Innovations Making the CRPA(R) Exam More Accessible and Efficient
For almost two decades, CRPA has been fostering professional development and community building by offering the Registered Radiation Safety Professional, or CRPA(R), designation. In recent years, we’ve realized a number of innovations to make the registration exams more accessible and efficient.
When the 2020 conference was cancelled due to COVID, so was the CRPA(R) exam. The conference was cancelled again in 2021, but the association found a way to offer the CRPA(R) exam even if the conference wasn’t happening. For the first time, in November 2021, the exam was held in select Canadian cities instead of at the annual conference.  In November 2022, the exam was held in Vancouver, BC, as part of ICRP2021+1.
In 2023, even though in-person conferences had resumed, members still wanted to be able to write the CRPA(R) exam outside of the conference setting. The association agreed—in November 2023, exams were held in Hamilton, ON, and Burnaby, BC, in addition to the spring exam sitting at the annual conference.
As with many things that changed during the pandemic, this sparked interest in more accessible ways to take the exam. In November 2023, we realized another important innovation—exam resources were provided to people writing the exams on electronic tablets as opposed to the cumbersome binders that were standard for so many years. Before then, each person writing the exams was provided with a 500-page binder that contained the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulations.
The first CRPA(R) exam was held during the 2005 conference in Winnipeg, MB. NSCA and CNSC Regulations were not supplied during the first exam; the 500-page binders were introduced in 2006.
The purchase of the tablets was generously sponsored by McMaster University. The CRPA board of directors and the Registered Radiation Safety Professionals Committee are very grateful to McMaster for their support. Positive feedback from recent exam candidates has reinforced CRPA’s commitment to the use of the tablets for all future CRPA(R) exams.
We would also like to acknowledge Josip Zic and Chris Malcolmson from McMaster and Joe Cortese and Bryce Gillman from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) for hosting the exams at their institutions, providing administrative and logistical support, and covering costs associated with the exam sittings. Their generous efforts have expanded opportunities for qualified CRPA members to attain Registered Radiation Safety Professional status, and we look forward to continued collaboration with both McMaster and BCIT.
In 2005, about 25 people wrote the initial exam and 19 passed. Since then, about 140 people have written the exam and 105 have passed. There are currently, 66 CRPA(R)s and 2 CRPA(R2)s (members in good standing who retired with the designation) listed on CRPA website.
If you are interested in learning more about the CRPA(R) designation, check out the CRPA(R) article in this issue: An Interview with a CRPA(R) Explores Opportunities for Professional Development, Community Building, and Career Advancement