Sterile Processing Technician Certification

September 11, 2016
CRCST Certification Exam

Those interested in becoming a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. IAHCSMM offers a host of educational tools to prepare technicians for their exam.

Please Note: Courses are preparation for the exam; passing a course does not equate to Certification. IAHCSMM has developed these materials as an optional method to assist individuals in preparing for the CRCST exam. They were developed and produced independently from the Certification Council, which does not develop, require, approve, or endorse any specific training materials.

To prepare for the CRCST certification, the following options are available:
  • Online Course: Purdue University, in partnership with IAHCSMM, offers an online course that is designed to help prepare Central Service Technicians for the CRCST exam. You can find out more about the course by calling 800.830.0269 or by visiting
  • Distance Learning Course: In partnership with IAHCSMM, Purdue University also offers a traditional correspondence course by mail that is designed to help prepare Central Service Technicians for the CRCST exam. You can find out more about that course by calling 800.830.0269 or by visiting
  • Self Study: You may purchase reference materials and choose to study on your own to prepare for the CRCST exam. The CS Technical Manual (7th ed.) was used for reference in creating the CRCST exam, along with ANSI/AAMI's ST79, and AORN's Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices (2013 ed.) (Please note, this means of preparation is designed to be studied "open book", verifying the answers to any practice quizzes or progress tests as you go through each chapter; answer keys are not provided.) You can order these publications through the and the AORN website. Please note: the 8th Edition is due for release in early Spring. Both the 7th and 8th Editions of the Central Service Technical Training boxed course or textbook will help prepare for the Certified and Registered Central Service Technical (CRCST) exam.
  • 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.

CRCST certification requires that you pass the certification exam and complete 400 hours of hands-on experience in a CS department. These hours can be completed before testing or within 6 months of passing the exam. IAHCSMM highly recommends completing, or at least beginning, your hours of experience before 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 CRCST Exam. More information on the accumulation of these hours can be found in the Requirements for the Examination: Full & Provisional Certification tab above.

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Content & Composition of the Examination

The CRCST exam will test your proficiency in these areas:

  1. Cleaning, Decontamination, and Disinfection
  2. Preparation and Packaging
  3. Sterilization Process
  4. Patient Care Equipment
  5. Sterile Storage and Inventory Management
  6. Documentation and Record Maintenance
  7. Customer Relations

Each of these seven knowledge domains is comprised of a series of sub-domains which further detail the type and amount of content covered in each section, as well as its weight on the certification exam. Please click here to see the full CRCST Exam Content Outline.

Source: iahcsmm.org
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