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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 Program
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.



Karen Swanson, L.P.N, CFER, CSPM, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Test Development Liaison, E-mail
Nancy Chobin, R.N., CFER, CSPM, Board Liaison, Chairperson, Item Writing and Item Review Committees, Email
Sue McManus, R.N., CEH, CSPM, Co-Chair Item Review Committee, Chairperson, Ethics Committee, Email
Jeanette Bakker, CSPM, Co-Chair, CEU Review Committee, Email
Teckla Ann Maresca, L.P.N., CSPM, Retired, Board Member Emeritus
M. Eleanor Reilly, B.S.N., CSPDM, Retired, Board Member Emeritus
Margaret "Peggy" Ryan, R.N., CSPDM, Retired, Board Member Emeritus


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


Standards and Guidelines

The CBSPD’s 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 a member of the the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

ACCREDITATION - The CBSPD's Technician, GI Scope and Management certifications are accredited by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)...which is widely known as the "Source for Credentialing Solutions". All of the other CBSPD certifications are pending approval.  


Test Development and Administration

The CBSPD Board contracts with Lasergrade/PSI, Vancouver, WA, which provides all test administration services including secure computerized exams, proctor selection, test site selection, scoring of examinations and reporting of scores to the CBSPD, Inc. All psychometric services are contracted to BoCol; Burlington, NJ.


Purpose of Certification

The CBSPD is committed to the certification of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel regardless of their workplace setting. Certification provides internationally recognized competency-based measurable standards. The objectives of the certification program are to:
  • To promote the education of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel through certification to ensure safe and effective levels of practice to protect the public.

  • To recognize healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel who have achieved certification having met measurable standards for the profession.

  • To promote continuing education for those individuals working in the healthcare sterile processing and distribution profession.

  • To encourage re-certification by those individuals previously recognized as certified.
  • To maintain a publicly accessible certification registry of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel.

  • To promote professional accountability for healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel.

The CBSPD Certification Program

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. are given on computer. For tests outside the U.S., exams are still given 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.

Our exams are scored using a "scaled score" system. Many organizations do this as well. All of our exams have a passing scaled score of "70". 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 to the 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 to answer 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.


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.