Organization news

PARCA adds new DICOM certification

APRIL 1, 2017 – The PACS Administrators Registry and Certification Association (PARCA) announced today that it is adding a certification and certification exams for DICOM, the international standard for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. The new certification will replace the Certified PACS Interface Analyst (CPIA) certification. 

Since the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) first introduced the DICOM standard in 1985, it has grown both in acceptance and complexity with the adoption of a number of changes and the development of DICOM extensions. As a result Charles Willis, PhD, DABR, president of PARCA says it is time to add a certification that more specifically focuses on DICOM.

“DICOM, the international standard for digital imaging communications in medicine was established by the DICOM committee, an International Standards Organization (ISO). It is really the foundation for understanding how all the parts of a PACS system work together,” Willis says. “You could be very well-educated in computer science or knowledgeable about information technology, but unless you know DICOM, you don’t know how the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) standard is implemented in imaging informatics.”

The new DICOM certification and the exams supporting it have been updated to cover the breadth and depth of the DICOM standard including the latest extension, DICOMweb. These exams will continue to be updated every three years. Taking the updated exams every three years will replace previous requirements for members to submit 60 hours of continuing education and to re-take the exam every 5 years to maintain certification.

The new certification also is acknowledgement of the evolution of image archiving and communications within medical institutions and the adoption of the standard by professionals outside of radiology who are being drawn together to implement EMRs and enterprise wide vendor neutral archives, according to PARCA founder Herman Oosterwijk.

“The are a number of people who are not in radiology, who all know what DICOM is, but there are a lot of new applications that are starting to use DICOM, all the ‘ologies,’ ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology. In addition there is a lot of excitement around DICOMweb that will be essential for archiving and sharing visible light medical imaging among medical professionals that need to be a part of the PACS or IT administrator’s toolkit,” Oosterwijk says.

“It will be good for these people to acquire the necessary knowledge in an organized and methodical manner to ensure the integrity of the standard as it is implemented in all these new settings. Consequently we felt there is a need for this certification focusing on DICOM so that people will know how to study it and learn about it,” he adds.

The new certification along with the study guide for the exam became available on April 15, 2017 and the new certification course is available online through Examity, which provides virtual monitoring testing administered by Examity, thus eliminating having to travel for the exam.

Those who previously earned the CPIA certification will have an opportunity to update their knowledge and earn the DICOM certification at a discount.

“The DICOM Certification would be worthwhile for anyone wanting to demonstrate external acknowledgement of achievement of a level of proficiency in the DICOM standard,” says Willis. “These might include PACS analysts, healthcare informatics software developers, medical device integration engineers, medical device service engineers, radiologic technologists, or medical physicists.”

PARCA announces Examity partnership

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Examity, a recognized leader in remote test proctoring. This relationship offers you a secure and convenient way to take your certification exams online, while ensuring the integrity of the certification.

Examity is integrated with Moodle.  You can access Examity directly from our testing software, Moodle, without the hassle of another username and password.  It also means that before you use Examity for the first time, all pertinent information will be imported into the system for you, including the certification exam you purchased.

Examity offers exam proctoring 24/7.  Examity gives you the flexibility to schedule certification exams at your convenience and take them wherever and whenever you want.  The technical requirements for the computer you will use to take your exam are:
  1. A computer with a built in webcam and microphone (built in or external).  You can check this at
  2. A network connection with internet speed of at least 3 Mbps for both uploading and downloading. You can check this at
  3. Web browser with pop-up blocker disabled.
Examity will be available for you to use beginning on August 13, 2014. We will provide you with the tools you need to get familiar with the service:
  • Quick-Start User Guide (Week of, August 11th)
  • 24/7 Technical Support at 1-855-Examity or

We know this service will make your certification experience even better, and we are very excited to roll it out to you!

PARCA updates exams, streamlines maintaining certifications

April 15, 2014 – The PACS Administrators Registry and Certification Association (PARCA) announced today that it is updating its certification exams. With the updates in exams, the organization is also streamlining the continuing education requirements for maintaining certification.

The new exam requirements will be posted on the PARCA website by May 1, 2014 and the new exams will go into effect Aug. 1, 2014. To reflect updates, the certifications will now add the update year to the certification. Those certifications will now be CPAS2104, CPSA2014, and CPIA2014. 

The certification exams being updated include CPAS (Certified PACS Associate), CPSA (Certified PACS System Analyst), and CPIA (Certified PACS Interface Analyst). These exams will continue to be updated every three years.  Taking the updated exams every three years will replace previous requirements for members to submit 60 hours of continuing education and to re-take the exam every 5 years to maintain certification.

The organization of professionals who manage image archiving and communications systems for medical centers, hospitals and other health care organizations said the updates address changes in technology that have occurred since 2005 when the exams were first written.

“The concept of lifelong learning is well-recognized in medical and technical professions,” says PARCA Board President Charles Willis, Ph.D., DABR. “To date, reporting of continuing education by PARCA members has been extremely limited. At the same time, the technology that supports healthcare informatics has changed by leaps and bounds. These changes demand that PARCA revises and updates the technical requirements for certification and modify our testing to reflect these new requirements.”

PARCA now has a facebook page

PARCA wants to build a better community for PACS administrators. As part of that goal, it has started a facebook page where PARCA members can keep up-to-date with each other, as well as share the issues and challenges we all face with each other. It is our hope that PARCA members will use the page to connect and share opinions, tips, troubleshooting tricks, solutions and more. Let us know what you are doing at your organization. Post an update

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