Instructions and Application
for the ABT Certification Examination
in General Toxicology
The American Board of Toxicology, Inc. was incorporated in
the District of Columbia on April 17, 1979. It is a
self-sustaining, independent, not for profit corporation which is
not affiliated with any professional society or interest group. The
Board awards certificates to persons who have met the eligibility
requirements for admission to the Certification Examination and who
have met the Certification Examination requirements within a three
year period of eligibility.
Criteria for Certification Examination Eligibility
It is the responsibility of the
applicant to demonstrate to the Board that the eligibility requirements
have been met. Any deviation from the requirements must be submitted to
the Board for approval.
One of the following three
combinations of education and experience are necessary to meet the
eligibility requirements for admission to the Certification Examination.
1. An applicant must possess an
earned doctoral degree in an appropriate field and have at least three
(3) years of full-time professional post-doctoral experience (or
part-time equivalent thereof) in toxicology after official conferral of
the doctoral degree. The three years of experience must be after the
date on which the doctoral degree was awarded officially. Having
completed all requirements for the degree, but not having received the
degree will NOT suffice.
2. An applicant must possess an
earned master's degree in an appropriate field and have at least seven
(7) years of full-time professional post-baccalaureate experience (or
part-time equivalent thereof) in toxicology.
3. An applicant must possess an
earned bachelor's degree in an appropriate field and have at least ten
(10) years of full-time professional post-baccalaureate experience (or
part-time equivalent thereof) in toxicology.
Degree designations are based
on United States degree requirements. Applicants holding foreign degrees
who are unsure of the appropriate U.S. equivalent may contact the ABT
office for guidance.
Scholastic work towards a
higher degree is not considered to be professional level experience.
Individuals working toward a higher degree while employed full-time in
the practice of toxicology will receive credit for the employment as
years of experience if full time employment can be documented, but this
experience will be applied to the eligibility requirements for the lower
Years of experience shall be
determined using the actual date the applicable academic degree is
awarded and not the date degree requirements were completed. The degree
must have been awarded at least 3, 7, or 10 years prior to June 30 of
the year of application.
The applicant must have
full-time involvement in the practice of toxicology within the year
immediately prior to the date of application.
With respect to experience in
the practice of toxicology, a candidate should have carried out one of
the following functions: designed and managed toxicological experiments,
interpreted results and translated them to identify and solve human and
animal health problems. It is not sufficient that the candidate work
with or for toxicologists. The applicant must be responsible for the
professional toxicological work conducted. These experiences should
account for the majority of "time in professional practice" used to
support the application.
A candidate need not
necessarily actually produce or develop the data that is used in
assessing and evaluating toxicity. With an appropriate educational
background and/or previous toxicology experience, a candidate may be
engaged in interpreting data generated by others and then may use this
data and information to synthesize a comprehensive toxicity assessment.
With sufficient documentation of educational training and/or specific
experience, such a candidate could be eligible to take the examination.
Likewise, because of the broad scope of toxicology, it should not be
expected that all qualified candidates be engaged in the design,
conduct, evaluation and interpretation of toxicity studies. Sufficient
evidence should be provided that there is an understanding of such
studies, the best evidence being a prior history of having been
personally engaged in the conduct of toxicity studies.
Being engaged in activities
such as environmental monitoring, exposure monitoring, biological
monitoring, monitoring of workers, etc. in and of itself does not
constitute the practice of toxicology. If the results from these
activities are utilized by the candidate in a broader context of
assessing toxicity and if the candidate's educational background and/or
previous experience indicates appropriate training in toxicology,
monitoring activities and application of their results may constitute
the practice of toxicology.
For a candidate engaged in data
reviews of existing toxicity information, identification of toxicity
data gaps, identification of structure-activity relationships of
potentially toxic chemicals, maintaining data bases, development of risk
assessment methodologies, preparation of health assessment documents,
etc., the application must unequivocally document that the candidate
utilizes the information in an integrative fashion in the broad context
of a comprehensive toxicology evaluation. Reviewing data and simply
preparing warning labels for a product using a "by the numbers" approach
does not constitute the practice of toxicology, nor does simply
maintaining a data base and publishing the results. Developing risk
assessment methodologies by applying the data and then adjusting the
mathematical model parameters without demonstrated understanding of the
data or the broader aspects of toxicology does not constitute the
practice of toxicology.
Providing managerial guidance
or consulting support for specific clients or for purposes of litigation
could include defining toxicity, hazard and risk, dose-response
evaluation, duration of exposure and evaluation of toxicity data to
assess the likelihood of adverse effects associated with exposure to
potential toxicants. In these cases, appropriate educational training
and/or experience in previous or other job activities may provide the
necessary link to judge that the applicant is engaged in the active
practice of toxicology. Merely translating the jargon of the various
sciences into layman's terminology does not constitute the practice of