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About Us


Many main-line professional associations in the United States have their roots in the latter part of the 19th century.  Others can trace their beginnings to the first part of the 20th century.  Each has followed a now-time honored formula of gathering together as colleagues, forming specific job descriptions which portray their uniqueness.   Then the associations typically move toward education, minimum standards, certification, continuing education and regular meetings for the purpose of expanding their knowledge base.

And so it has been for the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).  We can point to technology as the reason why IAHCSMM did not begin until 1958.  A century ago, sterilization techniques were less rigorous and the spectrum of hospital care far more prone to idiosyncratic methods.

Battlefield advances in emergency care enhanced sterilization’s importance during both world wars.  The medical field in the post World War II era underwent changes eclipsing any scientific advance prior to that time.  The pace of change continues to today.

What does this have to do with IAHCSMM?  Simply put, despite the breathtaking pace of change within the central service profession, the very same vision and desire has taken place and root within IAHCSMM as it has in every other professional association.

The organization began in the 1950s with a visionary – Mary Helen Anderson – who gathered like-minded colleagues to share information.  Over the ensuing five decades, the Association’s member have built a profession through defining their uniqueness, training, certification and continuing education.

It is all done in an environment of compassion and peerless care for patients who frequently never know even the name of the central service professional who provided the sterile environment contributing to their recovery.

IAHCSMM combines the best in human nature – the drive for excellence for its own sake.

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What Can We Do for You?

We are the only association that allows you to enjoy the benefits of a full membership association as well as becoming certified within your chosen field.  You are joining more than 21,000 colleagues who also value high standards in education and support the efforts of your professional organization.  As your advocate, IAHCSMM is dedicated solely to the advancement and enhancement of your chosen career.

IAHCSMM offers professional certification programs that are recognized throughout the healthcare industry for their quality and comprehensiveness.  Professional training and certification will help you take your career to the next level and are also available for college credit through Purdue University.  Our certification programs include Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS), and Certified in Healthcare Leadership (CHL).  In addition to the training publications available for any of these certifications, IAHCSMM offers a wealth of supplemental education for further specializations or instructional purposes.

Continuing education is the best way to evaluate and understand new procedures and products, and IAHCSMM is the leader in making this type of information readily available to its membership..  With our online lesson plans, you have access to a convenient and easy way to achieve points directly at  Many of those lesson plans are also printed in Communique magazine and can be used by Supervisors and Managers as invaluable in-services to staff members.  The IAHCSMM Annual Meeting offers over 20 hours of continuing education (a minimum of 12 hours is required to renew CRCST certifications annually), and allows attendees to learn about the newest innovations and advancements in the field with the largest exhibit show specializing in Central Service.

IAHCSMM’s state chapters across the United States offer professional support where you need it most – nearby.  Chapter events often happen monthly and range from educational to social, providing you with a close network of colleagues to learn from and build friendships with.  In addition, the On-Line Discussion Forum provides a great opportunity to network with other CS professionals as well as learn and share new information on topics of interest to you.  Within this forum, you can post a question you have, share information you’ve learned, and engage and support other members.

If you have questions about becoming a member or suggestions regarding your current membership, please email  

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The mission of IAHCSMM is to promote patient safety worldwide by raising the level of expertise and recognition for those in the Central Service profession.  IAHCSMM accomplishes this:

  • By providing educational, professional development, certification, communication, and representation opportunities for Central Service professionals;
  • Through collaboration efforts with allied partners, members, and associates; and
  • Through advocacy initiatives for public policy changes.


COMMUNICATION: To share association and profession-related information in an open and timely manner with members, allied partners, associates, and the public.
EDUCATION: To advance knowledge and achieve excellence at all levels of the Central Service and associated professions.
PROFESSIONALISM: To deliver professional performance and quality through integrity, accountability, trust, ethics, and collaboration.
LEADERSHIP: To act as the leading Central Service organization by: providing educational opportunities; creating an environment to promote patient safety; and mentoring and developing future leaders.
ADVOCACY: To promote the Central Service profession on international, national, state, and local levels and to support issues that promote the profession and patient safety.
EXCELLENCE: To strive for excellence within the Central Service profession by promoting quality performance and education.


Through international collaboration and organizational excellence, IAHCSMM will be the leading association for education and certification for the Central Service profession, thereby improving patient safety and meeting the needs of the healthcare environment.

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