Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Certification


The Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, or RCIS, Certification has become the industry standard for health professionals working with cardiologists or cardiac surgeons. While this certification has not always been necessary for these positions, it is becoming increasingly common for facilities to require. Previously there have been five different testing options that were determined by previous experience and education. Changes set to go into effect on July 1, 2013, will reduce testing options. What are the testing options and what does this mean for those with experience but little formal education.

Testing Options
The five testing options currently available are RCIS1, RCIS2, RCIS3, RCIS4, and RCIS5.

  • RCIS1 – is available for individuals with at least two years of experience in invasive cardiovascular technology when they apply for the test. A letter from the employer must be given as proof of experience for applicants to move forward with the testing procedure.
  • RCIS2 – Requires an Associate’s degree in an approved field as well as one year of work experience in the field of invasive cardiovascular technology. Candidates must provide transcripts as well as a letter from their employer.
  • RCIS3 – Requires a Bachelor’s degree in an approved field as well as six months of work experience in invasive cardiovascular technology. Candidates must provide transcripts and a letter of eligibility from their employer.
  • RCIS4 – Requires that the candidate have graduated from an accredited program in invasive cardiovascular technology. Candidates must provide transcripts and a student verification letter.
  • RCIS5 – Requires that the candidate has graduated from a different program, a minimum of one year of specialty training and a minimum of 800 clinical hours. Candidates must provide transcripts, student verification letter, and clinical verification letter.


What is Changing?
The RCIS1 is the only test that is being altered. Beginning on July 1, 2013, the test will no longer be available. Those who are interested in pursuing certification with the criteria set forth for the RCIS1 must apply to take the test by June 30, 2013. Effectively, this will end the ability of those who have learned the technique in an apprenticeship fashion. Going forward the only way to be accredited in the field will be to have completed some formal education specific to the industry.
According to a press release from the accrediting agency, the changes are being put in place to conform with industry standards and to elevate the status of the certification. The changes are being slowly implemented to give those currently in the field enough time to meet the minimum qualifications and become certified under the current policy.
Do you think the change is good for the field or do you think it will prevent talented new workers from becoming part of the team?


5 comments on “Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Certification”

  1. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s like if you were to take away the LVN licenses and making those who can’t afford time and money to go get a Bachelors and then try to get into nursing school to become a RN. There needs to be support levels.

  2. I dont think comparing an LVN to an OJT cardiovascular tech is in any way simular. LVN’s have been educated in their field. OJT tech’s have education in a different field. There is nothing wrong with this it just takes them longer to become proficient compared to someone coming out of an accrdited invasive school. I’m pretty neutral on the subject otherwise.

  3. A career as an occupational therapy assistant will offer you a great number of benefits, rewards and other positive factors. From one person to the next, every individual may have a different reason for getting started down this path, or for why they love it as much as they do.

  4. I am currently a certified surgical technologist. I have a diploma and certification from a technical school. I have worked in a cath lab ep lab for 6 years now and I was wondering if I would qualify to sit for the exam

  5. If I have taken the RCIS course and have passed it, but never took the test, can I still work in hospital setting? This the state of SC.


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