Understanding the Shift from “Triennium” to “Three-Year Period”

If you’re a sonographer or someone interested in the medical imaging field, you might be familiar with the term “triennium.” But did you know that the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) no longer uses this term? As an industry veteran, the Institute for Advanced Medical Education (IAME) reveals this interesting shift in terminology and what it means for professionals in the field.


What Was a Triennium?

Traditionally, a triennium referred to a rolling three-year period assigned to sonographers for the purpose of recertification. During this time, sonographers were required to earn 30 continuing medical education (CME) credits to maintain their certification. This system was a cornerstone in ensuring that professionals stayed updated with the latest developments and skills in sonography.

The New Terminology: Three-Year Period

Today, the ARDMS has transitioned from using the term “triennium” to simply referring to this crucial period as the “three-year period.” While the name has changed, the core requirement remains the same: sonographers must still earn 30 CME credits within this timeframe. However, there’s a significant change in the nature of this period. Unlike the dynamic nature of the triennium, the current three-year period is static. For instance, the ongoing period is from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023. This change aims to streamline the certification process and make it easier for professionals to track their recertification requirements.

The Role of IAME and Benefits of Audits

As an ARDMS preferred provider, IAME plays a crucial role in helping sonographers meet their CME requirements. When the audit time comes in March, those who have earned their CME credits through IAME can approach this process stress-free. This is because the courses and educational materials provided by IAME are designed to meet the ARDMS standards, ensuring that sonographers are not just compliant but also gaining valuable knowledge and skills.

Embracing the Change

The shift from “triennium” to “three-year period” reflects a broader trend in the medical and certification fields towards clarity and simplicity. For sonographers, understanding and adapting to these changes is crucial for maintaining certification and providing the best possible care to patients. It’s also a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of medical professions and the importance of staying informed and proactive in one’s career


The evolution from “triennium” to “three-year period” may seem like a small change in terminology, but it represents a significant shift in how sonographers plan and approach their recertification. With the support of institutions like IAME and a clear understanding of the new system, sonographers can continue to thrive in their careers and contribute to the vital field of medical imaging. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting, staying informed about these changes is key to a successful and fulfilling career in sonography.

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