ATP Exam Testing to Resume in May
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Apr 29, 2020
The Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification exam has been deemed an essential activity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and testing will resume in May.
The exam is administered by the Prometric testing service, which will resume offering the ATP exam on May 1.
Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS, VP, Clinical Education and Rehab Industry Affairs Compliance Officer for Pride Mobility Products, told Mobility Management that the resumption of testing comes after testing had been shut down for more than a month.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prometric closed all of their testing facilities on or after March 18, based on federal, state and local governance in accordance with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization,” Piriano said. “This directly impacted all candidates slated to sit for the ATP or SMS [Seating and Mobility Specialist] exams, as well as those that have subsequently met the eligibility guidelines to do so.
“RESNA worked diligently with Prometric and identified both of these exams as meeting the criteria for the ‘essential workforce’ in the healthcare continuum.”
Prometric, Piriano added, will be making changes to testing procedures and the testing environment due to the COVID-19 virus. “As a result, testing will resume effective May 1, with a number of new procedures in place to protect exam participants and those administering the exam. These include, but may not be limited to, reducing testing capacity by 50 percent to allow social distancing of at least 6 feet; requiring all candidates to wear a face mask/covering while at the test center; permitting test takers to wear gloves; and limiting points of contact between the test taker and Prometric staff.”
Prometric centers will also seek to improve test taker safety by “implementing test center cleanliness procedures that include cleaning of high-touch surfaces (test stations, keyboards, mouse, etc.) before they open, between each test taker, and at the end of the day. They will also make disposable wipes available for candidates that wish to wipe downs surfaces in their test space as well.”
Piriano said Prometric is asking exam candidates not to take the ATP test at this time if they are sick; if they’ve been sick within the last two weeks; if they have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive to the COVID-19 virus; or if they’ve recently traveled. Those candidates are being asked to schedule their exams for safer times.
Candidates who do not have face masks to wear while at the testing facility will not be allowed to sit for the exam, and will not be allowed to reschedule their tests free of charge.
Piriano said the resumption of ATP testing is a positive step forward. Recent complex rehab industry Webinars cohosted by NCART, NRRTS, U.S. Rehab and the Clinician Task Force have repeatedly discussed the likelihood of a seating/mobility evaluation backlog once consumers return to clinic. Such a backlog could lengthen the wait times for complex rehab equipment deliveries.
“This is a really great news for those that provide assistive technology products and services for persons with disabilities, especially during these unprecedented times,” Piriano noted. “For those that meet the eligibility requirements, but have not scheduled their exam, I would encourage you to do so. The RESNA office is working remotely, but has the capability to process the application in a timely manner and keep Assistive Technology Professionals and Seating & Mobility Specialists entering the field.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.