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New CBSPD Address


As of March 1, 2019, our office has moved down the highway to a new location:

1392 US Hwy 22
Suite #1
Lebanon, NJ 08833

Exam Results Survey


Want Quicker Final Exam Results? Please take our survey HERE to let us know!

August Exam Passer List Posted


The list of all newly certified members from the Aug 2018 admin are now posted HERE.

Update on Louisiana House Bill 748


About a month ago, the Louisiana House of Delegates passed House Bill 748, which banned the use of the term "certification" issued from professional credentialing bodies unless such certification is used in conjunction with licensure. ICE is now pleased to inform you that Louisiana House Bill 748 has been amended to address the concerns of the credentialing community! The concerning language regarding the use of the term "certified" was deleted entirely by amendment, and a subsequent amendment then deleted most of the bill. That amendment was adopted and now leaves us with a bill that reads as follows:

"Pursuant to the authority in this Chapter, the governor shall review on an annual basis not less than twenty percent of the agencies engaged in regulatory and licensing activities.  Within five years, the governor shall have reviewed all such agencies."

In addition, a related bill, HB 378, has been amended to remove all references to the term "certification," other than to say that "nothing shall be construed to restrict a licensing board from requiring, as a condition of licensure or renewal of licensure, obtaining/maintaining credentials from an organization that credentials individuals in the relevant occupation, field, or industry."

We are pleased with the outcome and resolution of the concerns raised by the credentialing community. We would like to thank our members as well as other organizations in our industry who collaborated in the rapid mobilization of a coalition and made a difference!  ICE and our partners at Pillsbury will continue to keep you informed of any new developments as these amended bills move forward to the Louisiana Senate.


Denise Roosendaal, CAE
ICE Executive Director

Nancy Chobin receives a 2018 AAMI Standards Developer Award


The award will be presented during the AAMI Awards Celebration at the 2018 Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA on Saturday, June 2nd.

Congratulations Nancy!

Winter 2018 Newsletter


The Winter 2018 CBSPD Newsletter is now available HERE.

FDA Clears First Duodenoscope with Disposable Distal Cap


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first duodenoscope with a disposable distal cap, a new feature that will improve access for cleaning and reprocessing The Pentax ED34-i10T model duodenoscope is intended to provide visualization and access to the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract to treat bile duct disorders and other upper GI problems.

"We believe the new disposable distal cap represents a major step towards lowering the risk of future infections associated with these devices," said William Maisel, MD., M.P.H., acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Improving the safety of duodenoscopes is a top priority for the FDA, and we encourage companies to continue to pursue innovations that will help reduce the risk to patients."

It is critical that hospitals and healthcare facilities meticulously follow manufacturer's reprocessing instructions for cleaning and disinfecting duodenoscopes. This lowers the risk of spreading infections between patients. While the risk of infection transmission cannot be completely eliminated, the benefits of these devices continue to outweigh the risks in appropriately selected patients.

In January 2017, the FDA issued a Safety Communication alerting healthcare providers about a design issue with an earlier version of the Pentax duodenoscope, the ED-3490TK. The communication identified the potential for cracks and gaps to develop in the adhesive that seals the duodenoscope's distal cap onto the scope.

These cracks and gaps could allow fluids and tissue to leak into the duodenoscope.

The new features of the Pentax ED34-i10T include a single use detachable and disposable distal cap, simpler user interface, improved ergonomics, improved image quality, and a reduced length. The FDA granted clearance of the ED34-i10T to Pentax of America.

FDA has the release.

New Board Members Elected


Technician Representative: Deborah Hager, CSPDT from New York

GI Scope Representative: Christopher Franklin, CFER, CSIS, CSPDT from Indiana

Surgical Instrument Specialist Representative: Natoria Pettyjohn, CSIS, CSPDT from Delaware

Congratulations to our new Board members!

News Updates


Superbug' fungus spreading through NJ hospitals

By Dino Flammia, NJ101.5 News - May 2, 2017 7:41 PM

Described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a serious global health threat, a drug-resistant fungus is sickening hospitalized patients in a handful of states, and New Jersey is one of them.

New Jersey has had 17 confirmed clinical cases of the potentially-fatal infection known as Candida auris, first identified in Japan in 2009.

"We are doing ongoing investigations at impacted health care facilities and we have done several site visits with impacted facilities," a spokesperson for the state Department of Health told New Jersey 101.5.

Risk factors of C. auris, the department said, include recent surgery, diabetes, previous antibiotic and antifungal use, and central venous catheter use.

It's caused infections of the bloodstream, wounds and ears, the CDC reports. Sixty percent of people with C. auris have died, according to the CDC. However, many of the victims also suffered from other serious illnesses.

According to the CDC, the harmful form of yeast has been difficult to identify without specialized laboratory methods. Conventional lab work could lead to misidentification and inappropriate treatment, making it difficult to control the spread of the fungus.

C. auris often does not respond to commonly-used antifungal drugs, but a certain class of drugs known as echinocandins has been known to treat the infections.

Shannon Davila, director of the Institute for Quality and Patient Safety with the New Jersey Hospital Association, said professionals in the healthcare community may refer to this fungus as a "superbug" because of its resistance to common treatment - similar to other organisms such as MRSA.

According to Davila, New Jersey hospitals are challenged with keeping up with drug-resistant infections, and many hospitals are looking to improve "antibiotic stewardship."

"Really looking at how we are identifying infections," Davila explained. "Are we prescribing antibiotics appropriately? Because one of the main reasons why we see antibiotic-resistant infections is overuse of antibiotics."

A map from the CDC, last updated in April, shows the fungus has hit six states. Nearly 40 cases were reported in New York.


A topic page on the 2011 NIOSH Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers was recently posted on the NIOSH website (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/healthcareHSPS/). This page represents a one-stop resource for information on survey objectives, methods, and findings related to selected chemical hazards commonly found in healthcare settings. Links are provided to published articles and literature resources. The survey instrument is also available upon request.

-- Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution announces accreditation of Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor and Certified in Sterile Processing Management certifications. --

October 12, 2015 - 400 am Eastern

It is with great pride the CBSPD Board of Directors announces the CBSPD Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER) and Certified in Sterile Processing Management (CSPM) certifications have each received a 5 year accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

NCCA accredited standards help to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public. Accreditation provides third party validation that the CBSPD certification programs have met recognized national and international credentialing industry standards for development, implementation and maintenance of our certifications that assess professional competency.

The Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor is the only accredited certification program of this type.

-- Federal Agency Alerts: Addressing Device Reprocessing Challenges --

September 19, 2015 - 200 am Eastern


This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued two separate communications addressing instrument reprocessing concerns. The first, a September 11, 2015, joint alert by the CDC and FDA, identifies an immediate need to review procedures for cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing reusable devices. Another communication was released by the FDA on September 17, 2015, to address flexible bronchoscope reprocessing concerns.

What follows is a summary of the two alerts, along with links to the full communications.

CDC and FDA: Immediate Need to Review Procedures for Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sterilizing Reusable Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are alerting healthcare providers and facilities about the public health need to properly maintain, clean and disinfect or sterilize reusable medical devices. Recent infection control lapses due to non-compliance with recommended reprocessing procedures highlight a critical gap in patient safety.

Healthcare facilities that utilize reusable medical devices are urged to immediately review current reprocessing practices at their facility to ensure they are complying with all steps as directed by the device manufacturers, and have in place appropriate policies and procedures that are consistent with current standards and guidelines. The full alert, which outlines specific steps that can be taken to minimize risks associated with reprocessing reusable medical devices, can be accessed here.

FDA Communication Addresses Flexible Bronchoscope Reprocessing Concerns

On September 17, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shared preliminary information regarding infections associated with the use of reprocessed flexible bronchoscopes. Although this information is limited, healthcare providers may benefit from awareness of the issues FDA is seeing and of steps they can take to mitigate possible risks to patients. The FDA has undertaken an ongoing comprehensive investigation into infections associated with reprocessed reusable medical devices, working with federal partners, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to better understand the critical factors contributing to device-associated patient infection and how to best mitigate them.

For recommendations for healthcare facilities and staff that reprocess flexible bronchoscopes and details on the FDA's activities, please refer to this FDA Safety Communication and MedWatch Safety Alert.

-- New Board Members Elected --

September 7, 2015 - 300 am Eastern

Last week, we closed the voting for the two vacant positions we had on our Board of Directors. We tallied all the votes, and we are pleased to announce our new representatives:

Technician: Michelle Milner from Abita Springs, LA. Worked at UNC Hospital.

Management: Steven "Travis" Paluck from St. Louis, MO. Travis is the manager for the Central Sterilization Department as well as the OR Supplies Management department at St. Anthony’s Medical Center.

Congratulations Michelle and Travis! We welcome you to the CBSPD Board!

-- Connecticut passes CS/SPD Certification Bill & AAMI Standard ST-91 Published --

June 7, 2015 - 500 am Eastern

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the long-anticipated legislation (Public Act No. 15-11) into law, which will require all CS/SPD staff to have certification credentials from an accredited organization. For anyone seeking a job in Connecticut as a Central Service/Sterile Processing and Distribution department (CS/SPD) technician, starting next year, they will need to get registered and certified according to new legislation slated to take effect in January 2016.

Key language in the bill, effective January 1, 20016, states that no person shall practice as a central service technician unless he or she has:
  • Successfully passed a nationally-accredited central service exam for CS technicians and holds and maintains credentials as a certified registered central service technician credential administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) or a certified sterile processing and distribution technician credential administered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution Inc. (CBSPD); or
  • Was employed or otherwise contracted for services as a CS technician in a healthcare facility before January 1, 2016 or obtains within two years of hire or contract with a healthcare facility, a certified registered CS technician credential administered by IAHCSMM or a certified sterile processing and distribution technician credential administered by CBSPD; and
  • Must complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education annually related to the functions of a CS technician.
This makes Connecticut the third state, behind New York and New Jersey, to mandate certification for healthcare employees who decontaminate and sterilize reusable medical instruments and devices. IAHCSMM representatives spent the last three years lobbying for the law's adoption and educating state legislators about what CS/SPD technicians do and why having certification is critical to patient safety. More states are expected to pass similar laws, particularly with today's newer instruments becoming more complex and harder to clean. However, some healthcare facilities have refused to wait, with a growing number now implementing policies of their own that require CS certification for new and existing CS/SPD staff.


AAMI publishes national standard for flexible and semi-rigid endoscopes.  ST-91 is designed to prove end users with evidence-based recommendations for safe processing of semi-rigid and flexible endoscopes.  Contact AAMI at www.aami.org to order a copy.

-- Recommendations for processing duodenoscopes used for ERCP procedures and more --

March 23, 2015 - 525 AM EDT

Newest updates from the FDA/CDC. Click HERE!


November 5, 2014 - 1 AM EST


The recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease has raised questions about the correct handling of Ebola contaminated biohazardous medical waste. This joint advisory statement is intended to provide guidance to personnel and health care organizations for handling biohazardous medical waste, including waste contaminated with the Ebola virus.

This statement addresses the use of sterilizers for processing biohazardous waste in the health care facility. This document does not address transportation of biohazardous waste, or processing of contaminated reusable medical devices and textiles.

Recognizing that sterilization modalities other than moist heat may be used for processing biohazardous waste, the term “sterilizer” is used rather than “autoclave” as used in other guidelines.

This is an evolving issue and healthcare professionals should review current research and incorporate new evidence into practice to mitigate occupational and patient risk associated with handling biohazardous medical waste.

AAMI, AORN, APIC, AST and IAHCSMM recommend that:

1. Health care organizations should not circumvent established protocols for handling biohazardous medical waste.
2. Biohazardous medical waste should not be brought into clean areas where processing reusable medical devices is performed.
3. Biohazardous medical waste should not be inactivated in a sterilizer that is used for processing reusable medical devices.
4. Sterilizers used to inactivate biohazardous medical waste should be designed and validated for that particular purpose.
5. Organizations should work with infection preventionists and keep abreast of evolving professional and regulatory guidelines for handling biohazardous medical waste.


October 16, 2014 - 300 PM EDT

As you are aware, there is much concern about the Ebola virus in the United States.  To protect healthcare workers, the Centers for Disease Control have published extensive guidelines for personnel to protect themselves.  Visit http://www.cdc.gov.

The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the body fluids (blood, urine, feces, saliva, and other secretions) of a person who is sick with Ebola, or with objects like needles or instruments that have been contaminated with the virus, or infected animals.  At this time, ebola is not spread through the air or by food or water.

According to the CDC, When treating patients, healthcare workers MUST wear: gloves, gown (fluid resistant or impermeable), shoe covers, eye protection (goggles or face shield), and a fluid resistant facemask.

Additional PPE may be required in certain situations (e.g., copious amounts of blood, other body fluids, vomit, or feces present in the environment), including but not limited to double gloving, disposable shoe covers, leg and head coverings.
Personnel performing cleaning and disinfection MUST wear recommended PPE and consider use of additional barriers (e.g. fluid resistant head and leg coverings) if needed.

Face protection (face shield or facemask with goggles) MUST be worn when performing tasks such as liquid waste disposal that can generate splashes.
All non-dedicated, non-disposable medical equipment used for patient care should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer's instructions and hospital policies.

Apply PPE correctly; make sure it fits and covers all skin and mucous membranes (e.g. mouth, eyes, nose).  Take care when handling sharps.

Remove PPE correctly.  The CDC has published posters to serve as a reminder how to safely remove PPE.  If you are not sure of the correct procedure, check with your department manager or infection control preventionist.

-- Newly Elected Surgical Instrument Specialist Board Member  --

July 10, 2014 - 408 PM EDT

The CBSPD is pleased to announce and welcome our newly elected Board member for the Surgical Instrument Specialist position, Rebecca Langston.


We are thrilled to have you to be part of our organization!


November 24, 2013 - 139 AM EST

The CBSPD is soliciting for NEW Item Writers/Reviewers for these two CBSPD exams.  We will train you in how to write a question.  You will receive CEUS for your participation.  Be part of this prestigious Committee.  Representation is needed from all areas of the US including northeast, southeast, central, midwest, northwest and southwest.


1.    Minimum of 2 years’ experience in your profession.

2.    You must be CBSPD certified as an Ambulatory Surgery SPD Technician or Certified Flexible Endoscope reprocessor .

3.    You must be available for regular training/review meetings which are usually scheduled for Saturday mornings.

4.    Must sign a letter of confidentiality.

If interested, please contact the CBSPD office at :mailbox@sterileprocessing.org.  We will send a form to you for completion.

Be an important part of your profession and earn CEUS as well!


November 12, 2013 - 945 PM EST

PRESS RELEASE – CBSPD REORGANIZES FOR THE FUTURE – Technician Exam Received Re-Accreditation until 2018.

At the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Certification Board for Sterile Processing & Distribution, Inc. changes in the administration of the organization were unanimously approved by the Board.  Nancy Chobin, RN, CSPM, founder, has retired from the position as Executive Director of the CBSPD.  According to Nancy, “the past 25 years have been the most rewarding experience of my professional career.   I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity of starting a program that has grown to be world recognized as the leader in competency-based certification programs for personnel providing reprocessing services.”   One of the most fulfilling accomplishments was achieving accreditation for our technician, supervisor and manager exams through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  Our technician examination has been accredited since 1993.  We are proud to announce the technician exam has been awarded re-accreditation through 2018.  The Manager and Supervisor certification examinations were merged last fall.  The CBSPD will be completing an application for accreditation of the new Management credential in 2014.

Over the past four years, Karen Swanson, LPN, CSPM, Sterile Processing Team Leader at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, CT has been training to assume leadership of the CBSPD.  The change became effective November 1, 2013.  Karen has been a long time CBSPD supporter and for the past five years has chaired the CBSPD Item Review Committee.  Chobin states “I know the CBSPD will continue to be an influential organization in healthcare.  Karen is prepared to meet whatever challenges lie ahead for the CBSPD and healthcare in general”.  Nancy Chobin will be an advisor to the board and assist with Item Writing and Item Review.

According to Karen Swanson, “It has been a privilege to work closely with Nancy since 2000 when I first became an item writer and board member.  Nancy has devoted her life to this organization and I am honored to have been chosen to follow in her footsteps. Going forward we all will face many challenges in healthcare. The CBSPD will continue to be in the forefront providing competency -based certification to those who are responsible for the safety of the patients we serve.”

Board of Directors, CBSPD

-- NY State Passes Mandatory Certification  --

September 11, 2013

The CBSPD is proud to have been part of this effort and will continue to support required certificaiton in the US and internationally.

Go to the link below and scroll down to the video and click on it.




August 1, 2013

The Board of Directors of the CERTIFICATION BOARD FOR STERILE PROCESSING & DISTRIBUTION , INC. congratulates  New York State in becoming the second state (next to New Jersey ) to pass legislation requiring certification for sterile processing technicians.  The CBSPD supported this legislation and is excited that it has passed.

This is a great day for sterile processing and a big step forward in patient safety initiatives.  The CBSPD will continue to support all efforts to achieve certification in all remaining states.

The CBSPD is a free-standing, independent certification board whose certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.  The CBSPD is ready to assist sterile processing personnel to succeed in this endeavor.

Board of Directors, CBSPD

-- Announcement of New Exam Payment Rules  --


For all exams going forward.  If the applicant sends in to the CBSPD office their completed application and payment up to 2 weeks before the current application deadline, the standard exam fee will apply ($125 for all exams except the Mangement).  If the completed application and payment is received after that time, there will be a $10 increase in pay.  So the cost will be $135 for all but the managment exam (that exam will be $160).

For credit card payments, there will be the standard $3 charge on top of the normal payment (late or early).

If the candidate registers late, and have a company check already made out for the $125 (or $150 for the management), ea., then the CBSPD will register the candidate(s) and allow them to test. However, the CBSPD won't release the candidate(s) grades until the additional money is paid.

-- Announcement of New Management Exam --


January 2013

Dear Certified Sterile Processing Supervisor or Manager:

In November, 2012, the CBSPD merged the Certified Sterile Processing Supervisor and Certified Sterile Processing Manager examinations into one credential called “Certified in Sterile Processing Management”. This decision was based upon data collected that revealed minor differences in the responsibilities for these positions. This exam is for supervisors and managers as well. Job Analyses performed by the CBSPD in 2012 revealed a consensus from the survey participants that the exams should be merged as well as the new exam content.

This letter is to advise you that your current certification as a CSPDS or CSPDM is NOT affected by this new credential. As long as you continue to meet the re-certification criteria, you can keep your original credential and do not have to re-take an exam.

If you have any questions, please contact us at: mailbox@sterileprocessing.org or 908.236.0530.

Thank you for your support of the Certification Board for Sterile Processing & Distribution, Inc.

Continued success in tour sterile processing profession.


CBSPD, Inc. Board of Directors

-- All August Exam Passers Posted --


The list of all the Aug 2012 exam passers has been posted HERE.

-- Updates --

Please note: The existing supervisor and manager exams will be combined into a new management exam starting in Nov 2012. The supervisor and manager certifications will still be valid until you fail to re-certify. There will also be a new technician exam given in Nov 2012. These 2 new exams will not have a preliminary result given for the Nov administration. We will return to giving prelim results on exam day in Feb 2013.

We will be updating the new exam pages this month so stay tuned for more details on the new exams. Both exams will now only be 100 questions and the time to complete the exams will be 2 hours. The tech exam will remain at $125 and the new management exam will remain at $150.

In other news....

Frequently Asked Questions: ASP STERRAD® CYCLESURE® 24 Biological Indicator (BI) (P/N 14324) Recall can be found HERE with this file to download.

-- New CBSPD Office Address!

March 7, 2012 - 2 am Eastern

As of today, we are moving to a bigger office in the same complex we were at before. We are in suite C-1 now. Our new address is below.

148 Main Street
Suite C-1
Lebanon, NJ 08833

We will be updating all of our order forms online to reflect this change. The new applications for the cert exams which will be ready by the end of this month will have this new address change. Please be sure to send in your exam applications starting in May 2012 to our new address.

Our phone numbers and email will remain the same.

Our office will be closed today and possibly on Thursday as we complete the move. You can call us and leave a message and as soon as we are settled in, we will return your call. You can also email us.

Thank you for being patient during this time that we move.

CBSPD Board of Directors

-- Many Updates

February 27, 2012 - 515 am Eastern

The November 2011 exam passers have been posted HERE.

The February 2012 exam passers should be posted in a couple of weeks or sooner.

The February 2012 exam results for the USA were mailed out on 2/23/12. Please allow 5-7 business days for the mail to reach you.

August 2012 re-certification packets were mailed out last week. They are also posted on-line on our downloads page.

A recent video update worth looking at...Why Education/Certification Matters! See links below!

Link 1 and Link 2.

-- New Surgical Instrument Specialist Exam in August / New Books Soon
-- 2011 Multisociety Guideline on Reprocessing Flexible GI Scopes

June 18, 2011 - 1230 am Eastern

We are on schedule to introduce our new exam in August for the Surgical Instrument Specialist Certification. We are working on getting a new study guide printed for this exam, and we will also be selling an additional instrument book to go along with it. The one main thing to note with this new exam is that you MUST be already certified as a CBSPD SPD Technician first before you can sit for this new instrument exam. Those that were previously certified as a surgical instrument tech and processor will still have a valid certification with us under those names, however, those certifications will NOT be carried over to this new credential. If any of those certificants who hold the surgical instrument tech/processor credential, will have to pass the new surgical instrument specialist exam to obtain the new credential. We will be updating the new candidate bulletin and surgical instrument web page online within the next week or so. Stay tuned for more information.

There are new guidelines for reprocessing flexible gi scopes posted here to download.

-- Steris System 1/Feb 2011 Passers/Oct 2011 Re-cert Packets --

May 5, 2011 - 415 am Eastern

There has been an update from the FDA on the Steris System 1. Check out this link HERE for details on this important announcement.

All of the people that passed our Feb 2011 certification exams are now posted on our website HERE.

For those that are due to re-certify in October 2011, you can download a copy of the re-cert packet from our downloads page HERE. We will be mailing out the hard copies within the next 2 weeks. If you have changed your address within the last 5 years, please contact our office to be sure you receive your packet in the mail.

-- Many Announcements --

March 15, 2011 - 220 am Eastern

The Candidate bulletins with exam applications for the May 2011 exams are now online. Please see our exam page links at the top of the page in yellow or the downloads page to download a copy.

We are in the process of grading the international results from the February admin. We should have them mailed out within a week.

The winter newsletter is now online HERE. We will be sending the newsletter to our printer this week. It will be mailed out to all of our certified members as soon as the print job is done.

The new list of re-certified members from April 2010 is online HERE. The October 2010 list is delayed at this time because there are still some members that have extensions that were granted. We hope to have the October list posted soon.

The Ambulatory Surgery Tech job analysis survey has ended and we are processing the results now. This data will assist in updating that exam which we will start to work on as soon as the survey results are processed. For those that signed up for the free gift, we will be mailing them out soon. Thanks to all that participated. We will be posting the next survey for the GI Scope exam. Stay tuned for that very soon.

We now have a vacancy on our board of directors for the spd technician position. We will be holding an election this summer, but before then, we will be accepting nominations. We will have info on this soon as well.

Stay tuned for updates.

January 3, 2011 - 3AM Eastern

The complete list of all the new members who passed the November 2010 certification exams is posted HERE.

Anyone that took the exams outside of the USA, please note, we just sent out your final exam results recently and you should have them soon.

-- The Costs of Surgical Instrument Training --

August 16, 2010 - 1150 pm Eastern

A new paper written by the CBSPD Executive Director, Nancy Chobin is now available to download by clicking HERE.

-- CDC Hand Hygiene In Healthcare Settings Website --

June 4, 2010 - 130 am Eastern

CDC Launches New Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings Website

In association with the World Health Organization’s "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands" annual initiative, CDC has launched a new “Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings” website.  This site provides healthcare workers and patients with a variety of resources including guidelines for providers, patient empowerment materials, the latest technological advances in hand hygiene adherence measurement, frequently asked questions, and links to promotional and educational tools published by the WHO, universities, and health departments.

Learn more at http://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html

-- Update On Steris System 1 and Criterion Newsletter --

February 2, 2010 - 1159 pm Eastern

Please check out our web page HERE for the latest announcement.

Our winter edition of the Criterion newsletter is now available online HERE. We will be mailing them out to all certified members over the next couple of weeks.

-- Important Info from FDA on Steris System 1 Processor --

December 8, 2009 - 440 pm Eastern

Check out this link HERE for details on this important announcement.

-- New Vendor Certification Page --

October 5, 2009 - 615 pm Eastern

If you are a vendor, we have a new web page for you to visit if you are looking to get certified with us. Please click HERE!

-- FDA: Ongoing Safety Review of Arthroscopic Shavers --

July 28, 2009 - 1130 pm Eastern

FDA has become aware of instances in which pieces of tissue have remained within certain arthroscopic shavers, a device used in some orthopedic surgical procedures, even after the cleaning process was believed to have been completed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Reports submitted to FDA suggested that the tissue retained was not evident to the naked eye. Multiple manufacturers of these devices recently informed their customers of this situation and reiterated the importance of proper cleaning procedures.

The FDA is concerned about this because retained tissue in these devices can compromise the entire sterilization process. They are actively working with the manufacturers of these devices to gather more data about this situation and to understand its potential public health impact. As the FDA obtains more information that better defines the situation and determines whether there are specific risks, information will be provided to facilities, healthcare providers and the public.

The FDA encourages facilities that use any of these types of devices to evaluate the adequacy of their cleaning procedures. Hospitals should consider taking the following steps to minimize any potential risk to patients:

Be sure that all personnel responsible for device cleaning and sterilization at your facility are aware of and comply with all steps in the manufacturer's instructions for thoroughly cleaning these devices prior to sterilization. Please refer to the specific instructions provided in the labeling or user manual for each brand and/or model of shaver your facility uses.

Consider inspecting the inside of the devices following cleaning to ensure that they have been cleared of any tissue or fluids. There may be multiple ways to accomplish this. As one example, the facility that brought this situation to our attention uses a 3mm video scope to inspect the channels of the shaver handpiece.

If you discover retained tissue in arthroscopic shavers at your facility after following the manufacturer- recommended cleaning procedures, you may file a voluntary report here. These voluntary reports will help gather additional information related to this problem and assess its public health impact. Visit here for more information.

Source: HPN Magazine

-- Joint Commission Revises Flash Sterilization Survey Standards --

June 22, 2009 - 1130 pm Eastern

The Joint Commission has been in discussion with multiple professional and trade organizations in regards to the common and proper use of sterilization using steam. Recently, some decisions have been made which will have an impact on the interpretation of standards as well as the survey process.

In reviewing this method of sterilization, several issues have emerged including:

  • The terminology used to describe the sterilization process. Flash sterilization is the most common term used to describe certain types of steam sterilization that do not utilize a full (also known as terminal) cycle. Originally, this term meant sterilizing unwrapped instruments using steam for 3 minutes, at 270 F. at 27 to 28 lbs of pressure. Over the last several decades, a number of improvements have been made to this process, such as longer exposure of the instruments to steam, the use of special trays and packs to hold and protect the instruments, and the routine use of biological indicators. To help sort out confusion about nomenclature, this document will only refer to steam sterilization as described above (3 minutes at 270 F at 27 to 28 lbs of pressure).
  • Indication-related issues that involve the selection of the sterilization cycle or method. Previously, the selection of a sterilization cycle or method was a primary focus during a survey. Now surveyors will be looking more closely into all aspects of the sterilization method or cycle (see the next bulleted item regarding process-related issues).  Examples of findings would be a high percentage of steam sterilization using less than a full sterilization cycle, as well as exclusive use of this process for certain types of instruments.
  • Process-related issues involving the way that a given sterilization method is executed.  Examples of findings would be failure to adequately clean the instruments before sterilization, lack of chemical indicators, and transporting uncovered instruments back to the operating room after they have been sterilized. 

Based on discussions with experts in the field, professional organizations, and government organizations, The Joint Commission has decided to refocus its survey efforts on all of the critical processes included in sterilization.  If a complete and effective process of sterilization is used, it will be considered an effective sterilization method.  Therefore, surveyors will review the critical steps of disinfection and sterilization to determine if the process is appropriate.

Here is a brief overview of the three critical steps of reprocessing:

  1. Cleaning and decontamination.  All visible soil must be removed prior to sterilization because steam and other sterilants cannot penetrate soil, particularly organic matter.  Manufacturers’ instructions are available for all instruments; these include directions for the cleaning and decontamination process.  Some smooth metal instruments may be easily brushed clean, while complex products may require disassembly and special cleaning techniques.  Many manufacturers specify that an enzymatic soak be used as well.
  2. Sterilization.  Most sterilization is accomplished via steam, but other methods are also available.  Steam sterilization of all types, including flashing, must meet parameters (time, temperature and pressure) specified by both the manufacturer of the sterilizer, the maker of any wrapping or packaging, and the manufacturer of the surgical instrument.  In addition to these instructions, parametric, chemical and biological controls must be used as designed and directed by their manufacturers.
  3. Storage or return to the sterile field.  Each newly sterilized instrument must be carefully protected to ensure that it is not re-contaminated.  For full steam sterilization cycles, packs of instruments are wrapped and sealed.  Instruments subjected to steam sterilization using methods other than full cycle sterilization may be transported in “flash pans” or other devices specifically designed for the prevention of contamination during and after the steam process.

In summary, Joint Commission surveyors will focus on all of the critical steps and the integrity of the sterilization process.

Surveyors will, among other activities:

  • Observe instruments from the time they leave one operating room to when they are returned to the next.
  • Ask health care workers to provide the manufacturers’ instructions for instrument sterilization, and to describe and demonstrate how instruments are being cleaned and decontaminated according to those written instructions.
  • Observe the cleaning of instruments.  Rinsing is rarely enough to properly remove soil from instruments; meticulous cleaning is needed.
  • Verify that staff members are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Observe the sterilization process.  The surveyor will ask for the manufacturer’s instructions for the following items: the sterilizer, wrapping or packing, and the instruments.
  • Review sterilization logs.  Surveyors will ask about parametric, chemical and biological indicators.
  • Observe the return of instruments to the sterile field and verify that they are being protected from recontamination.

For more information, please see the CDC/HICPAC guideline at this link:

Please feel free to submit any questions at the following web address:

-- Important News on Chemical Indicators --

April 11, 2009 - 6 pm Eastern

Due to the number of emails and telephone calls received from around the US about class 6 chemical indicators, a communication was made with the FDA to get clarification about these devices:

Dear Sheila

I sit on the AAMI Sterilization Committee with you and would greatly appreciate some information.  I work for the Saint  Barnabas Health Care System in NJ and some of our facilities are being asked to switch to Class VI indicators to release all loads (including implants).  As you know, AAMI has not covered these indicators.  I am of the position that since these indicators do not contain spores we should not use them for implants or for routine or qualification testing of sterilizers.

The company’s literature states they can be used for all loads and I am being told the sales rep stated that the FDA cleared their product to be used in lieu of a BI.  Any clarification would be greatly appreciated so I can prepare my rebuttal.

Thank you
Nancy Chobin, RN, CSPDM

On 4/10/09 at 9:16 AM Sheila Murphey responded:

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for your email. If the Steris sales representative stated that FDA cleared the Steris Verify SixCess Chemical Indicator to be used in place of a Biological Indicator, then he made an incorrect statement. FDA cleared this device as a "Chemical Indicator". Chemical Indicators are used in the load release decisions made for all sterilizer loads for which they are used. Chemical Indicators measure ONLY the physical parameters of the sterilization cycle. Any decision made based on the use of a Chemical Indicator to monitor a sterilization load would apply to all items in a load, since the CI does not distinguish among items in any load (neither does a Biological Indicator).

However, the JCAHO and CDC have been recommending for many years that the microbicidal performance of a sterilizer cycle used to sterilize implantable devices should be monitored by a Biological Indicator (along with a Chemical Indicator). The release decisions on such loads should be made based on the results of the cycle parameter readouts, the CI result AND the result for the Biological Indicator.

Chemical Indicators have a valid and useful role to play in the monitoring of sterilization cycles and they are often and appropriately used without a BI. However, all Chemical Indicators measure ONLY physical cycle parameters. FDA holds all Chemical Indicators to the same basic performance standards. We do not consider that  one CI is "better" than another. Indeed, we do not permit "comparative claims". Hospitals have been making load release decisions based on CIs alone for many years for certain loads but requiring the use of a BI as well as as CI for other, specified loads such as loads with implants and loads used in qualification testing.

The Steris Verify SixCess CI is a Chemical Indicator. It may be used as you would use any other Chemical Indicator. However, it is NOT a Biological Indicator and should not be used in place of a BI.

I hope that this information will be of use. Please contact me should any further questions arise.


Sheila A. Murphey, MD
Branch Chief, Infection Control Devices Branch
Division of Anesthesiology, General Hospital, Infection Control and Dental Devices
Office of Device Evaluation, Center for Devices and Radiologic Health
9200 Corporate Blvd Room 340H Mail Stop HFZ-480
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone 240-276-3706
Fax 240-276-3789

-- New Link from CDC --

November 21, 2008 - 315 pm Eastern

There is a new document out from the CDC. Its for Guidelines for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities. There is a link to download the pdf file as well as other downloads from the CDC located HERE.

-- New Instructional CD for Best Selling Textbook --

November 5, 2008 - 5 pm Eastern

**ATTENTION EDUCATORS AND INSTRUCTORS....Sterile Processing University is now offering a CD with power point presentations of all 10 chapters of the Basics of Sterile Processing textbook (the textbook recommended for our CBSPD exams). Each chapter is outlined to facilitate teaching lessons. The CD cost is $150 each. Those that purchase the CD at the full price will be eligible to receive the updates to the lessons (as the textbook is updated) at a reduced cost of only $25 for all the updates. Educators and Instructors ORDER NOW HERE!

-- CBSPD Receives New NCCA Accreditation! --

June 23, 2008 - 930pm Eastern

The CBSPD is proud to announce that it has once again received accreditation for its Technician, Supervisor, and Manager certifications from the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies).
See our official press release.

Please note, our surgical processor and ambulatory surgery certifications are pending approval at this time. We fully expect those certifications to be accredited as well.

-- New Office Policy --

April 25, 2008 - 1145 pm Eastern

Please note, the CBSPD, Inc. NO LONGER will accept purchase orders of any kind. All payments for orders must be made in advance with a credit card, bank or facility check.

-- Press Release / Final Exam Passers to be posted --

September 19, 2007 - 4 pm Eastern

Please see our latest press release on the IAHCSMM/ASHCSP merger here.

We will be posting the final list with stats for the August certification exams on the downloads page. Expect the final list (that now includes our international passers) to be posted by later tonight.