Effective June 2015, the Certification Examination for Entry-Level Pulmonary Function Technologists (CPFT) and the Registry Examination for Advanced Pulmonary Function Technologists (RPFT) will transition to a one‐examination, two‐cut scores examination. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CPFT credential. If a candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the RPFT credential. The new Pulmonary Function Technologist (PFT) Examination is designed to objectively measure essential tasks required of a pulmonary function technologist. The PFT Examination will contain 115 multiple‐choice items (100 scored, 15 pretest) distributed among the three major content areas: instrumentation/equipment, procedures, and data management. Candidates will be given two hours to complete the PFT Examination. For more information about the RPFT credential, please visit the RPFT page.
If you are planning to take any of the credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC), the Self-Assessment Examination provides an excellent opportunity for you to find out in advance how well you will do. The SAEs are available in web-based format and more information can be found by clicking the Self-Assessment Examination Quick Link.
- Applicant shall be 18 years of age or older.
- Applicant shall satisfy ONE of the following:
- Have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program 1) supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or 2) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and graduated on or before November 11, 2009
- Be a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credentialed by the NBRC.
- Complete 62 semester hours of college credit
from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its
equivalent, including college credit level courses in biology, chemistry and
mathematics. A minimum of six months of clinical experience* in the field of
pulmonary function technology is also required prior to applying for the
* Clinical experience is defined as a minimum of eight hours per week for a calendar year in pulmonary technology under the supervision of a medical director of a pulmonary function laboratory or a special care area acceptable to the Board. Clinical experience must be completed before the candidate applies for this examination.
Free Practice Examination
The web-based NBRC practice examinations are designed to simulate taking an NBRC examination. The software is identical to that which is used for the administration of NBRC examinations. To use this software, you will need a compatible internet browser such as the current version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Other browsers may or may not work. Cookies and scripting must be enabled. Pop-up blocking must be disabled.
Clicking the hyperlink below will open the practice examination login page. Please read the following instructions:
Free PFT Practice Examination
- Login using your e-mail address. Your results will be sent to this address.
- Use the mouse to select your responses and to maneuver through the examination.
- To obtain your results, you must take the entire examination in one sitting. Your results are not saved if you exit the examination.
- When you have completed the examination, click Finish and Display. Your results are displayed onscreen and will be e-mailed to you if you provided your e-mail address on the login page.
- If you need help using the examination software, click on the Help button in the lower portion of the screen once you begin the examination.
CPFT Credential FAQs
Are the 2017 ERS/ATS DLCO guidelines incorporated into the examination yet?
Not entirely. Unless the 2017 guidelines are specifically referenced by an item, all items about DLCO on the PFT credentialing test will continue to follow the 2005 guidelines.
What changes were made to the CPFT and RPFT Examination programs in 2015?
The CPFT and RPFT credentialing programs transitioned to a one‐examination, two‐cut scores examination in June 2015. The new examination for pulmonary function technologists contains 115 multiple‐choice (100 scored, 15 pretest), four‐option items, which candidates take within a two‐ hour time limit.
What is the rationale for changes to CPFT and RPFT Examinations?
A recent assessment of overlapping content between examinations for the CPFT and RPFT programs revealed a very similar result as had been observed when the same kind of assessment was made for CRT and RRT programs three years ago. Among tasks that the 2006 CPFT and RPFT job analyses had found were critical to assess in examinations, more than 95% of tasks were critical for both the CPFT and RPFT programs. In other words, the vast majority of content that was critical to the assessment of RPFT competencies also were critical to assessments of CPFT competencies. NBRC trustees interpreted this result as evidence of sufficient convergence between what had been more strongly distinct roles for persons holding the CPFT and RPFT credentials in the past.
What is the application process?
You may apply online using the "Submit Application" link located on each examination page or submit a completed paper application and appropriate fee when the admission requirements are satisfied. If mailing your application, the NBRC recommends using certified mail or a certificate of mailing and keeping your receipt as proof that your application was sent to the NBRC. Ineligible applications submitted to the NBRC will be returned less a $50.00 processing fee.
What are the examination fees?
The PFT Examination costs $200 for new applicants and $170 for repeat applicants.
Can I schedule my examination online?
If you are already approved to take an NBRC examination and all fees are paid, you may schedule online from the NBRC website or from the testing agency's website, www.goAMP.com
When are NBRC examinations administered?
NBRC examinations are administered by computer on a daily basis (Monday - Saturday) at over 170 Assessment Centers across the country. A complete list can be found here
How long does it take to process my application?
If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee to the NBRC, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks after receipt by the NBRC. A confirmation notice of your eligibility will be sent to you. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, a letter explaining the information that is still needed will be sent to you.
When is the application deadline?
There are no application deadlines and if you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time. Your application may be submitted online or can be downloaded and printed from this website.
What information does the confirmation of eligibility notice contain?
The confirmation notice contains a website address and toll-free telephone number for you to contact the NBRC to schedule an examination appointment. Appointments may be scheduled a minimum of three days prior to the desired testing date. Note: Examinations will not be offered on nationally recognized holidays.
What if I do not receive a confirmation of eligibility in the mail?
If you do not receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice from the NRBC within four weeks after mailing your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.
Are Self‐Assessment Examinations available?
The Self‐Assessment Examination is available now for the PFT Examination.
Are practice tests available?
Free practice examinations are available to candidates at no charge to familiarize themselves with the content and types of questions that will be included on the regular exams. The free PFT practice examination is available now on our website.
How many questions are on the PFT Examination?
115 multiple‐choice questions will be presented on the examination, 100 scored items and 15 pretest questions. All NBRC multiple‐choice examinations contain questions that are being pretested for use in future versions of the examinations.
How long is the PFT Examination?
The testing time for the PFT Examination is 2 hours.
What do the cut scores mean?
There will be two established cut scores for the PFT Examination. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CPFT credential. If a candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the RPFT credential.
What are the admission requirements for the PFT Examination?
- Applicants shall be 18 years of age or older.
- Applicants shall satisfy ONE of the following:
- Have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or 2) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and graduated on or before November 11, 2009.
Complete 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent, including college credit level courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics. A minimum of six months of clinical experience in the field of pulmonary function technology is also required prior to applying for the examination.
I have already earned the CPFT credential but not the RPFT credential. What do I do now?
Any candidate who wishes to earn the RPFT credential will need to take the PFT Examination and pass at the higher cut score.
If I currently hold the CPFT credential and score below the lower cut on the PFT Examination, will I lose my CPFT credential?
No. You can retake the PFT Examination as many times as necessary to earn the RPFT credential without impacting the status of your current CPFT credential.
How will the examination changes affect the Continuing Competency Program?
All credentials earned on or after July 1, 2002 are subject to recertification. The NBRC strongly supports continued competency for the practitioners it certifies by requiring recertification every five years. Practitioners that earn the CPFT and/or RPFT credentials after 2015 will still be required to demonstrate their continued competence through the NBRC's Continuing Competency Program (CCP). Practitioners can also retake and pass the respective examination for the highest credential held that is subject to the CCP. If that credential is the RPFT credential, individuals will need to retake and pass the PFT Examination at the higher cut score to recertify their RPFT credential.