Q&A with Weesie Walker: NRRTS Launches Supplier Certificate Program

As Executive Director of NRRTS, Weesie Walker, ATP/SMS, has been busy launching NRRTS’s CRT Supplier Certificate Program, described by the Registry as a program “laser-focused, designed and dedicated to the skills and knowledge necessary to be a CRT [Complex Rehab Technology] supplier.”

A video on the NRRTS Web site describes the program as “conceived by NRRTS and designed to codify the process of providing CRT, and to raise the standard of excellence for all CRT suppliers.” The program will focus on professional standards of practice, best business practices, and ethics, and NRRTS said the benefits of completing the program include improved Rehab Technology Supplier (RTS) performance, improved client outcomes, happier suppliers and clients, and accelerated RTS development. The program also provides a career path for developing new CRT suppliers.

With the first module — The Role of the Complex Rehabilitation Technology Supplier — completed, NRRTS is seeking an additional $200,000 to complete the rest of the modules this year. Mobility Management asked Walker the history of the Certificate Program and who could benefit.

Mobility Management: Why did NRRTs create this certificate opportunity?

Weesie Walker: In 2018, the NRRTS Board charged me with exploring options for an accredited program that would provide a pathway for entry into the supplier role. After conferring with Instructional Designers, the Certificate program was deemed to be the best fit for our needs.

MM: How did the NRRTS team decide which modules to include in the program?

WW: After several meetings in various venues, we developed a core team of SMEs [subject matter experts]. They are Michele Gunn, Anne Kieschnik, Susan Taylor, Jean Minkel, and me. Over several days, in person, working with our Instructional Designer, we developed the Blueprint for the content. It was laid out in 14 modules with a skills assessment event at the end. The Blueprint consists of part study guide and part course content.

MM: NRRTS is inviting members and non-members to participate in the program. Is there a certain experience level that a supplier should have before starting this program? Is this program appropriate for suppliers in all stages of their careers, from beginning to very experienced?

WW: This course has no criteria. It is open to any willing person. Although it covers the basics, most anyone would benefit from this course.

MM: How does this certificate program compare to or complement the RESNA ATP exam? Is there value in enrolling in the certificate program even if a person has passed the ATP exam?

WW: These are very different in goals. The ATP certification is a broad-based exam covering the full array of assistive technology. The CRT Supplier Certificate program is laser focused on the role of the CRT Supplier.

MM: NRRTS is inviting industry members to help fund and support this program. How does this support work?

WW: NRRTS has funded the entire program to date. Now, we are asking for financial support from stakeholders. Mike Osborn of Alliance Rehab was the very first one to step up. Blackburn's and Hometown Medical have also donated. Donors will receive seats in the program once it is completed. There is more information on our Web site.

MM: Who is the contact person at NRRTS if someone wants more information about funding the program?

WW: That would be me! [Contact Walker via e-mail at wwalker@nrrts.org, or by phone at (404) 401-0780.]


About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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