CRCST - Certified Registered Central Service Technician

  • Cost $125
  • Renews anually

COURSE FORMAT

In Person

About

The Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) acts as an introductory certification for Sterile Processing (SP) professionals. It confirms technicians have the abilities, skills, and experience necessary to operate as SP professionals. CRCST specialists oversee the disassembling, disinfecting, sterilizing, inspecting, and properly repackaging of all reusable instruments and devices used in clinical settings. CRCST certification is offered by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), previously the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), accredited by both the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Cost

  • Exam: $125

  • Re-take: $125

Certification

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for the CRCST certification includes gaining 400 hours of hands-on experience and successfully passing the certification exam. Areas of expertise should include equipment storage, sterilization & disinfecting, prep & packing of instruments, quality assurance, and decontamination. Two types of certifications are provided.

Full CRCST Certification

An applicant must have 400 hours of hands-on experience within the last 5 years before applying.

Provisional Certification

Applicant must have 400 hours of experience within 6 months of successfully passing the examination. Required experience must be submitted to the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) before the 6-month expiration date.

The exam is computer-based and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You will have 3 hours to complete the exam.

Renewal

The CRCST certification is renewed on an annual basis. Applicants must fulfill 12 continuing education (CE) credits every year to maintain compliance. Continuing education must be related to the central sterile processing field. In addition, there is a $50 fee required to renew certification.

Other Resources

The HSPA offers resources for exam candidates, including:

Related Certifications

The HSPA also offers the following:

  • Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS)

  • Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER)

  • Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL)

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Frequently asked questions

Is there a written exam option?

No, at this time, the exam is only offered via computer.

Can I volunteer in a sterile processing area to meet the required 400 hours?

Yes, your experience can be paid or voluntary in a sterile processing department (SPD). 

How can I prepare for the examination?

There are many applicants can prepare for the exam, including:

  • Work experience: It’s not required to take a prep course before the examination. Candidates can take the exam based on their own work experience within SPD.

  • Online learning: Candidates interested in an online learning option can reach out to Purdue University for a pre-examination course.  

  • Self-paced study: Candidates can purchase study materials and study on their own.

What are some certifications I can pursue after obtaining CRCST certification?

You can pursue Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD), among others.

What other certifications should I consider after getting the CRCST?

After obtaining the CRCST, you might also pursue the Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) and Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL).

What organization offers the CRCST?

The Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) offers the CRCST.