In July 1972, the American Society of Extra-Corporeal Technology (AmSECT) administered the first certification examination. This was the culmination of five years of work by the AmSECT Certification and Education Committee. This examination was conducted by AmSECT in 1973 and 1974. During this time, it was given on a grandfather only basis in order to establish a knowledge data base. Grandfather was defined as a candidate who had two years of clinical experience in cardiovascular perfusion and who had conducted 100 clinical perfusions as of July 19, 1972. In 1974, with a suitable data base established, it was given for the first time on a pass/fail basis.
Those involved in the certification program were aware from the inception that AmSECT would be unable to continue certification. In 1975, AmSECT relinquished the duties of certification and recertification to the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP).
The ABCP originally incorporated in mid-1975. AmSECT had adopted certain requirements for certification and recertification and had also established minimum standards for cardiovascular perfusion education programs. The ABCP adopted all criteria previously established by AmSECT. Since that time, the ABCP has made some alterations in these standards as they became appropriate.
In 1993, the ABCP made the decision to change from a norm-referenced to a criterion-referenced examination, and in 1996 the first criterion-referenced examination was administered. The criterion-referenced examination is based on a job or practice related analysis which is the basis for the knowledge base for the scope of perfusion practice. Because of the increasing depth of the perfusion knowledge base, the decision was made in 1995 to change the oral examination to a written clinical applications examination to allow for the measurement of the knowledge base in the practice of clinical perfusion. The clinical applications examination was field tested in 1996 and replaced the oral examination in 1996.
In the area of perfusion education programs, the ABCP implemented the accreditation procedure for perfusion schools. In 1984, the ABCP began the process of transferring accreditation activities to the Joint Review Committee for Perfusion Education (JRC-PE) of the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA). By August 15, 1986, the ABCP no longer accredited perfusion training programs, but the ABCP continues to be a sponsoring organization for the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education (AC-PE) in cooperation with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) (formerly JRC-PE of CAHEA). Additionally, the ABCP is represented on the Conjoint Committee on Accreditation of the Canadian Medical Association.