CSPDT - Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician

  • Cost $128
  • Renews every 5 years

COURSE FORMAT

In Person

About

The Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) certification is the initial certification for sterile processing staff and indicates their competency in performing the duties of a sterile processing technician. Some states require CSPDT certification before practicing as a sterile processing professional in healthcare facilities. The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers the CBSPD exam, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Eligibility

Candidates must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible to take the CSPDT exam:

  • Complete 12 months of full-time employment or equivalent part-time hours performing SPD activities

    • Must include verification signed by a manager on the exam application

  • Complete 6 months of full-time employment or equivalent part-time hours in related clinical healthcare profession and 6 months of performing sterile processing activities in SPD

    • Must include verification signed by a manager on the exam application

  • Complete a training course for Sterile Processing Technicians, with a passing grade of 70 or higher

    • Must include a copy of the certificate and grade from the instructor

  • Complete 12 months of healthcare product sales or service related to the sterile processing profession

    • Must include verification signed by the employer on the exam application

Cost: $128 - Convenience fees may apply

Course Format

Exam Format

The CSPDT certification exam includes 125 scored questions and 25 unscored questions. The exam takes 3 hours to complete and requires a scaled score of 70 to pass. It consists of topics from 8 areas, including:

  • Roles and Responsibilities

  • Decontamination & Disinfection

  • Preparation & Handling

  • Sterilization

  • Sterile Storage

  • Patient Care Equipment

  • Life Science

  • Ethics

Test Dates

The CSPDT exam has a 1-week testing window 4 times a year, generally in early February, May, August, and November. Applicants can register to take the exam anytime within any 1-week window, based on availability at their selected testing site. Check the CBSPD website for current exam dates and application deadlines.

In Person

Register for the Exam

  • Go to the PSI Exams website

  • Select “Register for an examination”

  • Select “Certification/Professional Associations” from the Organization drop-down menu

  • Select “Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD)” as the Sponsor

  • Select “SPD Technician”

  • Sign in or create an account

  • Click “Schedule for a test”

  • Select the appropriate State from the drop-down menu

    • International applicants must change the Country first

    • Email the CBSPD at [email protected] for help setting up a special test site if a nearby test site isn’t available

  • Find the appropriate City listing all the testing sites with directions

  • Select a test site and date

Exam Day Instructions

  • Arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before exam time

  • Bring proper identification

  • Don’t bring any items besides identification as the testing site doesn’t provide lockers

  • Food and drinks aren’t allowed in the testing room

Certification

Application Process

Online applications aren’t available; all applications must be mailed.

  • Print the paper application

    • Available on CBSPD website a month before the admission deadline

  • Check application heading to confirm it’s the correct exam

  • Fill out, sign and date page one of the application

  • Check one applicable eligibility requirement on page two

  • Have a manager or HR representative sign and verify eligibility, if applicable

  • Include copy of transcript or certificate of completion from the instructor for any SPD training courses taken

  • Pay the application fee with a money order or business check or include debit or credit card information

    • Personal checks aren’t accepted

  • Send the application and required documents to: 

CBSPD
1392 Highway 22, Suite 1
Lebanon, NJ 08833

  • Once received, CBSPD sends applicants a postcard or an email with scheduling information

  • Contact CBSPD immediately if confirmation hasn’t arrived 7 days before the exam window

Renewal

The initial certification is valid for 5 years. Before expiration, candidates must download a recertification packet from the CBSPD website. CBSPD must receive completed packets at least 30 days before certification expiration.

  • Pay for recertification applications by money order, certified check, business check, or credit card

  • Cost: $125 if paying by money order or $128 if paying by credit card

  • Mail recertification applications, required documents, and payment to: 

CBSPD
1392 Highway 22, Suite 1
Lebanon, NJ 08833

  • Allow up to 6 weeks for review

Continuing Education

To recertify, CSPDTs must earn 100 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during each five-year certification cycle. They can accumulate CEUs through employment and ongoing education. CSPDTs who submit 20 additional CEUs over the 100 required receive a Certificate of Excellence.

CSPDTs can earn a maximum of 10 points per year for work. Employment credits are as follows:

  • Full-time employment accumulates 10 CEUs per year

  • Part-time accumulates 5 CEUs per year

  • Per diem (at least 3 days per month) accumulates 3 CEUs per year

The recertification packet must include a letter from a manager, supervisor, or HR representative to verify employment.

The remaining CEU hours must be accumulated via education pre-approved by CBSPD, with a valid CBSPD code, and related to sterile processing. Education can’t be duplicated over a 5-year certification cycle. The recertification packet must include proof of education. Applicants receive detailed CEU information when they download their CEU Information Packet. They may also view the Inservice Resources offering pre-approved programs.

Other Resources

Related Certifications

Other certifications offered by CBSPD include:

  • Certified Sterile Processing Management (CSPM)

  • Certified Ambulatory Surgery Sterile Processing Technicians (CASSPT)

  • Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER)

  • Surgical Instrument Specialist (CSIS)

Certifications offered by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) include:

  • Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)

  • Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS)

  • Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER)

  • Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL)

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Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between the CSPDT and CRCST?

Two organizations certify sterile processing technicians—CBSPD and Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) [formerly known as the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM)].

CBSPD offers the Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT), and HSPA offers the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST). The two certification exams are similar but have slight differences in prerequisites and content. Some employers or regions may prefer one certification over the other, but most employers accept either. One primary difference is the CRCST requires annual renewal, while the CSPDT requires renewal every 5 years.

Does the CBSPD offer any courses to prepare for the CSPDT exam?

No, the CBSPD doesn’t offer any courses and isn’t affiliated with any courses.

Can I schedule my CSPDT exam date online?

Yes, once you receive confirmation from CBSPD, you can schedule your exam online.

What if I let my CSPDT certification expire?

If you let your certification expire, you must retake the certification exam to recertify.

If I fail the CSPDT exam, can I take it again within the same exam window?

No, if you don't pass the exam, you must wait until the next exam window.

Is the CSPDT exam hard?

Candidates may find the CSPDT exam difficult without appropriate preparation. Of the 3,103 candidates who took the CSPDT exam in 2021, 56% passed.

What other certifications does CBSPD offer besides the CSPDT?

The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) also offers the following certifications:

  • Certified Sterile Processing Management (CSPM)

  • Certified Ambulatory Surgery Sterile Processing Technicians (CASSPT)

  • Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER)

  • Surgical Instrument Specialist (CSIS)

What organization offers the CSPDT exam?

The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers the CSPDT exam.

Can I earn a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) online?

No you can't a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) online.