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Become Certified

IAHCSMM began formal certification of Sterile Processing (SP) technicians in 1971 to provide a mechanism for individuals to be recognized as having the necessary competence to perform their duties within a Sterile Processing environment. The IAHCSMM CRCST, CIS, CER and CHL certifications are industry-recognized credentials.


Follow these simple steps to earn certification

Determine your eligibility* to take the exam.

Check to see if you are eligible for certification:

 

*Requirements may change. You are held to compliance of criteria current as of your application submission.

Utilize IAHCSMM study resources to increase your testing confidence.

Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)

Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS)

Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER)

Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL)

**These courses are offered through Purdue University. They are NOT an IAHCSMM product. They are preparation for the exam only, and passing a course does not equate to Certification.

Submit your application and fee online (or by mail / fax).

Application Requirements

Once you are eligible and ready to test, you may apply. Please submit a separate application for each certification. (You may only apply for one exam at a time.)

Required Experience Documentation

CRCST Exam:
400 hours
CER Exam:
3 months
CIS Exam:
200 hours + current CRCST
CHL Exam:
0 hours + current CRCST

Application Fees*

Initial Exam:
$125
Retake Exam:
$125

*Fees are non-refundable and include the application and one exam attempt. Additional fees are required for each exam retake, as shown above.

Release of Scores to Program Officials

IAHCSMM will only release exam results (pass/fail) directly to you, in written format, at the preferred address provided on your exam application. Scores are not available orally or electronically, and can take up to two weeks to be delivered. Exam scheduling information, results, and pass/fail notifications will not be provided to 3rd parties without your prior express written consent. Upon request IAHCSMM will verify an individual's current certification status (including their certification effective and expiration dates) to any inquiring party, but will not release further details of your examination(s), including exam scores or the number of exam attempts, without your consent.

Change of Name and/or Address

Any name changes due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons, as well as any spelling corrections needed, must be made with IAHCSMM before scheduling an exam. Legal name changes must be accompanied by a photocopy of a marriage license, divorce decree, or other court order and submitted to IAHCSMM. Failure to change or correct your name prior to testing may result in an inability to test and a forfeiture of all exam fees.

If your address changes or needs corrected from what appears on your scheduling information, please contact IAHCSMM prior to your test date.

All changes must be made directly with IAHCSMM - - name and/or address changes cannot be made at the test center.

Use of Personal Information

*The information provided to IAHCSMM on your exam application, and in regard to your certification exam, will be used in accordance of IAHCSMM's Confidentiality Policy in Appendix A, page 24. If you request and are granted special testing accommodations (see the following Applicants with a Disability section) IAHCSMM will disclose personal information to third parties as necessary to administer your examination. This may include such information as your disability status, medical condition, or any political, religious, or philosophical beliefs which require accommodation.

Falsified and Misleading Application Documentation

All information provided by and about you on the exam application (and any other subsequent forms submitted in relation to the application) must be accurate and correct. If any information provided on an exam application or any other document relating to your certification is determined to be false or purposefully misleading, IAHCSMM can reject your application and disqualify you from future testing. The IAHCSMM Certification Council will review all such instances and determine the appropriate recourse, including the invalidation of test results, the revocation of any certifications which have been granted, and/or the denial of renewal.

Refunds and Forfeiture of Exam Fees

All requests for refunds must be made within 30 days of the start of your testing eligibility and before an exam appointment has been made.

Failure to schedule and take an exam within the allotted 90 day testing eligibility, missing or arriving late for an appointment, or presenting ID that is unacceptable, expired, or does not match your registered name (as provided on your exam application), will prohibit you from testing and effectively end your exam eligibility period. Your exam fee will be forfeited and you will not be eligible for any refund. The application process must be repeated and full payment submitted, when you are ready to have a new test eligibility granted.

Reapplying for Examination

If for any reason you need to retake an exam, you may do so by submitting a retake application and full exam fee. IAHCSMM will send you a retake form automatically with your exam results file.

An applicant who fails any IAHCSMM exam must wait a minimum of 6 weeks before being allowed to retest. The applicant may submit a retake application as soon after testing as they wish, but their eligibility will begin 6 weeks after their last exam date.

The rationale for this waiting period is to ensure that there are a sufficient number of test forms available on an annual basis so that candidates will not be exposed to any given form more than twice before it is retired. IAHCSMM updates examination forms annually.

When you are ready to test again, simply submit a retake application (which was provided with your exam score report), along with the $125 exam fee ($150 USD outside of the US or Canada). If you do not have a retake application, you may also submit the standard application for the exam you wish to take.

Once you receive notification from IAHCSMM with approval, you may schedule your exam.

Scheduling Your Exam

Once your exam application has been received and processed by IAHCSMM, you will be sent the information necessary to schedule an exam date with Prometric.

All IAHCSMM certification exams are administered exclusively through Prometric Testing. Prometric has a global network of site-based testing facilities, giving convenient access, as well as a wide selection of times and dates for testing, to test takers anywhere in the world. The partnership between IAHCSMM and Prometric offers the only secure, daily examination process within the Sterile Processing field.

When you receive your Scheduling Letter/Email, verify all information for accuracy. If any changes need to be made to your name they must be done before scheduling an appointment. Your first and last name(s) as listed on your letter/email must match exactly the name presented on your identification at the testing center. Middle names/initials are not important and will not be checked.

For example, if the name on your ID is:

John A. Doe:
John Doe
Jane B. Doe-Smith:
Jane Doe-Smith
John C. Doe Jones:
John Doe Jones
Jane Ann D. Doe:
Jane Ann Doe
John E. Doe Jr:
John Doe Jr
J. Francine Doe:
J. Francine Doe

You may schedule an appointment to take the examination at your convenience any day the testing center is open (typically at least 6 days a week) within your 90 day testing eligibility window. Please be aware that no extensions will be granted, regardless of circumstance.

You must schedule an exam a minimum of 48 hours prior to your desired test time. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis, and it is strongly recommended to schedule all appointments at least 45 days earlier than your eligibility expiration. If you wait to schedule until the end of your eligibility you may face seating limitations and even run the risk of your local center not having any openings, thereby forfeiting your exam fee.

Canceling or Rescheduling An Exam

Appointments must be rescheduled no later than noon EST, two (2) business days in advance of your test date. (For example: an appointment on Wednesday cannot be rescheduled after 12:00 noon EST on Monday; an appointment on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday cannot be rescheduled after 12:00 noon EST on Thursday.)

Appointments can be rescheduled online (available 24/7) or by phone (available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm EST). You will need to have your Prometric confirmation number ready to reschedule. Any additional fees for rescheduling must be paid directly to Prometric at the time of rescheduling. If you are late, turned away due to invalid identification, or do not appear for your examination, you must submit a new application and pay a retesting fee to reschedule your examination.

Take the Exam

Arrive 30 minutes prior to exam time with the required testing items:

  1. One form of valid identification:
    • Must have your first and last name identical to your name on your authorization letter
    • Must bear your signature
    • Must be a photo ID (either a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID, student ID, employee ID, or passport
    • Must be non-expired

Cheating and Misconduct

If a Prometric test proctor suspects or determines that you have engaged in inappropriate conduct during the examination (such as, but not limited to, giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid; accessing cell phones, notes, or study materials; unauthorized exiting of the testing facility; attempting to test for someone else; removing or attempting to remove note paper from the testing center; abusive or inappropriate behavior towards a test center employee or fellow test taker; etc) your examination session can be terminated and you will be unable to complete your examination. Any and all suspicious behavior will be reported to IAHCSMM and reviewed by the Certification Council.

Candidates are expressly prohibited from recording, copying, reproducing, disclosing, publishing, or transmitting any IAHCSMM examination, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose. Anyone caught or suspected of violating these guidelines will be reported to IAHCSMM and reviewed by the Certification Council.

The IAHCSMM Certification Council will review all such instances of misconduct, cheating, or alleged cheating. As described in the disciplinary policy, the Certification Council will determine the appropriate recourse, up to and including the invalidation of the results of your examination, the revocation of any certifications which have been granted, and/or your temporary or permanent disqualification from future testing with IAHCSMM.

Retesting

If you receive a failing score, you will need to submit a new application to test and retake the entire exam.

  • Retake exams are permitted no sooner than 6 weeks from previous attempt
  • A non-refundable fee is required for each additional attempt
  • There are no limits on the number of exam attempts for any one certification
  • Consult the IAHCSMM study resources to prepare for a retake

What to expect following your exam at a Prometric facility.

Examination Results

  • Results are available after the exam and are sent to IAHCSMM the following business day
  • All documentation MUST be complete to receive certification
  • Official certificate will arrive in the mail within 2-3 weeks
  • You may verify your certification immediately at verify.IAHCSMM.org.

A Pass/Fail exam result will be provided. Upon completion of your exam you will be notified at the test center whether or not you have passed your test. Upon passing your exam a certification package, containing your new certification documents will be mailed to you within two weeks. If you do not pass your exam then your score report, along with information on retaking the exam, will be mailed to you within a week. For security purposes test scores cannot be given by email or phone.

Upon becoming certified, and with every annual renewal, you will be issued a certificate for each certification you hold. The certificate(s) will detail the scope and dates of your certification(s) and can be used as a primary source document to verify your certification.

Score Reports

CRCST, CER, and CHL Score Reports

If you achieve a passing score on the CRCST, CER, or CHL exam you will receive a passing notification, but not an overall exam score. If you do not pass the CRCST, CER, or CHL exam, you will receive an overview of the seven Knowledge Domains which comprise each of the exams. This overview will pinpoint exactly in which areas you were strongest and weakest by noting if you were "At or Above", "Below", or "Well Below" the passing level for each domain.

CIS and CCSVP Score Reports

If you achieve a passing score on a CIS or CCSVP exam you will receive a passing notification and overall exam score. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive an overall exam score showing the percentage of questions you answered correctly.

Examination Irregularities

If you believe one or more items on the test to be incorrect or in some way invalid, a written/electronic appeal must be submitted within 30 days of taking the examination. You must provide as much detail as you remember about the item(s) in question and your reason for challenging their accuracy.

All item appeals will be reviewed by the IAHCSMM Certification Council. A thorough review of the item(s) in question will be conducted and a written synopsis of the board's findings will be issued. If one or more items are found to be in any way inaccurate they will be corrected or replaced on the certification exam and your score will be adjusted accordingly.

Candidates who fail the exam may file an appeal of exam results based on: examination procedures that fail to comply with the Certification Council's established policies or alleged testing conditions severe enough to cause a major and significant disruption of the examination process.

Appeals must be made in writing within 30 days of the date on the individual's score results. Appeals that are not resolved by the Certification Manager to the candidate's satisfaction will be forward to the Certification Council for review along with any other relevant information. Written notice of the final decision will be sent to the applicant within 30 days of the review. The decision of the Certification Council will be final.

The Importance of Certification

Patients rarely meet Sterile Processing (SP) professionals, but they rely on them just the same. They count on technicians for clean, sterile, well-functioning instruments. They count on them to follow best practices and stay ahead of the technology curve.

Certification helps meet these expectations and ensures that SP professionals possess the essential knowledge and skills necessary for managing critical departmental duties safely, effectively and consistently. What's more, the ongoing education required for SP professionals to maintain their certification status helps ensure that these professionals stay on top of ever-evolving instrumentation, technology, standards and best practices to keep SP departments functioning at peak performance.

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