FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQs provide information on cardiovascular credentialing, exam preparation and testing, renewals, CEUs and much more!

CREDENTIALING

How many credentials does CCI have?

Nine – two certifications, four registry credentials, two specialty credentials, and one advanced credential. See the outline below.

Certifications

The Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) examination is for professionals working in the areas of ECG, Holter monitoring, and stress testing.

The Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician (CRAT) examination is for professionals who utilize specialized monitoring equipment to analyze cardiac rhythms.


Registry Credentials

The Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist (RCES) examination is for professionals working in the area of electrophysiology.

The Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) examination is for professionals working in the area of echocardiography.

The Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) examination is for professionals working in the area of cardiac catheterization.

The Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) examination is for professionals working in the area of vascular ultrasound. 


Specialty Credentials

The Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer (RCCS) examination is for professionals working in the area of pediatric and adult congenital cardiac ultrasound.

The Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS) examination is for professionals working in the area of venous ultrasound (phlebology).


Advanced Credential 

The Advanced Cardiac Sonographer (ACS) exam is designed to create a career track for sonographers who practice at an advanced level in the echocardiography laboratory. The ACS is committed to improving lab quality and efficiency through preparing preliminary echo assessments; performing advanced echocardiograms; mentoring fellows, students, residents, and staff; developing and implementing educational plans; facilitating continuous quality improvement; and coordinating cardiac ultrasound research.

How do I manage multiple credentials?

So you’ve earned additional CCI credentials, congratulations! Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding renewals:

  • Earning additional CCI credentials does not change your renewal period. Instead, our new credential will renew at the same time as your original credential. 
  • Your renewal fee will not increase. Your payment of $165 will cover the renewal of all of your CCI Credentials

Your CEU requirements are based on the credential with the highest requirement. Therefore, if you hold an active Certificate level credential and earn an Advanced or Registry level credential, your CEU requirement will now be that of the Advanced or Registry level.

How did my status become inactive?

A credential reaches Inactive status when a credential holder fails to meet the credential renewal requirements on their renewal date. 

Each registrant is given a three (3) month grace period to submit, in which they can renew their membership by submitting the signed Code of Ethics, attesting to the earning of the required CEUs during the triennial cycle, and paying the $165 USD renewal fee plus a $50 USD late fee ($215 USD total). If the credential holder cannot meet the above requirement within the grace period, they are extended a probationary period of an additional three (3) months. To then reactivate their credential the registrant must complete the following:

  1. Pay the standard renewal fee ($165 USD) plus a penalty fee ($200 USD for registry and advanced level certifications or $100 USD for certificate level certifications).
  2.  Complete the original required CEUs for their triennial cycle.
  3. Earn an additional ten (10) CEUs that are cardiovascular-related by the end of the probationary period.

Please note:

  • The credential holder’s triennial renewal cycle will begin the day after their probationary period ends. 
  • CEUs earned during the probationary period will not be accepted in the registrant’s following triennial cycle.
  • After the three-month grace period and the three-month probationary period have passed, the credential holder will need to retake the exam for all expired credentials. 

Can I remain a credential holder if I am retired from my field?

An active credential holder may submit a written request to CCI headquarters requesting a change from active credential status to retired credential status. The credential holder must state that he/she no longer plans to provide patient care in the field of cardiovascular technology. 

To renew their credential, an individual with a CCI retired status designation is not required to accrue CEUs. However, an administrative fee will be assessed to cover minor operational expenses. The current administrative fee for retired registrants is $30.00 USD per triennial cycle.

Registrants in retired status who wish to return to active status will be required to submit a completely online exam application, pay full exam fees, and pass a CCI examination.

How do I apply?

In order to submit an application, begin by creating an online profile, or you may use your existing profile if one is already created. Before starting the online submission, you may need the following information to complete the application:

  • Personal contact information
  • Educational/training program(s) contact information
  • Supporting documents from your training program(s) in PDF format
  • Employer contact information
  • Supporting documentation from your employer(s) in PDF format
  • Payment information

How long does it take to be approved for a CCI examination?

Processing a complete application requires a minimum of 15 business days.  A complete application requires the submission of the examination fee and all required supporting documentation must be uploaded for review.  Once the application has been processed and approved, an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter will be emailed and includes your test window information and instructions on how to schedule your exam. Authorization to Test (ATT) emails are typically received within 2 business days after your application has been approved.

Visit our Exam Process page for a general overview.

Exam Preparation

What is covered on the exam?

For each CCI examination, an overview is provided as a service of CCI to help candidates prepare for the examination. See an example here. The overview for each examination includes the following:

  • An examination matrix to illustrate the general distribution of questions and the relative weight or emphasis given to a skill or content area on the examination.
  • A list that describes general areas of knowledge that are needed in order to perform the tasks identified.
  • A task list that describes the activities that a credentialed cardiovascular professional is expected to perform on the job. All examination questions are linked to these tasks.

Where can I find materials to help me prepare for the examination?

Each exam credential page contains a list of reference materials. They are provided as suggestions only. It is important to note that use of provided references do not guarantee or indicate individual success on the CCI exam, nor should they serve as the only means for preparing for the CCI examination.

Does CCI provide sample examinations to help test takers prepare?

CCI has prepared online self-assessment exams to help exam candidates gauge their knowledge of the content areas on the exam and determine in which areas they may have strengths and weaknesses. The self-assessment exam contains sample items covering the approximate proportion of subject matter to match the CCI exam matrix. These items serve as a sample representation of the type of questions you can expect to see on the actual exam.

CCI’s self-assessment exams do not provide a report of the missed items or specific information or feedback on incorrect responses for why a particular answer is correct or incorrect. Once a candidate completes the self-assessment, they receive a performance profile, which displays the percentage of correct responses in the content areas that make up the examination content.

Testing

How do I schedule an examination?

Once you receive an Authorization To Test (ATT) from CCI, to schedule or reschedule your examination appointment, contact Pearson Testing Call Center at 1-800-869-4102 for testing within the United States or 952-681-3789 for international candidates.  You may also schedule an appointment online at:  http://www.pearsontesting.com/cci.

Where do I take a CCI exam?

CCI examinations are administered using a computer-based testing format, thus allowing the examinations offered to be taken year-round based on availability at Pearson Testing Centers. There are over 230 Pearson Professional Centers (PPC) in the United States and US territories and over 3000 Pearson VUE Authorized Centers (PVTC) internationally. A complete list of Pearson test sites can be found at www.pearsonvue.com/cci, along with an identification requirements list for testing day.

How do I reschedule my CCI exam or request an ATT extension?

To reschedule your examination, contact Pearson VUE at least two full working days in advance of your scheduled appointment. Go to www.pearsonvue.com/cci to complete this online or call 1.800.869.4102, 7 am to 7 pm Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Outside of the U.S. call 952.681.3789. If you need to schedule your examination outside of your assigned exam window, the request should be made before the end of your original ATT window. Login to your online CCI account and under MY ACCOUNT select “ATT EXTENSION REQUEST”.

Why does CCI use Pearson VUE to administer testing?

It is important to note that the results of the self-assessment exam do not guarantee or indicate individual success on the CCI exam, nor should the self-assessment serve as the only means for preparing for the CCI examination.

It is the objective of CCI to ensure that impartiality is maintained as an integral part of the certification process. Staff, volunteers and subject matter experts involved with certification activities are required to act in an impartial manner and disclose any interests that violate our conflict of interest policy. All possible threats to impartiality or violations of CCI’s conflict of interest policy shall be investigated.

Retesting

Candidates who fail an examination and wish to apply to sit for the same examination must complete a new application and submit the required fees. Uploading supporting documentation is not required (if the previously submitted supporting documentation still meets the requirements and was submitted within the last two years).  A candidate may resubmit their application to retest one day after testing. A 45-day waiting period must be met before you can take exam for a second time.

Appeals or concerns

How do I appeal a decision affecting my exam eligibility?

CCI will accept appeals in writing to contest any adverse decisions affecting examination eligibility (for applicants), examination results (for candidates), or active status (for credential holders). The written appeal must include the stated appeal, the reason for the appeal, relevant supporting documentation, and the contact information of the appellant.

Appeals must be emailed to appeals@cci-online.org or mailed to CCI at 3739 National Drive, Suite 202, Raleigh, NC 27612. All appeals will be responded to within ten (10) business days regarding the status or further steps and actions required by CCI’s Appeals Committee.

CCI Payment and Refund Policies

Payment of Fees

It is CCI’s policy to deposit all fees at the time the fees are received. If an examination application or renewal is not complete when submitted (invalid documentation of qualification, missing required documentation, missing payment, etc.), CCI will not approve it until it is complete.

For examination applications, the applicant will have 60 days to complete their application (which includes submission of the examination fee and required supporting documents. If CCI does not receive these documents or any communication within 60 days after the original application was submitted or returned, CCI will refund the examination fee minus a $100 filing fee.

When you pay by check you expressly authorize CCI, if your check is dishonored or returned for any reason, to electronically debit your account for the amount of the check plus a processing fee of $25 (or the legal limit), plus any applicable sales tax. The use of a check for payment is your acknowledgment and acceptance of this policy and its terms. If your check is dishonored or returned for any reason, your Authorization to Test (ATT) will be suspended until payment is completed. Credentials will not be awarded/renewed to any individual with an outstanding balance owed to CCI.

Exam Cancellation Refund

All exam fees include a $100 USD non-refundable examination filing fee for the staff resources required to review and process applications.

It is CCI’s policy to deposit all examination fees at the time the application is received. If an application is not complete when submitted (invalid documentation of qualification, missing required documentation, missing signature, etc.), CCI will make electronic copies of the application and return the original application and supporting documentation with an explanation of the reason(s) for denial and return. The applicant will have 60 days to return a completed application and required documents for approval, or contact CCI Headquarters with an estimated time schedule of when the completed application with required documents will be resubmitted by the applicant. If CCI Headquarters does not receive these documents or any communication within 60 days after the original application was returned, CCI will refund the examination fee minus a $100 USD filing fee.

No refunds will be made to candidates who do not show up for an examination for any reason. Failure to show up for a scheduled exam will cause forfeiture of all fees. Reapplication and the resubmittal of required fees will be required to test in the future.

Once an examination appointment has been made by the candidate, the cancellation can only be made by notifying both CCI and the testing administrator of this cancellation request. Refunds cannot be made if both parties are not notified.

CCI must be notified of a request to change an examination type or eligibility window. A new Authorization to Test (ATT) will then be issued. Cancellations made within one (1) working day of the test date are non-refundable.

Refunds, minus the $100 USD filing fee per exam, will be given only if the above policies are followed. Applicant must submit a signed request for cancellation and refund.

Non-Exam Related Refunds

There are no refunds on renewal fees. Refunds for other CCI services/events vary. For more information contact +1 919-861-4539.

Maintain, Renew & Continuing Education Units

When and how often will I have to renew my CCI credential(s)?

Visit our Renewal page for more information.

First Renewal – A credential is active nine (9) to twelve (12) months after passing an exam. New CCI credential holders are required to complete their first renewal on or before the first day of the calendar year quarter in the preceding year of passing the exam. This date will be noted on your original wallet card that was mailed with your official results letter. For example, if the credential is earned between the dates of April 1st and June 30th, then your first renewal would be due on or before March 31st of the following year. There are no CEU requirements for the first renewal; only a renewal fee, currently $165.00 USD, and a signature of compliance to the Code of Ethics must be submitted. After completing the first renewal, credentials are renewed every three years.

When Credential is EarnedFirst Renewal End DateSecond Renewal Cycle (when CEUs are due)
January 1 to March 31, current yearDecember 31, current yearDecember 31, three years after first renewal end date
April 1 to June 30, current yearMarch 31, following yearMarch 31, three years after first renewal end date
July 1 to September 30, current yearJune 30, following yearJune 30, three years after first renewal end date
October 1 to December 31, current yearSeptember 30, following yearSeptember 30, three years after first renewal end date

Triennial Renewal – Maintenance of an “active status” for Registry and Certificate-Level credentials requires the submission of triennial renewal dues (currently $165.00 USD), signature of compliance to the CCI Code of Ethics, and the completion of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every three years. These three steps are required, and until all three are fulfilled, your credential will not be renewed.

Where can I get CEUs?

CEUs can be obtained by attending appropriately sponsored programs, seminars, scientific sessions, hospital in house programs, or through on-line sources. All CEU activities must provide registrant with certificate which states name of registrant, name of CEU activity, date activity completed, number of CEUs awarded, and name of accrediting body.

A listing of known CEU providers can be found on the CCI web site under “Maintain & Renew”.

How many CEUs are required to renew my CCI credential(s)?

  • Certificate-Level (CCT and CRAT): sixteen (16) CEUs in any medical-related field.
  • Advanced-Level (ACS): thirty-six (36) CEUs, a minimum of 30 must be cardiovascular-related, 6 in any medical-related field
  • Registry-Level (RCES, RCIS, RCS, RCCS, RPhS, and RVS): thirty-six (36) CEUs, a minimum of 30 must be cardiovascular-related, 6 in any medical-related field.

Visit our Renew Credential page for more information.

If you would like to submit your continuing education documents, visit this page and submit them here.

Note: CCI operates on an auditing model for CEU submission. Credential holders are not required to submit CEU documentation unless notified by CCI to do so. It is recommended that ALL credential holders maintain continuing education documentation through the next triennial renewal cycle end date as CCI reserves the right to request these documents.

How soon will my CEUs appear on the tracker?

Please allow up to 7 business days during peak renewal season to process CEUs and post to the CEU tracker.

Can I submit CEU’s earned outside of my triennial renewal cycle?

All CEU’s should be earned during the triennial renewal cycle.

If the registrant cannot or fails to meet the above requirement then they are extended a probationary period of an additional six (6) months. To then reactivate their credential the registrant must complete one of the following:

  • a. Retake and pass the credentialing examination(s) corresponding to their credential(s) and pay the full price of each examination or,
  • b. Pay the standard renewal fee ($165 USD) plus a penalty fee ($200 USD for registry level certifications or $100 USD for certificate level certifications), complete the original required CEUs for their triennial cycle, PLUS earn an additional ten (10) CEUs that are cardiovascular related by the end of the probationary period.

If the registrant chooses this option b then their next triennial cycle will begin the day after their probationary period ends. An individual with both certificate-level and registry-level credentials will be required to submit registry-level fees and CEUs. CEUs earned during the probationary period will not be accepted in the registrant’s following triennial cycle.

Policies

Where can I find your bylaws and policies?

All of our governance and policies can be found here.

What are your policies to ensure impartiality?

It is the objective of CCI to ensure that impartiality is maintained as an integral part of the certification process. Staff, volunteers, and subject matter experts involved with certification activities are required to act in an impartial manner and disclose any interests that violate our conflict of interest policy. All possible threats to impartiality or violations of CCI’s conflict of interest policy shall be investigated.

Can I perform procedure “X” in my hospital or facility?

As a credentialing agency we cannot recommend, endorse nor create any statements which concerns scope of practice or job descriptions. The final decision is always made by the hospital, laboratory or facility…with recommendations that have been made by the professional community (i.e. the professional membership organizations).