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About the CBSPD, Inc.
"The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution"

Choose a Topic
What is the CBSPD? | Board of Directors | Standards and Guidelines
Test Development | Purpose of Certification | Certification Programs
Code of Ethics and Reporting | Study Material | Continuing Education | Merchandise

What is the CBSPD?

The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. (CBSPD), formerly the NICHSPDP, is a non-profit Certification Board which plans, develops and administers competency-based "International" certification examinations for personnel performing cleaning, disinfection, sterilization and inventory management activities, regardless of the setting. The CBSPD is administered by a Board of Directors who have extensive expertise in the profession of healthcare sterile processing and distribution. In 1988 the NICHSPDP was organized and founded and is incorporated in the state of New Jersey. Since its inaugural examination in 1991, the CBSPD has credentialed over 31,000 personnel internationally. There are currently over 20,000 active certificants. We can be reached by phone at 1-908-236-0530 Monday-Friday, 9:30am - 5:30pm Eastern Time, or by mail at CBSPD, 148 Main Street, Suite D-1, Lebanon, NJ, 08833, or by e-mail at mailbox@sterileprocessing.org.



Jeanette Bakker, CSPM, Co-Chair, CEU Review Committee, E-mail
Teckla Ann Maresca, L.P.N., CSPM, Retired
Angela Jensen, CSPDS


Travis Paluck, CSPDM, Management Representative, E-mail
Natoria Pettyjohn, CSIS, CSPDT, Surgical Instrument Specialist Representative, E-mail
Deborah Hager, CSPDT, Technician Representative, E-mail
Christopher Franklin, CFER, CSIS, CSPDT, GI Scope Representative, E-mail
Vacant - Ambulatory Surgery Representative
Livia Senties Zuñiga, CSPDT, International Liaison Representative, E-mail
Paul Letersky, B.A., J.D., Public Member, E-mail


Standards and Guidelines

The CBSPD Certification Program meets the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education's joint technical standards for testing. The program has been designed to comply with the "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing", which are the highest in the industry. The CBSPD is also a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

ACCREDITATION- The CBSPD's Technician, Flexible Endoscope and Management certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is the accrediting body for the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). In addition, the CBSPD is accredited by the Navy COOL Program (Credentialing Opportunities on Line).


Test Development and Administration

The CBSPD Board contracts with PSI Services Inc., a Kansas corporation, Olathe, KS 66061, which provides all test administration services including secure computerized exams, paper-pencil exams (for candidates with special testing needs), proctor selection, test site selection, scoring of examinations and reporting of scores to the CBSPD, Inc.

Countries where computer-based testing is not provided by PSI Services (including Spanish speaking countries) will have the exams given via paper-pencil at CBSPD approved test sites. For any CBSPD exam that is intended for Spanish speaking countries, the CBSPD will utilize a designated translator who will translate the exam from English to Spanish. Any candidate with special testing needs will be accommodated via the CBSPD's contact person and proctor within the designated country.

All psychometric services are contracted to BoCol, Burlington, NJ.


Purpose of Certification

  1. The purpose of the CBSPD's certification programs is to recognize each individual who meets measureable competency-based standards against which members of the profession can be measured.
  2. The purpose of the CBSPD certification programs is published on the CBSPD website: (www.sterileprocessing.org), in the Candidate Bulletin for each examination and also includes:
    1. To ensure safe and effective levels of practice to protect the public.
    2. To promote the education of healthcare sterile processing and flexible endoscope processing personnel, through certification to ensure safe and effective levels of practice to protect the public.
    3. To encourage continuing education for those individuals working in the healthcare sterile processing and flexible endoscope processing professions.
    4. To encourage re-certification by those individuals previously recognized as certified.
    5. To maintain a publicly accessible certification registry of healthcare sterile processing and flexible endoscope processing personnel. This information is available on the CBSPD website after each exam administration, with data viewable back to 1999.
    6. To promote professional accountability for healthcare sterile processing and flexible endoscope processing personnel.
  3. The minimum competency criteria are established by Job Analysis Surveys of the respective disciplines, which are reviewed and approved by the CBSPD Board of Directors.
  4. The established criteria ensures upholding of identified standards of practice in the sterile processing profession including those certified as sterile processing technicians, Ambulatory Surgery sterile processing technicians, management in sterile processing, surgical instrument specialists and flexible endoscope processing.
  5. Candidates who meet the identified standards are eligible to use the following credentials:
    1. Sterile Processing Technicians – Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT)
    2. Ambulatory Surgery Sterile Processing Technicians – Certified Ambulatory Surgery Sterile Processing Technician (CASSPT)
    3. Management in Sterile Processing (CSPM)
    4. Flexible Endoscope Reprocessors (CFER)
    5. Certified Surgical Instrument Specialist (CSIS)


The CBSPD Certification Programs

There are five levels of certification that the CBSPD offers; Technician, Surgical Instrument Specialist, Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor, Ambulatory Surgery Technician and Management. The examinations for each level are given 4 times per year. Exams inside the U.S. (along with select International sites) are given on computer. Some exams given outside the U.S. are still in paper/pencil format. For exact exam dates, please click here. The examinations are offered at test sites throughout the U.S. and internationally. There are now over 1,100 test sites throughout the U.S. and Canada to choose from. Special test sites can be established at any healthcare facility outside the U.S for the paper/pencil exams.

Upon successful completion of the examination, your certification remains valid for five years (not just ONE year like some other certification companies). No other organization offers this length of certification...and re-certification is very simple!

The cost to take our Technician, Surgical Instrument Specialist, Ambulatory Surgery Technician and Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor exams is 125 U.S. dollars. For the Management exam, the cost is 150 U.S. dollars. To view individual requirements to take the exams, please see our certification exam pages at the top of this webpage in yellow. For more details, please download a recent Candidate Bulletin for your exam from our downloads page.

Re-certification can be accomplished through re-examination or a combination of work experience and continuing education. For a review of re-certification requirements, please see our Continuing Education page.

EXAMINATION SCORING AND REPORTING - The passing SCALED score is 70. An "unofficial" Pass/Fail (ONLY) indication will be given at the completion of the computerized exam for those testing in the U.S. A final official Pass/Fail notification will be mailed to the candidates in the U.S. 3 weeks AFTER the END of the exam window to allow for a quality assurance process to be performed with psychometric analysis to verify results. The examination is designed to be a minimum competency test and is not intended to distinguish scores achieved above the passing point. THEREFORE, NO NUMERIC SCORES WILL BE REPORTED FOR PASSING CANDIDATES. This policy has been established as a safeguard against misuse of the examination scores of passing candidates. Failing candidates will receive notice of their score, and a diagnostic report showing subject areas of weakness. For those candidates that are testing internationally, your results will be mailed to you within 6 weeks. For security reasons, final results will not be given over the telephone or email by the testing agency or the CBSPD.

From a technical perspective: CBSPD administers standardized tests. Standardized tests most of the time exists in more than one edition. Those different versions of the test are called "forms of the test".

All forms of a test are supposed to measure the same knowledge and skills. Each of the forms is constructed with a different set of questions. When tests are being constructed, test developers try to write questions that have the same difficulty across different forms. Those forms are not always equal in difficulty and some forms end up being harder than others.

If the questions in one form are harder than the questions on another form, then "raw-scores" on those two forms won't indicate the same thing. Number Correct and Percent Correct are "raw-scores". The simplest way to compute a student score is by counting the number of questions answered correctly. The raw-scores on the two different forms won't indicate the same level of the knowledge or skill the test is intended to measure. The scores won't be comparable and to treat them as if they were comparable would be misleading for the score users and unfair tothe test-takers who took the form with the harder questions.

If the number of questions correct "raw-score" is different from form to form, you might want to convert that number to a different scale. Score users need to be able to compare scores of the test-takers who took different forms of the test. Therefore, testing agencies need to report scores that are comparable across different forms of the test. We need to make a given score indicate the same level of knowledge or skill, no matter which form of the test the test-taker took. "Scaled scores" are the solution to the problem and are adjusted to compensate for differences in the difficulty of the questions. The easier the questions, the more questions you have toanswer correctly to get a particular scaled score.

Each form of the test has its own "Raw-to-Scale conversion", a formula or table that gives the scale corresponding to each possible raw score. CBSPD report scores on a 70 raw to scale score. A scale score of 70 or above will be reported as Pass, whereas a scale score below 70 will be reported as Fail.

**Please note, while it is unlikely, there is a chance that your preliminary result reported and the final result reported may differ. Psychometric/statistical analysis is performed after each exam which sometimes leads to an adjustment of the scores. This is why you MUST wait for your final exam result to arrive in the mail to determine if you passed or failed the exam.



CHALLENGES TO SCORING RESULTS WITH COMPUTER-BASED TESTING: Any CBSPD examinee who wishes to have their score re-checked must send a letter requesting a re-scoring of their exam with: Full Name; last 4 digits of Social Security Number; exam name and date; along with a $20 re-scoring fee to: CBSPD, 148 Main Street, Suite D-1, Lebanon, New Jersey 08833. This process involves printing out the exam responses and scoring them by hand. A written report will be mailed to the examinee. Payment must be made payable to the CBSPD in the form of a money order/cashier's check. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED. All requests for re-scoring must be made within 45 days of the exam date.

For candidates outside the U.S. who are taking paper pencil exams, you can still request to have your examination hand scored. The request for hand scoring should be made IN WRITING TO: CBSPD, Inc., 148 Main Street, Suite D-1, Lebanon, New Jersey 08833, USA. Please include your name, and examination date at the top of your letter. Payment must be made in the form of a money order or hospital check to CBSPD, IN THE AMOUNT OF $50 USD. All requests for hand scoring must be submitted within 45 days of the examination date.


Code of Ethics and Reporting

Click HERE to view the CBSPD Ethics Policy as well as How to Report Unethical or Unprofessional Behavior to the CBSPD.


Study Material

The CBSPD offers Study Guides for each examination; Technician, Surgical Instrument Specialist, Ambulatory Surgery Technician, Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor, and Management. The prices for all of our Study Guide's is $20 USD each. Most major credit cards are accepted as well as money orders, and bank/facility checks. There are many options for ordering study material. By phone you can call the CBSPD at 1-908-236-0530 to request a book order form by fax or mail (you can order right away by using a credit card.) You can order fast through our "secure" on-line book order form. Purchase orders and personal checks are not accepted.


Continuing Education

The CBSPD reviews educational programs for continuing education credits towards re-certification for those individuals certified through the CBSPD. Seminars should be submitted by the program sponsor at least 6 weeks prior to the Seminar date. Departmental Inservices should be submitted by the department Supervisor or Manager within 30 days of providing the Inservice.

Regardless of the continuing education received, all continuing education must be documented. The CBSPD requires that a certificate of attendance be provided for each Inservice/Seminar. At a minimum, the certificate should include the individual's name, date of the education, topic(s), number of contact hours approved, approval code number and signature of the department head or Seminar representative.

It is the candidate's responsibility to retain all their continuing education records in a safe place until such time for re-certification.

For those facilities which have computerization of Inservice education, the department manager should write in the Approval Code numbers for each program and sign the Inservice documentation sheet certifying that the employee attended all the programs listed.

To have your programs reviewed, please contact the CBSPD and ask for a "CEU packet" or simply view and fill out our on-line version.


Certification Pins, Patches, Lunch Bags,
Certificates, ID Cards

The CBSPD offers lapel pins for CBSPD certified technicians, surgical instrument processors and specialists, flexible endoscope reprocessors, and ambulatory surgery technicians (all $10 each), as well as CBSPD certified supervisors, managers, and management (all $15 each). Verification of certification is required when making the purchase.

Each pin is designed differently and has a different color scheme. Please see our on-line Merchandise order form for pictures and to place an order.

The CBSPD also offers insulated lunch bags ($5 each). The bags are teal and navy blue with a velcro enclosure. The CBSPD name and logo are printed in white on the front. A picture of this item is also on our on-line merchandise order form.

Replacement certification or re-certification certificates are available for $10 each as well as ID cards for $5 each. These can be requested via phone at 1-908-236-0530 or through our on-line merchandise order form.