Share your Open Learning Story with us
Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Polysomnography Certificate

Employment Rate
Average Salary
Student Recommended
Statistics and values are gathered from BC Student Outcomes, you can view more details and stats by using the BC Student Outcomes Data Viewer

Career Opportunities

Admission Requirements

  • Open admission
  • A diploma in a health profession or an equivalent is strongly recommended
  • Consent to a Criminal Record Check

Residency Requirements

A minimum of six TRU credits (distance or on-campus)

Certificate Requirements (12 credits)

  • POLY 3011, Sleep and Sleep Disorders (3)
  • POLY 3021, Polysomnography Instrumentation (3)
  • POLY 3031, Principles of Polysomnography (3)
  • POLY 3041, Polysomnography Program Clinical Component

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a polysomnography technologist do?

Polysomnography technologists, also known as sleep techs, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from sleep disorders. They perform overnight sleep assessments used to diagnose various sleep disorders. The polysomnographer will attach various electrodes used to record the patient's brain activity and will then monitor the patient throughout the night. They test and calibrate equipment and perform troubleshooting when required.

The two videos below will also give you a good idea of what is required of the polysomnographic technologist.

Is this a recognized program?

TRU is approved as a Sleep Technology Approved Resource (STAR) for the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) as a focused education provider.

Upon completion of the four courses, students will be issued a certificate and be eligible to write the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) exam under Pathway 3 eligibility. The CPSGT is an entry-level certification earned by individuals new to the sleep field. It is time-limited; certificate holders must earn the RPSGT credential within three years or lose the CPSGT designation. See for certification details.

What are the employment prospects?

It is very important to determine if the current employment trends in your region meet your personal needs and what your job prospects would be like upon program completion before taking this program, which is why an informational interview with a sleep clinic in your area should be completed before program admission.

Where is the clinical placement completed?

At this time, travel to Kelowna for two weeks is mandatory for the clinical practicum, though other sites may be considered if TRU has an educational agreement in place.

What type of health care diploma is recommended for admission?

It is strongly recommended to have a health diploma or health background before taking these courses. Some locations will hire only respiratory therapists for the poly tech position, particularly hospitals. Health care experience, such as an X-ray tech that uses high-tech equipment is a good fit since the poly tech operates and trouble-shoots sensitive medical equipment.

Patient-care experience is highly recommended for this position.

Top qualities of a poly tech: What skills are required to be a poly tech?
  1. Attention to detail
  2. Compassion
  3. Technical and mechanical abilities
  4. Administration skills
  5. Excellent verbal and written skills
  6. Physical stamina

Persons seeking a career in polysomnography must have strong communication and interpersonal skills because they are required to assist and attain information from patients. They must be willing to work long shifts, sometimes through the night, handle delicate medical equipment and possess adequate writing skills to prepare reports.

It is very important to have good people skills. You need to communicate well with physicians, patients and their families, and other team members.

The job involves standing, sitting, bending, crouching, crawling and lifting weights of up to 50 pounds. Good vision is a requirement.

Good computer and math skills are also required. You may be required to work in both metric and imperial measures.

Describe the work environment of a poly tech

Most sleep clinic jobs are on the midnight shift, staying awake through the night to observe and document sleeping patients. The ability to get a good sleep during the day is important in order to be alert all night to respond to patients’ needs.

Technologists often work alone all night and must make decisions by themselves that could affect the outcome of the patients' care.

The job of a polysomnographic technologist can be physically demanding, sometimes requiring long shifts (but a shorter work week).

In some clinics, technologists also work day shifts, meeting with patients and analysing data collected during the previous night's sleep tests.

Does the program qualify for financial assistance?

This program does not meet the criteria for Canada Student Loan assistance.

How do I write the certified exam after graduation?

Upon completion of the four courses, students will be issued a certificate and be eligible to write the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) exam under Pathway 3 eligibility. The CPSGT is an entry-level certification earned by individuals new to the sleep field.

It is time-limited; certificate holders must earn the RPSGT (registered) credential within three years or lose the CPSGT designation.

After nine months' work experience in an overnight sleep clinic, program graduates may write the RPSGT exam under Pathway 4 eligibility.

See the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists for certification exam details and to apply to write the exam.

Program Advisory Committee

TRU advisory committees are composed of between five and twelve members appointed by the Provost and VP Academic in consultation with the faculty dean and department chairperson. Nominations for appointment may be submitted by members of the Board of Governors, current Advisory Committee members or TRU/TRU-OL staff members. Appointees may be drawn from such categories as employers and potential employers of program graduates; persons working in program-related occupations or professions; professionals; trade and business organization representatives; students; and staff from other post-secondary institutions.

The role of the Polysomnography Program Advisory Committee includes advising TRU (including OL) on the need for revisions to the program content and on current and projected demand for program graduates. The committee also advises the department on the degree to which the program fulfills the needs of employers and assists in program promotion and the development of links with business, industry and other institutions.

Currently, the Polysomnography Program Advisory Committee is composed of:

  • Dr Ron Cridland, Kelowna Sleep Clinic
  • Dr Manisha Witmans, Sound Sleep Solutions, Calgary
  • Dr Richard Feige, Fraser Health Authority Sleep Clinics
  • Helen Driver, Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Queen’s University
  • Jan Klassen, Fraser Health Authority Sleep Clinics
  • Les Matthews, TRU, Faculty of Science
  • Donny Andaya, TRU Graduate

For more information, comments or suggestions, contact the Program Administrator, Science.

Student Responsibility

Consult with your Program Advisor to ensure that the courses you select can be applied toward the program requirements of your chosen credential.

Also, before you register in a course not listed on the OL website, you must apply for a letter of permission. Otherwise, you may find that either course credits cannot be applied to your program or you must pay a transcript reassessment fee.

Practicum availability may be limited by geographic location, time of year, space and enrolment. Practicum placements cannot be guaranteed in your home region. Contact to confirm where practicums can be arranged before applying to the program.

Search To Top