History

The JRCERT Today

Originally established in 1969, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is the only organization recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the accreditation of traditional and distance delivery educational programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.   For over 40 years the JRCERT has proven to be the “gold standard” of accreditation for educational programs in the radiologic sciences and currently accredits approximately 750 educational programs.

We are proud to share our history and sincerely thank you for your interest in, and continuing support of, programmatic accreditation in the radiologic sciences.


 
Leslie F. Winter
Chief Executive Officer
JRCERT

1896 - 1943:  The Early Years

In the early days following Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays, physicians experimenting with the use of Roentgen rays in the diagnosis of disease trained X-ray technicians on an as-needed basis.  As the need for a more formal training program was recognized, radiologists and technicians, working together, began to establish training programs in a few hospitals.  Although the American Medical Association (AMA) was recognized as the official accrediting agency by the National Commission on Accrediting and the United States Commissioner of Education, it did not have the necessary resources to conduct surveys and evaluate programs.  The AMA requested that the American College of Radiology (ACR) assume the responsibility for surveying X-ray training schools.

In 1944, X-ray technology, the predecessor of radiologic technology, joined the professions of occupational therapy, clinical laboratory sciences, and medical records as the fourth health occupation to establish standards of education and qualifications for accreditation.  The first “Essentials of an Acceptable School for X-Ray Technicians” was the product of negotiation between the American Society of X-Ray Technicians, now the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), and the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association.  The ASRT subsequently contributed to the establishment and elevation of educational standards for radiologic technology, especially in the areas of curriculum development and instructor preparation, through the varied activities of its education committee.  By 1950,
approximately 125 schools offered training in X-ray technology.

1944 - 1968: Predecessors to the JRCERT

From 1944 until 1969, the ACR’s Commission on Technologists Affairs Committee on Technologists Training carried out program evaluation.  The number of programs grew rapidly, and evaluating compliance with the Essentials became more complex.

1969 - 1975:  Establishment of the JRCERT and Phase 1  Expansion of Scope

In 1969, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American College of Radiology established the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) within the structure of allied health education accreditation provided by the AMA’s Council on Medical Education.  The JRCERT, incorporated in 1971, assumed the duties for site visits and evaluation of educational programs in the radiologic sciences.

Radiation therapy technology had been recognized as a separate discipline within radiologic technology since 1964, when the first certifying examination was administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).  The “Essentials of an Acceptable School of Radiation Therapy Technology,” adopted by the ACR, ASRT, and AMA in 1968, applied only to one-year programs, since almost all technologists entering radiation therapy technology at that time were recruited from radiography and nursing.

The JRCERT accredited its first radiation therapy program in 1969.  In 1972, the three organizations, ACR, ASRT, and AMA, provided for two-year programs by adopting separate Essentials for programs with a minimum entrance requirement of a high school diploma. In 1975, the separate Essentials for one- and two-year programs for radiation therapy technologists were combined into a single document that established standards for all radiation
therapy technology programs seeking accreditation.

1976 - 1993: Cooperation with Committee on Allied Health and Educational Accreditation (CAHEA)

In 1976, the AMA Council on Medical Education delegated responsibility for allied health education accreditation to a newly formed Committee on Allied Health and Educational Accreditation (CAHEA).  CAHEA was broadly representative of allied health education interests.  The JRCERT worked cooperatively with CAHEA in the peer review process of educational program accreditation.  The JRCERT became one of the largest review committees within the CAHEA system, accounting for 28% of CAHEA’s total number of allied health education programs.  This cooperative process was formally recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), governmental and private agencies respectively.

The JRCERT turned back to its roots in 1992, when the ASRT House of Delegates requested that the JRCERT Board of Directors develop an action plan and timetable for the withdrawal of JRCERT from its collaborative relationship with CAHEA and establish itself as the only recognized accrediting agency of educational programs for the radiographer and radiation therapist.  While the JRCERT was investigating the prospect of independence, the AMA made the announcement that it had elected to dissolve CAHEA.  This was to occur rather abruptly, leaving review committees scrambling to make decisions and plans.  To facilitate the change, the AMA offered to lengthen the timeframe of CAHEA’s dissolution and to support a new freestanding agency to assume the accreditation activities of CAHEA.  The JRCERT Board of Directors did not accept the proposal to join the freestanding agency, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), but instead voted to pursue USDE recognition as the independent accrediting agency of educational programs in radiologic sciences.  Plans were made for submitting a petition for recognition to the USDE and for completing the myriad of tasks that would need to be accomplished to assume direct responsibility for educational program accreditation.

1994 - 2001: Recognition by USDE and Development of New Standards

In January of 1994, the USDE granted the JRCERT interim recognition through 1995.  The notification stated: “During this interim period, the JRCERT may take whatever accreditation decisions it believes are warranted, including the awarding of initial accreditation to programs the JRCERT determines are in compliance with JRCERT accreditation standards.”

In February 1996, the Secretary of Education confirmed ongoing recognition of the JRCERT as the only agency for the accreditation of educational programs in radiography and radiation therapy. 

Declaring independence as the only accrediting agency recognized by the USDE to evaluate and accredit educational programs in the radiologic sciences also brought about major changes in the Essentials and Guidelines.  The Essentials and Guidelines of an Accredited Educational Program for the Radiographer and the Essentials and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for the Radiation Therapist were combined into a single generic document, the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Radiologic Sciences.  The STANDARDS are directed to the assessment of outcomes and focus on those programmatic and student-related outcomes that measure the total academic experience.  The STANDARDS were implemented on January 1, 1997.  The STANDARDS were revised in 2001 and implemented January 1, 2002. The JRCERT STANDARDS are reviewed and revised as necessary every 10 years.

2002 - 2009:  Recognition by CHEA and Phase 2 Expansion of Scope

In 1999, the JRCERT began investigating the accreditation of educational programs in magnetic resonance in response to requests from the magnetic resonance community.  The Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Magnetic Resonance were adopted in May of 2002 and implemented January 1, 2003.  The JRCERT’s scope of accreditation was subsequently expanded to include medical dosimetry programs.  The Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Medical Dosimetry were adopted in April, 2003 and implemented January 1, 2004. 

The JRCERT applied for, and received, recognition as a programmatic accreditor by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2004.  In 2008, the USDE granted an expansion in the scope of the JRCERT to include distance education.

2010 – Present: Refining Programmatic Accreditation

In 2010, separate STANDARDS were adopted for each of the four disciplines in the radiologic sciences: radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.  The new STANDARDS were implemented January 1, 2011.  In 2010, responding to requests from the professional community, the JRCERT developed Standards for an Accredited Limited Scope X-ray Machine Operator Educational Program (referred to as LXMO).  The STANDARDS were adopted in 2011 and implemented January 1, 2012. 

June 2012 marked the launch of the JRCERT electronic accreditation management system.  The system allows programs to submit accreditation materials electronically via a protected Web-based portal.

Facts from JRCERT History
Locations  
211 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 1973
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL  1973 - 1984
111 N. Canal Street, Chicago, IL 1985 - 1989
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 900, Chicago, IL May 1989 - Dec. 2004
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL Dec. 2004 - Present
   
EDs/CEOs  
Robert L. Coyle (Executive Director)           - 1984
Diana Browning (Interim Executive Director) 1984 - May 1985
Walter E. Foegelle (Executive Director) June 1985 - Dec. 1985
Marilyn Fay (Executive Director) 1986 - 1998
Joanne S. Greathouse (CEO) 1999 - July 2007
Leslie F. Winter (CEO) July 2007 - Present (2012) 
   
Staff Size  
3 1975
9 1980
8 1990
9 2000
11 2010
13 Present (2012)