Hands-On Experience & Provisional Certification
Q Do I have to complete the 400 hours of hands-on experience for the CRCST?
A Yes, the 400 hours of hands-on experience required for CRCST certification is mandatory for all applicants.
Q Can I take the CRCST exam before I've completed my 400 hours?
A Yes, but you must submit documentation of your hands-on experience, completed on a paid or volunteer basis, within six months of passing the exam. During that six month period you will be considered Provisionally Certified.
Q What is Provisional Certification?
A Provisional Certification is attained when applicants choose to take the CRCST exam before they have completed their 400 hours of hands-on experience. It is NOT an exemption from the hands-on experience requirement. Whenever possible, applicants should complete their hands-on requirement before taking their CRCST exam. Doing so eliminates the risk of having to retake the exam if the hours requirement cannot be completed on time. Additionally, the experience is often very beneficial in helping applicants to better understand the key concepts and skills needed to excel in Central Service and on the certification exam.
Individuals who attain provisional certification have six months in which to complete and submit documentation of their hands-on experience. If the experience is not completed and documented within the allotted six month period, the certification will be revoked and the individual will need to retest in order to regain certification.
A one-time, two month provisional extension may be available, if and only if the provisional certificant has already begun working or volunteering in a department before the provisional certification expires. The Supervisor/Manager/Educator of that department would need to contact IAHCSMM to request an extension on the applicant’s behalf, prior to the provisional certification expiring.
Applicants who attain provisional certification have 6 months to complete their hands-on experience component and submit proof of that to IAHCSMM Headquarters. If that is not completed in 6 months, the certification will be revoked and the person will need to retake the certification exam.
A one-time, 2 month extension may be available, if and only if you have already begun working or volunteering in a department before your provisional certification expires. The Manager/Supervisor of that department would need to contact IAHCSMM to request an extension on your behalf, prior to your provisional certification expiring.
Q Who can document my hours of experience on an exam application?
A If hands-on (CRCST & CIS) or clinical observation (CCSVP) hours are required for certification, documentation of those hours must be provided on the exam application as indicated. No other documentation is necessary or acceptable.
The sections of the application documenting experience must be completed by an immediate supervisor/manager/educator and must have been accrued within the past five years at most. An individual in a leadership role within the department cannot document their own experience. They are required to have their immediate supervisor/manager or educator complete all required documentation.
Provided they are in a position above the applicant, experience hours can be documented by:
• Lead Techs
• Managers• Chiefs
• Hospital Educators
Hours cannot be documented by technicians or private instructors. In order to verify experience, all contact information provided for the leader/educator documenting your experience must be current or your application will be rejected.
Q I used to be certified and let it lapse, I now have to retake the test, do I need to resubmit my hours?
A Hands-on experience is required to be recent, so if your most recently submitted experience occurred more than five years prior you would be required to resubmit your documentation.