AAMI has announced that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which accredits college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, has selected AAMI as its lead member society for biomedical equipment technician (BMET) programs.

AAMI will now be the professional society that sets guidelines and assists in accreditation efforts for both associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree college BMET programs. Additionally, AAMI will provide evaluators to visit colleges to determine if their programs meet the criteria for accreditation.

The previous BMET lead society was the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), which is primarily an engineering organization, rather than an organization for BMETs and other technicians in the healthcare technology management field. BMES supported efforts for AAMI to become the BMET lead society.

The new ABET role for AAMI falls in line with work that the organization began through its “Future Forums,” events at which HTM leaders gathered to discuss and debate how to best advance the field. The work includes the promotion of increased standardization of the field, the development of BMET core competencies, a more clearly defined career ladder, and the identification of training and education gaps.

According to AAMI, the organization’s new role should benefit all BMET programs, regardless of whether they are ABET-accredited, as it provides an opportunity for AAMI to share best practices and to disseminate useful information with educators. AAMI representatives also reported they would now have an opportunity to update the ABET competencies for BMETs to reflect the core competency work that AAMI has led. AAMI is currently revising and updating its Core Competencies for the Biomedical Equipment Technician document.

AAMI’s new role as an ABET member society does not require BMET educational programs to become ABET-accredited. The association says that some programs choose to become ABET-accredited, while others do not because of costs and other factors.