Initial Certification for Medical Physics

NRC Compliance

Last verified on April 20, 2022

AMP- and RSO-Eligible Designations Discontinued

In March 2022, the ABR informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the Board’s intent to discontinue including Authorized Medical Physicist-Eligible (AMP-Eligible) and Radiation Safety Officer-Eligible (RSO-Eligible) designations on ABR certificates issued after December 31, 2023. To allow time for our candidates to adjust, the ABR announced this change more than 18 months in advance. For residents anticipating board certification by December 31, 2023, no changes are needed in record-keeping or document submission to the ABR.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on this transition.
You can also view a recording of our March 30, 2022 informational webinar regarding the changes to the AU-E designation.  

NRC Compliance

NRC Recognized Status for Radiation Safety Officer and Authorized Medical Physicist
In June 2006, the United State Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted recognized status for specific certifications in medical physics. These include:
  1. Diagnostic medical physics (DMP) and nuclear medical physics (NMP) under 10 CFR § – training for radiation safety officer (RSO), and
  2. Therapeutic medical physics (TMP) under 10 CFR § 35.51 – training for an authorized medical physicist (AMP).
Recognized status, with an effective date of June 2007 forward for the ABR Medical Physics certificates, signifies that the diplomate has met the NRC requirements for training and experience in those areas at the time of certification.
To maintain NRC-recognized status, which is in the best interest of diplomates in medical physics, it is the responsibility of the ABR to review all registrations and verify that each candidate has fulfilled the associated requirements effective for those taking Part 2 and the oral exam in June 2007 and thereafter. An overview of critical aspects regarding the NRC requirements is provided below.
  • International candidates holding only non-United States (U.S.) degrees must provide documentation that their foreign degrees are equivalent to those granted from an approved institution in the U.S. and that the granting institution is equivalent to a regionally accredited institution included on the U.S. ABR-approved Credentials Evaluation Organizations list.
  • To qualify for NRC-recognized status as eligible to be an RSO or AMP, at least two years of that clinical experience must have been under the supervision of an ABR medical physics diplomate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the ABR decided to stop issuing AMP-Eligible and RSO-Eligible designations?
  • It is outside the defined focus of the ABR’s mission.
  • It diverts resources from fundamental objectives (e.g., refinement of remote exams, high reliability customer service).
  • A direct pathway exists with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Agreement States. (An Agreement State has signed an agreement with the NRC authorizing the State to regulate certain uses of radioactive materials within the State).
  • An individual may be an AMP or RSO without being board certified. Conversely, an individual may be board certified without being an AMP or RSO.
When will these changes be implemented?
The ABR will discontinue including AMP- and RSO-Eligible designations on certificates issued after December 31, 2023. Candidates in all disciplines who receive initial board certification before that date and meet other criteria will receive AMP-Eligible or RSO-Eligible on their certificates.
What ABR certificates are impacted by this change?
All ABR specialty certificates are impacted. AU-E designations on ABR certificates are diagnostic radiology (AU-Eligible), interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (AU-Eligible), radiation oncology (AU-Eligible), diagnostic medical physics (RSO-Eligible), nuclear medical physics (RSO-Eligible), and therapeutic medical physics (AMP-Eligible).
Where can I find information about becoming an NRC AMP or RSO?
Detailed information about the training, experience, and documentation required to become an NRC AMP or RSO is available on the NRC website.
If a candidate is board eligible but not board certified, can they become an NRC AMP or RSO?
Yes. ABR board certification is not a requirement to become an NRC AMP or RSO.
Does the ABR require residency programs to keep NRC-related training records for a certain period of time?
No. The ABR does not require residency programs to keep NRC-related training records. However, it would be in the best interest of the residents and programs to retain these records to help those interested in becoming an NRC AMP or RSO.