How to Prepare for the Examination
Those interested in becoming a Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) can prepare in one of the following ways:
Please Note: Online/distance learning courses are not available for the CIS. IAHCSMM has developed the materials below as an optional method to assist individuals in preparing for the CIS exam. They were developed and produced independently from the Certification Council, which does not develop, require, approve, or endorse any specific training materials.
- Self Study: You may purchase reference materials and choose to study on your own to prepare for the CIS exam. IAHCSMM's Instrument Resource Manual, 1st Edition (2018) and Rick Schultz's The World of Surgical Instruments - The Definitive Inspection Textbook (2018) can be used as reference when preparing for the CIS exam. You can order these publications through the IAHCSMM Store.
(Please Note: The older reference materials, now out of print, Inspecting Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated Guide and the Identification, Handling & Processing of Surgical Instruments Workbook, are also both still valid references through May 2019).
- Work Experience: You may take the exam based on your personal knowledge from experience in the field; it is not required that you take or pass a preparatory course nor study materials on your own. Applicants can apply directly to take the exam without purchasing study materials or enrolling in a course.
CIS certification also requires the completion of 200 hours of hands-on experience in a CS Department prior to testing. Hands-on experience provides an invaluable resource with which to better understand the standards, knowledge, and practices needed to be successful in a CS Department and on the CIS Exam. More information on the accumulation of these hours can be found under the Requirements tab above.