ABCP Background

Page topics: Purpose Mission History


The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion was established in 1975. The primary purpose of the Board, and therefore its most essential function, is protection of the public through the establishment and maintenance of standards in the field of cardiovascular perfusion. To achieve this objective, the Board has established qualifications for examination and procedures for recertification. Its requirements and procedures are reviewed and modified periodically as necessary.

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Certification in cardiovascular perfusion is evidence that a perfusionist's qualifications for operation of extracorporeal equipment are recognized by his/her peers. It is not intended to define requirements for employment, to gain special recognition or privileges, to define the scope of extracorporeal circulation or to state who may not engage in cardiovascular perfusion. Certification of a clinical perfusionist does not relieve an employer from determining the professional responsibilities of a cardiovascular perfusionist in his/her specific clinical setting.

The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusionists will report the status of a perfusionist as certified, not certified or has made application and has been accepted for examination.



The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion acknowledges that peer recognition is responsible for the quality assurance involved in the credentialing process that is available to the perfusion community. The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion respects its position and responsibility in that process and acknowledges the many Certified Clinical Perfusionists, educational program directors, collaborating organizations and others in the perfusion community for their continued support of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and its credentialing process.

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In accordance with its commitment to establish and maintain interactive communication with individuals, institutions and organizations, the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion respectfully submits the following Mission Statement to guide its growth and development:

The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion will strive to develop and maintain quality standards in cardiovascular perfusion that promote safety and protection of the public. These standards will include the attainment and enhancement of knowledge, skills and ethical professional conduct of Certified Clinical Perfusionists by supporting preservice and inservice education. This support will emanate from the design, implementation and administration of the credentialing process. Additionally, this support will include stimulation of innovative educational activities and promotion of ethical professional development.

The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, in acknowledging the leadership role of a professional credentialing body, will aspire to provide exemplary, responsible and ethical leadership in all of its endeavors.



surgical procedure

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.

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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). Until 2018, the Conjoint Committee on Accreditation of the Canadian Medical Association accredited the Canadian perfusion programs. Effective February 1, 2018, Accreditation Canada took over accreditation services for allied health education programs through the EQualTM Canada program.