Certification 3

Requirements for the Examination: Full & Provisional Certification

As well as passing the certification exam, 400 hours of hands-on experience are required in order to obtain CRCST status.

IAHCSMM believes that both training and experience for entry into practice contribute to the delivery of quality patient care. The rationale for the experience requirement of the central services role is consistent with the most recent job analysis conducted, where 80% of the work of the CS is hands-on experience in a hospital setting. The 400 hours requirement affirms the need for a minimum of 10 weeks (400 hours) experience.

The experience component, which is divided into six areas of hands-on work based on industry and Subject Matter Expert surveys and recommendations, demonstrates an applicant’s practical understanding and application of the knowledge assessed on the certification exam. The hands-on experience requirement represents the largest domains in the recent job analysis for central services technicians. The following categories of experience, the tasks that comprise them, and the percentage of time required for each was calculated through an industry-wide job task analysis.

To apply for the CRCST examination you must satisfy the requirements of one of the following options:

Full Certification (Recommended)

Prior to applying to test, complete a minimum of 400 hours of hands-on experience in a Central Service Department, on a paid or volunteer basis. This experience must have occurred within the past five years at most, and must be documented on the exam application by the manager/supervisor who oversaw your work. These hours must be broken down into the following areas of experience (as fully detailed on the exam application, available under the Forms & Applications section):

  1. Decontamination (120 Hours)
  2. Preparing & Packaging Instruments (120 Hours)
  3. Sterilization & Disinfection (96 Hours)
  4. Storage & Distribution (24 Hours)
  5. Quality Assurance Processes (24 Hours)
  6. Equipment (16 Hours)

Provisional Certification

Complete and provide a manager/supervisor's documentation of a minimum of 400 hours of hands-on experience in a Central Sterile Department, on a paid or volunteer basis, within 6 months of passing the certification exam. These hours must be broken down into the areas of experience outlined above (and as fully detailed on the exam application, available under the Forms & Applications section).

Documentation of the completed hours of hands on experience must be submitted to IAHCSMM prior to the 6 month expiration date. Failure to submit these hours within this designated time frame will result in a forfeiture of your provisional CRCST certification and successful completion of a retake exam will be required. All applicable fess will apply to this retake examination.

A one-time, 2 month extension is available to those who are currently working or volunteering within a CS department and approaching the end of their 6 month provisional certification period. An extension request must be made prior to the expiration of your provisional status, by the manager/supervisor of the department in which you are completing your hours. Extensions are not available to those who are not currently volunteering or employed within a CS department.

Please be aware that IAHCSMM does not provide placement services; it is your responsibility to find a department in which to complete your hours.

International Association of
Healthcare Central Service Materiel 
Management (IAHCSMM)

55 West Wacker Drive
Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60601
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