IPEM signs new MoU with ABMRS

A NEW Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and the American Board of Magnetic Resonance Safety.

The MoU was signed by Professor Stephen O’Connor, IPEM’s President, and Dr Heidi Edmonson, Chair of the Board of Directors of ABMRS.

This is another step towards shaping the progress of Magnetic Resonance Safety Expert certification in the UK. The MoU sets out the relationship between IPEM and the ABMRS with regards to the ABMRS MRSE exams which are held in the UK.

Earlier this year, IPEM’s Professional and Standards Council approved in principle a MRSE proposal from an IPEM task and finish group on the subject.

The certification model IPEM has decided to support involves both knowledge and experience: the knowledge can be examined, and the experience has to be documented and assessed. The PSC approved assessment of knowledge by the examination of American Board for MR Safety (ABMRS). IPEM has agreed to recognise the ABMRS MRSE exam as the process by which sufficient MRSE knowledge is demonstrated.

IPEM has been represented on the ABMRS board of directors since 2015 and has contributed towards the development of ABMRS exam questions and standard setting. For the 2019 ABMRS exams in London, representatives from IPEM and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) worked with ABMRS to produce the exam papers, adapting the exam to make it relevant to UK working practices, for example, reflecting the fact that MHRA guidelines are the main source of guidance in the UK. A senior IPEM representative, with no previous association with the ABMRS and over 15 years’ experience acting as an MRSE, took this ABMRS MRSE exam and confirmed to the IPEM task and finish group that they considered it was an appropriate assessment for the knowledge component of the IPEM MRSE certification scheme.

The task and finish group also recognised the published high reliability scores of the ABMRS exam and its status as a not-for-profit organisation. They concluded that an attempt to develop a separate MRSE knowledge assessment scheme specifically for an IPEM MRSE certification scheme would result in significantly more expense and delay, as well as detracting from attempts to move towards international harmonisation.