NRCM Eligibility Information

NRCM Contact Information

Nicole Jackson
American College of Microbiology
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

tel: (202) 942-9257
fax: (202) 942-9353
email: certification@asmusa.org
 

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The NRCM offers two levels of certification:

  • Registered Microbiologist ([RM]NRCM)—baccalaureate level
    Specializing in Food Safety and Quality or Pharmaceutical and Medical Device
  • Specialist Microbiologist ([SM]NRCM)—baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral level
    Specializing in Biological Safety or Pharmaceutical and Medical Device

 


 

REGISTERED MICROBIOLOGIST REQUIREMENTS
Eligibility Paths
Education
Work Experience

SPECIALIST MICROBIOLOGIST REQUIREMENTS
Eligibility Paths
Education
Work Experience

 


 

REGISTERED MICROBIOLOGIST REQUIREMENTS

These requirements apply to the RM: Pharmaceutical and Medical Device and RM: Food Safety and Quality exams.

Eligible candidates must demonstrate one of the following:

  1. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree with 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of course work in microbiology AND one year of full-time work experience (gained within the last three years) in a microbiology laboratory related to the specialty area in which you are seeking certification.
  2. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree AND three years of full-time work experience (gained within the last five years) in a microbiology laboratory related to the specialty area in which you are seeking certification.

 

Education

Appropriate academic courses must be completed and verified by submission of official transcripts or a foreign education evaluation; photocopies will not be accepted. Relevant courses emphasize the study of microorganisms.

Courses with the words “microbiology”, “bacteriology”, or “microbial” in the title are acceptable.

The following course titles are also approved:

Bacterial diversity
Cell biology
Cell physiology
Epidemiology
Fermentation
Genetics
Immunology
Infectious diseases
Metabolism
Metagenomics
Molecular biology
Mycology
Parasitology
Protozoology
Recombinant DNA
Rickettsiology
Tissue culture
Toxicology
Virology


If credit is claimed for a course not specifically listed above, a copy of the course description verifying the course content claimed for microbiology credit must be mailed to the NRCM at: 

 

National Registry of Certified Microbiologists
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-2904
 

A description from the course catalog or another official source is sufficient.

Academic credit will be given for workshop attendance. Up to four semester credit hours may be awarded for participation in workshops sponsored by ASM, P.A.C.E., the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), or the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). One-half semester credit is awarded for each eight hours of participation. To claim credit, candidates must mail a copy of the certificate of attendance to the NRCM at the above address.
 

Work Experience

The candidate must have experience relevant to the area in which certification is being sought. Relevant experience is experience in which a significant majority of the candidate's duties is in the area in which he/she is seeking certification. The reference form(s) must specifically document the functions associated with the candidate's position that relate to the area in which certification is being sought.

Applicants who will complete the requisite experience within 60 days following the examination date are eligible to apply.

Paid student work experience in a microbiology laboratory may be considered as partial fulfillment of the work experience requirement.

Teaching and/or graduate study does not fulfill the experience requirement.

Partial credit may be given for the microbiology portion of a formal laboratory training program.

 

 

SPECIALIST MICROBIOLOGIST REQUIREMENTS

These requirements apply to the SM: Biological Safety and SM: Pharmaceutical and Medical Device exams.

Eligible candidates must demonstrate one of the following:

  1. Master's degree or doctorate with 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of course work in microbiology AND four years of full-time, postbaccalaureate work experience within the past seven years in the appropriate exam specialty area.
  2. Bachelor's degree (BS or BA) with 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of course work in microbiology AND seven years of full-time, postbaccalaureate work experience within the past 10 years in the appropriate exam specialty area.
  3. Bachelor's degree (BS or BA) AND ten years of full-time, postbaccalaureate work experience within the past 15 years in the appropriate exam specialty area.

Individuals who pass the SM: Biological Safety examination are certified as Specialist Microbiologists by the NRCM and can apply to ABSA for the designation of Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP). See the ABSA Web site at http://www.absa.org/biocert.html for complete CBSP qualifications (as they do differ from the above NRCM requirements).

 

Education

Appropriate academic courses must be completed and verified by submission of official transcripts or a foreign education evaluation; photocopies will not be accepted. Relevant courses emphasize the study of microorganisms.

Courses with the words “microbiology”, “bacteriology”, or “microbial” in the title are acceptable.

The following course titles are also approved:

Bacterial diversity
Cell biology
Cell physiology
Epidemiology
Fermentation
Genetics
Immunology
Infectious diseases
Metabolism
Metagenomics
Molecular biology
Mycology
Parasitology
Protozoology
Recombinant DNA
Rickettsiology
Tissue culture
Toxicology
Virology
 

If credit is claimed for a course not specifically listed above, a copy of the course description verifying the course content claimed for microbiology credit must be mailed to the NRCM at:
 

National Registry of Certified Microbiologists
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-2904
 

A description from the course catalog or another official source is sufficient.

Academic credit will be given for workshop attendance. Up to four semester credit hours may be awarded for participation in workshops sponsored by ASM, P.A.C.E., the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), or the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). One-half semester credit is awarded for each eight hours of participation. To claim credit, candidates must mail a copy of the certificate of attendance to the NRCM at the above address.
 

Work Experience

The candidate must have experience relevant to the area in which certification is being sought. Relevant experience is experience in which a significant majority of the candidate's duties is in the area in which he/she is seeking certification. This experience must contribute to the candidate's ability to supervise the effective operation of a microbiology laboratory. For biological safety applicants, the reference form(s) must specifically document the biological safety functions associated with the candidate's position.

Applicants who will complete the requisite experience within 60 days following the examination date are eligible to apply.

Paid graduate student experience in a microbiology laboratory may be considered as partial fulfillment of the work experience requirement.

Teaching and/or graduate study does not fulfill the experience requirement.

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