Certificate in Physiological Measurement (CPM)

The aim of this programme is to ensure there is an agreed standard of practical training and competency for all those training to be a Cardiac Physiology Technician in New Zealand.

The Certificate in Physiological Measurement (CPM) is a one-year course. The programme standards and overAmbulatorysight are directed by the Society of Cardiopulmonary Technology (SCT) as the national body representing the profession. You must be employed in a technical capacity to be eligible to enrol in the course i.e. your job title and description should reflect you are in training to be a Cardiac Physiology Technician. The job title may be Trainee or Provisional Cardiac Physiology Technician.

Registration is required while training and conditions on the practicing certificate will be placed i.e. supervised practice – under supervised professional development. Registration is held with the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board (CPRB) www.cprb.org.nz.

Qualification as a Cardiac Physiology Technician requires attainment of CPM (SCT) and 1 year’s full time equivalent employment as a Provisional or Training Cardiac Physiology Technician.  At this point, after application to the CPRB, the conditions to practice will be removed from the practicing certificate.

Trainee entry requirements:

Trainees must meet the following criteria to be allowed entry into the programme:

  • Must be employed in an SCT accredited training hospital / department.
  • Must have an SCT approved supervisor who is registered as a Cardiac Physiology Technician or Cardiac Physiologist with a current practicing certificate.
  • Must be employed with a job title and description that reflects that the person is training to be a Cardiac Physiology Technician.
  • Must be working greater than or equal to 0.8 FTE.
  • Must be enrolled in the CPM programme.
  • Must be a financial member of SCT.
  • Must be registered with CPRB as Cardiac Physiology Technician.

Pathways to Training:

There are 2 pathways to training: -

Pathway 1 with theory via CPM course work and assignments.

Pathway 2 with theory via Post Graduate Certificate in MTEX (Otago University).

Other course requirements remain the same for both pathways with the exception that those via Pathway 2 sit the Cardiac section of the final CPM exam only.

Enrolment process:

  • Completion of the Certificate in Physiological Measurement Application Form.
  • The application form must be signed by the Charge Physiology Technician or Physiologist and include Supervisors details.


Initial application for certification includes the SCT membership fee $50 (not to be paid until application is accepted). Please refer to the application form for the current fee.

Training Structure:

On acceptance into the CPM programme, the trainee will be provided with a workbook which outlines the expectation of the programme.  Throughout the 1-year training programme, the trainee will complete workbook requirements, gain clinical experience under supervision, perform practical assessments, complete and pass the assignment worksheets, attend the block weekend and pass the practical and pass the final exam.


The theory course and format are currently under review but at present is split into two modules:

       1. General:

This module is compulsory and will be completed in the first half of the year.

The topics covered are: Cells and Tissues, Blood, Nervous Control, Vascular System, Cardiac Anatomy, Cardiac Physiology, Respiratory Anatomy, Mechanics of Breathing, Ventilation, Gas Exchange, Basic Electricity, Electrical Safety, Electrodes and Electrolytes, Defibrillators and Resuscitation

        2. Cardiac:

This module will be completed in the second half of the year.

The topics covered are: ECG interpretation, Non-invasive Monitoring, Exercise Stress Testing, ECG Machine, ECG Technique, Pacemakers & Cardiac Diseases. There is a practical section to this module consisting of a formal ECG assessment.


There are fortnightly worksheets that are to be completed within each module. These must be submitted for marking within the specified time period.
Practical Training & Assessments:

The trainee will receive workplace training in the compulsory competencies, and must pass workplace assessments for these.

Block Weekend:

A block weekend is held in August or September, usually in Auckland, and attendance is a requirement of the course: The 1 ½ days covers the cardiac module and consists of one day of theory lectures and ½ day for a practical ECG assessment. The trainee is eligible to attend this block weekend if all the practical training requirements and assessments have been achieved, and the assignment worksheets have been completed and passed.

The exam consists of separate sections for each of the modules that the student is completing. The exam consists of a mix of multi-choice and short answer questions, and is 3 hours duration.
In order to pass the CPM course the student must achieve the following:

  • Practical audit >80%
  • Worksheets: minimum of 80% submitted, all worksheets to achieve >50%
  • General module of exam >50% and Specialist module of exam >70%
  • Completed 1 year Full-Time-Equivalent work experience

Additional Information:

  • Closing date for applications: Third Friday in February for the November exam in the same year.
  • Course start date: Late February/early March.
  • Block weekend: 3rd weekend in August or early September.
  • Final Exam date: 2nd Friday in November.
  • Exam resit date: 2nd Friday in February.

Note: One resit is allowed, and if unsuccessful, the course must be completed the following year.