Mar 27, 2024 | Sterile Processing Best Practice

How to Obtain Your CBSPD Certification and Why It’s Important

With work as high-stakes as central sterile processing, associations are constantly looking for any new opportunities to improve workflows, processes, and standards to increase patient safety even more. If you’ve worked in a sterile processing department (SPD) for longer than just a few weeks, this isn’t news to you—you know that standards change and get updated often.

And yet, from hospital to hospital, one patient’s experience can vary greatly. One of the best ways to ensure that your facility doesn’t become the one that community members avoid is by standardizing all practices across your entire team. One of the easiest ways you can ensure that every technician is processing the same way is by investing in online education to obtain a Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) certification.

What is a CBSPD certification?

The CBSPD Certification Program has a goal to ensure that all professionals in the SPD industry show a certain level of competency in standardized practices. Whether you’re in your first few months on the job or an industry veteran, there’s something for everyone when it comes to CBSPD certification. The program, which is accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and Navy COOL Program (Credentialing Opportunities online), offers five levels of certification:

  • Technician (CSPDT Certification)
  • Surgical Instrument Specialist
  • Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor
  • Ambulatory Surgery Technician
  • Management

How do I get a CBSPD certification?

The cost of each examination is $128, save for the Management exam which is $153.

Individuals interested in certification must meet the eligibility requirements for the exam of their choice. Those who meet the requirements are then required to complete an application to be considered for the exam. Upon acceptance of their application, they can choose the exam date of their choice with results being provided about three weeks later. Those who achieve a score of 70% or higher will be awarded the certification.

Perhaps one of the best parts of getting a CBSPD certification is that each one lasts for five years whereas most other certifications only last for a year, requiring recertification every year. CBSPD certifications also feature a simple recertification process that can be completed either by taking and passing the exam again or by completing a combination of applicable work experience and continuing education learning.

Why should I get certified?

Even in something as technical as central sterile processing, methods and practices can still vary — not just from facility to facility but from technician to technician. Getting CBSPD certified and requiring your team to do the same ultimately puts the patient’s safety front and center. With every member of your team on the same page, you can rest assured that you have safe practices in place that protect each patient that comes in contact with assets your team reprocesses.

This year, make a resolution to get your entire team CBSPD certified. With the five levels of certification, there’s something for everyone from your newest hire (start with the introductory CSPDT certification) to your oldest one. Plus, your team can prepare ahead of time by taking advantage of study guides and course material to freshen up their knowledge. Then, when they’re ready they can apply to take the exam for the certification they desire during one of the four exam windows (February, May, August, or November). Visit CBSPD’s website to learn more!