To establish the framework for the CRCST, CER, CIS, and CHL exams, several focused workshops – each addressing a different aspect of the test development process – are held. The first workshop, a Job Task Analysis (JTA), involves CS Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) defining the tasks, knowledge, and skill sets most pertinent to each certification. The results of the JTA are used to create and/or validate the content of the exams and ensure that they accurately reflected changes in the profession. A key component of the Job Analysis is the release of a profession-wide survey completed by hundreds of CS professionals. Survey respondents' participation helps to determine the knowledge and skill sets deemed most vital to the profession. The SMEs use the survey findings to finalize the exam blueprints.
Following each JTA, a series of additional workshops are held: a Test Specifications meeting, which documents the relative importance of each exam's content areas and how many items should be written to each objective; Item Writing and Review, which involve the writing of new exam questions, and the review of the newly-created questions and existing exam questions; Form Review, which involves a final review of the test form and how the questions on the form work together; and finally, Item Analysis, which involves a statistical and analytical review of exam items to help improve the quality and accuracy of the exams.
In between the Form Review and Item Analysis, a pilot exam is offered for each certification. The performance of pilot exam participants is measured against a predetermined standard. For the CRCST, CER, and CHL standard setting study the Angoff standard setting method, supplemented by the Beuk Relative-Absolute Compromise method, is implemented during a two day standard setting meeting facilitated by the Prometric testing company. These methods use a SMEs panel to first reach a consensus on the acceptable level of knowledge and skill that is expected for passing candidates. SMEs then review each examination item to determine the level of knowledge or skill that is expected. SMEs ratings and difficulty predictions are analyzed by Prometric to provide a recommended cut score. Lastly, the recommended cut-score is reviewed and approved by the IAHCSMM Certification Council.
The exam Content Outlines, as created through the Job Task Analysis, detail the specific areas of knowledge necessary to perform the duties associated with each certification. The Content Outlines also detail the percentage weight for each of the exam sections. The higher the percentage weight, the more heavily the questions in that area will affect your overall test score.
Exam Content Outlines & References
The CRCST Exam uses the following materials as references:
- IAHCSMM's Central Service Technical Manual (8th ed.)
- ANSI/AAMI's ST79 (2010 ed. reaffirmed in 2014 with Amendments 1-4)
- AORN's Guidelines for Perioperative Practice (2017 ed.)
The CER Exam uses the following materials as references:
- IAHCSMM's Endoscope Reprocessing Manual (1st ed)
- ANSI/AAMI's ST91 (2015 ed)
- CDC’s Essential Elements of a Reprocessing Program for Flexible Endoscopes (2017 ed)
- TJC’s High-Level Disinfection & Sterilization BoosterPak (2015 ed)
- SGNA’s Guidelines for Use of High-Level Disinfectants & Sterilants in the Gastroenterology Setting (2017 ed)
- SGNA’s Standard of Infection Prevention in the Gastroenterology Setting (2015 ed)
The CIS Exam uses the following materials as references:
- IAHCSMM's Identification, Handling & Processing of Surgical Instruments Workbook (2005 ed)
- Rick Schultz's Inspecting Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated Guide (2005 ed)
Please Note: The updated CIS Content Outline will be made available prior to the updated exam release.
The CHL Exam uses the following materials as references:
- IAHCSMM's Central Service Technical Manual (8th ed)
- IAHCSMM’s Central Service Leadership Manual (2010 ed)
- ANSI/AAMI's ST79 (2010 ed; Reaffirmed 2014 w/ Amendments 1-4)
- AORN's Guidelines for Perioperative Practice (2016 ed)