HTM association. It is also important to get involved.
For being a member of a local association you can earn half a point per year. Which doesn’t sound like much, but over three years that is 1.5 points just for being a member. You can be a member of more than one, too! I am a member of my local association (CABMET) and I am also a member of the Armed Forces Biomed Society (AFBS). Between the two, I earn 3 points in the three-year period. I earn those points just for being a member. But, it doesn’t make sense to be an inactive member. If the association is local, attend some of the meetings. You can earn half of a point for each meeting you attend. In CABMET, there are four meetings a year plus the two-day symposium. That can equal up to 3 points per year just from attending meetings. I can count each day I attend the symposium. There are also educational courses. The courses count for a half point each, but if you do that then you can’t count half a point per day attendance and half per course. It is either one of the other.
Let’s take a look at how this adds up:
Association Membership = half point per year
Meeting attendance = 3 points (half point per meeting x 6 meetings per year including symposium) points
Total for 3 years = 10.5 points!
Ten points is the most you can count in the Professional Society Participation/Memberships category. So just by being a member and attending meetings you can earn the most points available in that category. But, there are more ways to get points through the association. You can volunteer to be part of a committee, be an officer, write an article for the association newsletter or present at a local meeting. These presentations fall under the Publications/Presentations category and another 10 points are available for that category. You can get 1 point for writing an article for a local newsletter and half a point for a presentation. The activities you do by being involved in your local association add up quick especially when you consider the three-year period.
Add in two articles in the local newsletter for the three-year period and you get 2 more renewal points. Combine that with the 10 points from the other category and you have a total of 12 points. If you are working in the field you get one point per year for work experience. That will give you 15 points for the three years without going to any manufacturer schools or any other training.
I always recommend that people record everything they have done in the three-year period. Don’t stop when you get to 15 points. Keep going!
Here’s a link to local and national HTM associations: http://goo.gl/vU3kkO.
Many states have societies and some have more than one or more than one chapter. Some cover a region and some allow you to attend meetings remotely or watch recorded meetings. If you check around with other medical professionals, you will find that most of them belong to a professional society. You should join one today and start accumulating points toward certification renewal.
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