"Professional Competence Equals Professional Pride"
SPD Technician Certification Exam
Eligibility Requirements & Info
The CBSPD does not discriminate among applicants as to age, sex,
race, religion, national origin, disability, or marital status. The
examination is only offered in English in the United States. Candidates
must be able to interpret, speak, and write English.
Prior to the examination deadline, only **ONE** of
the following requirements MUST be met in order to qualify
to take this examination.
- Completion of 12 months of full-time employment or equivalent
part-time hours performing SPD activities
(provide verification signed by your manager on your exam application). ...OR
- Completion of a Central Service/SPD Training Course with a passing
grade of 70 or higher (provide copy of certificate/grade from your instructor). ...OR
- Completion of 6 months (each) of full-time employment or equivalent
part-time hours in related allied health (clinical healthcare profession) as well as performing SPD activities in CS/SPD (provide verification signed by your manager on your exam application). ...OR
- Completion of 12 months of healthcare product sales or service
related to the SPD profession (provide verification signed by your employer on your exam application).
for exam each time you take it in the United States:
$125 (for payment by money order/cashier's check or Work Facility check, **NO PERSONAL CHECKS**). The
cost is $125 if your completed application and payment is received up
to 2 weeks before the current application deadline. After that time,
the cost wil be $135.
If the candidate registers late, and have a company
check already made for the $125 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.
(for payment by credit card. This includes a non-refundable $3
convenience fee per person for using your credit card. All chargeback's
will be assessed a fee of $20). The
cost is $128 if your completed application and payment is received up
to 2 weeks before the current application deadline. After that time,
the cost wil be $138.
Number of questions on exam: 100 (multiple choice given on a computer at a Lasergrade/PSI testing center)
Time to complete exam: 2 hours
Passing scaled score for exam: 70
PASS/FAIL Results are given the day of exam (for those testing on a
computer), FINAL results are mailed to you by 3 weeks after the end of
the exam window. Passing candidates only get a passing status with no
score given, while failing candidates get a score as well as a
diagnostic report on what areas on the exam they did well/poor in. NOTE: failing candidates will now only receive a score and diagnostic report with their FINAL results.
**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.
is no limit on how many times you can take the exam if you fail,
however if you do fail, you must take the entire exam over again and
pay the entire fee as well. You cannot take the exam more than once in
the same exam window.
"International" Certification Length: 5 years
Points needed to re-certify: 100 (candidate keeps track of points over the 5 years)
**CBSPD awards 50 points for full time employment over the 5 years
(with verification). A candidate would then only need to earn 10
points per year to re-certify.
Cost of re-certification for another 5 years: $100
Exam Dates & Test Sites
Click HERE for exam dates and application deadlines.
Click HERE for Lasergrade/PSI test sites in the United States and Canada.
Click HERE for a list of "independent" training courses (not associated with CBSPD).
SPD Tech Exam Outline
**These areas will be covered in the study material for this exam.
Roles and Responsibilities (14% of Exam)
Life Sciences (9% of Exam)
- Knowledge of potential workplace hazards (e.g., wet floors,
electrical outlets, EtO, fumes, body fluids, microorganisms, sharps, latex
allergy, medical waste).
- Knowledge of ergonomic considerations and body
- Knowledge of policies and procedures related to sterile
processing functions (e.g., Safety, Infection Control, Disaster, MSDS, incident
- Knowledge of federal, state and local guidelines, standards
and regulations (e.g., OSHA, FDA, CDC, EPA).
- Knowledge of professional standards and ethics related to
patient and employee confidentiality.
- Knowledge of professional standards related to personal
hygiene and dress codes.
- Knowledge of function and work flow/traffic flow of the
sterile processing department.
- Knowledge of processes for loaner instrumentation.
Decontamination and Disinfection (21% of Exam)
- Knowledge of microbiology related to cleaning, disinfecting
- Knowledge of factors in disease transmission and modes of
cross transmission (e.g., blood, skin, air).
- Knowledge of types of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, virus,
- Knowledge of microbial growth conditions (e.g., temperature,
- Knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology.
- Knowledge of relationship between instrument type and types
of tissue and body structure.
- Knowledge of basic medical terminology.
Preparation and Handling (15% of Exam)
- Knowledge of types of chemicals and their uses (e.g.,
detergents, environmental disinfectants, enzymatics, germicides).
- Knowledge of high level disinfectants and sterilant
chemicals (e.g., peracetic acid).
- Knowledge of characteristics of chemicals (e.g.,
concentration, pH, expiration date,
level of disinfection, contact time).
- Knowledge of disposal methods of biohazardous substances,
chemicals and medical waste.
- Knowledge of Standard Precautions and Personal Protective
- Knowledge of operation of decontamination equipment (e.g.,
washer/sterilizer, washer/decontaminator, sonic).
- Knowledge of manufacturer's instructions for use of
- Knowledge of methods of cleaning, disinfecting and
decontaminating instruments, rigid container systems and equipment.
- Knowledge of factors affecting decontamination (e.g.,
procedures, water procedures, water impurities, opening and disassembling).
- Knowledge of manufacturer’s instructions for care and handling
of instrumentation during cleaning and disinfection.
- Knowledge of manufacturer's recommendations regarding
operation, maintenance, cleaning and troubleshooting of departmental and
patient care equipment.
- Knowledge of basic care and handling of instruments and equipment.
- Knowledge of procedures for handling CJD contaminated
supplies and equipment.
Sterilization (20% of Exam)
- Knowledge of instrument terminology and anatomy (e.g., jaws,
shanks, box locks, rings).
- Knowledge of types and functions of instruments (e.g.,
endoscopic, power, microsurgical, robotic).
- Knowledge of types of instrument construction (e.g., finish,
- Knowledge of basic principles of packaging and set
- Knowledge of characteristics of packaging materials in
relationship to sterilization methods.
- Knowledge of use of rigid container systems.
- Knowledge of inspection and testing procedures for
instruments and equipment.
- Knowledge of linen pack and tray construction (e.g., size,
shape, density, weight).
- Knowledge of manufacturer’s instructions for processing
requirements of instruments and equipment.
- Knowledge of use and placement of chemical indicators for
trays, packs and rigid containers.
- Knowledge of use of sterility maintenance covers.
- Knowledge of tamper evident seals.
Sterile Storage, Inventory Management and Distribution (11% of Exam)
- Knowledge of types of sterilizers and methods of
sterilization (e.g., steam, gas plasma, EtO, dry heat, ozone, vapor phase
hydrogen peroxide, etc.)
- Knowledge of sterilization cycles and parameters (e.g., time,
temperature, concentration, steam under pressure, humidity).
- Knowledge of operation testing and monitoring of sterilizers.
- Knowledge of purpose, interpretation and documentation of
sterilization printouts, charts, biological indicators, chemical indicators and
- Knowledge of types, uses and documentation of biological and
- Knowledge of loading and unloading criteria and procedures
for all types of sterilization methods.
- Knowledge of documentation procedures for lot number, date
and load contents.
- Knowledge of procedures for wet packs (e.g., causes,
- Knowledge of cleaning procedures for sterilization equipment.
- Knowledge of recall procedures for facility sterilized items.
- Knowledge of recall procedures for outside vendor
- Knowledge of factors that affect shelf life (e.g., moisture,
- Knowledge of storage requirements and shelving design (e.g.,
humidity, air exchange, placement).
- Knowledge of stock rotation (e.g., FIFO).
- Knowledge of different types of inventory management.
- Knowledge of distribution systems (e.g., case carts, par
level, exchange cart, Just in Time Delivery, automated).
- Knowledge of receiving systems (e.g., corrugated boxes,
- Knowledge of procedures for documenting supply and equipment
- Knowledge of procedures for tracking usage of
medical/surgical supplies, patient care equipment and specialty carts.
7. Ethics (10% of Exam)
- Knowledge of compliance with regulatory standards, best practices, procedures and/or
guidelines that impact on patient, employee or environmental safety; reporting
instances of non-compliance.
- Knowledge of professional
behavior (e.g., non-compliance with dress code; disruptive behavior; theft;
willful damage to equipment/property).
Study Material Used to
Prepare for SPD Tech Exam
Technician Package: $155 plus shipping/handling.
1. CBSPD Technician Study guide - 10th Edition
2. SPU's The Basics of Sterile Processing Textbook - 4th Edition
3. SPU's The Basics of Sterile Processing Workbook - 4th Edition
Order Now on-line by Credit Card HERE (to get the on-line discount).
If you want to pay by Facility check or money order, click HERE to download an order form. We will ONLY accept PRE-PAID purchase orders. You can also place an order by calling us at 1.908.236.0530. **There are NO discounts for orders sent in by mail, faxed in, or called in by phone.
Exam Application Process
1. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A NOVEMBER 2013 EXAM APPLICATION BOOKLET NOW!
2. Once you have your technician candidate bulletin, you are required to read it completely.
Filling Out Your Application
is very important to follow all instructions listed below in order to
have your application processed correctly. The application MUST be the
most recent form and old applications are not accepted. Failure to follow instructions WILL cause your application to be rejected.
1. Print (in ink) or type all information requested clearly. Writing that is not legible WILL cause delays in the registration process.
2. Read the Applicant Agreement in Section One carefully then sign and date the application. NOTE: The application is a legal document. If you falsify this agreement, it gives the CBSPD the right to cancel your registration.
YOU MUST COMPLETE SECTION TWO (EXAM ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION). IF THIS
SECTION IS NOT COMPLETE, YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE REJECTED.
EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION IS NOW COMPLETED RIGHT ON THE APPLICATION IN
THIS SECTION. Follow the directions below.
the list of exam requirements in Section Two and then check off the one
that applies to you. You only need to meet ONE of these requirements to
sit for this exam. If you do not meet at least one of these requirements, then you cannot challenge the exam.
you qualify for the exam by length of employment, THE NEXT STEP is to
have your MANAGER fill out the section directly below it where it
states “THIS INFORMATION BELOW IS TO BE FILLED OUT BY YOUR
EMPLOYER”. In this section, your manager, who is verifying your
experience, will include his/her Name, Phone Number, Work Address, and
it MUST be signed by him/her. If you qualify by length of employment
and this section is not completed, your application will be rejected.
- If you have completed a SPD tech training course, then you do not have to have your manager verify your employment. Instead, you will have to attach
a legible copy of your certificate or grade from your course instructor
showing that you passed the course with a grade of 70 or higher. If you
check off the option in Section Two for completion of a SPD tech course
and your certificate or grade from your instructor is not attached, your application will be rejected.
4. Complete Section Three of the application (Payment Information).
Check off ONE of the options for payment. You can pay by Money
Order, Work Facility Check, or Cashier’s Check for $125 up to 2 weeks before the current application deadline. After that time, the cost will be $135. Please
put your name and phone number on the Money Order or Cashier’s
Check and make payable to: CBSPD. If you want
to pay by credit card, check off that box. Please note there is a $3
non-refundable convenience fee per person for the use of your credit
card. With this in mind, the exam fee when using a credit card will be
$128 up to 2 weeks before the current application deadline. After that time, the cost will be $138. All chargeback’s will be assessed a fee of $20. We
will supply you with a receipt for your credit card transaction when we
send you your registration verification notice either in the mail with
your postcard or by email. If this section is not complete, your application will be rejected.
Send your completed an signed application with payment to our office by
the application deadline on the top of the most recent
application...AND NO LATER.
Send to: CBSPD, 148 MAIN STREET, SUITE C-1, LEBANON, NJ, 08833
ADVISE THAT YOU USE DELIVERY CONFIRMATION. ALSO, IF YOU ARE SENDING IN
YOUR INFO TO US CLOSE TO THE APPLICATION DEADLINE, SEND IT OVERNIGHT!!
DO NOT TRUST SENDING IT THROUGH REGULAR MAIL! IT MAY GET HERE TOO LATE
IF YOU DO!
Reserving Your Exam Seat/Date - The Final Steps
Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a registration verification notice
in the form of a postcard OR email (if you give us an email address on
your application). DO NOT DISCARD THIS REGISTRATION NOTICE. When
you receive your NOTICE, you MUST verify that all the information on
the notice is correct, INCLUDING THE EXAM YOU WISH TO TAKE. If ANY
information is NOT correct including the spelling of your name/address
or the exam(s) you signed up for, call the CBSPD office or e-mail us at
email@example.com IMMEDIATELY. The CBSPD will not
refund or credit you if you register for the wrong exam and do not
notify the CBSPD office within 48 hours of the start of the exam window. The
REGISTRATION NOTICE will also tell you to call the testing agency
(Lasergrade/PSI) at their toll free number (800-211-2754) to schedule
your actual date/location of the exam. The date and time can be
anytime during the selected week (window) specified on your application
form. However, dates and times are subject to availability at the
site selected. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR REGISTRATION
VERIFICATION NOTICE 7 DAYS PRIOR TO THE EXAMINATION WINDOW, contact the
CBSPD office immediately.
Test Center Regulations
1. You MUST present a VALID
government issued ID with your photo attached (i.e. passport,
driver’s license, military ID, or State Issued ID) at the test
site before you are allowed to take the examination. No exceptions will be made.
If you do not bring your valid government issued photo ID with you on
the date of the exam, you will not be permitted to sit for the exam.
2. Candidates must arrive at the test center 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the examination. Candidate admission will begin immediately and testing will begin at the scheduled time.
arrivals at the test center will only be permitted to take the exam at
the discretion of the test site proctor and subject to space
availability. (NOTE: Each test center has a certain amount of computers
and if they are all in use you will not be able to take the exam). If
the site cannot accommodate the candidate, the testing fee is forfeited
(no refund). Make sure you allow enough time to get to the test site to
avoid this. Candidates will only be allowed to take the
examination at their assigned test center; "walk-in" candidates will
not be permitted to take the examination.
papers, notes, cell phones, pagers, calculators or similar electronic
devices are not permitted in the testing center. Personal property such
as briefcases, backpacks, or large purses will be collected by the
Proctors and returned after the testing session.
5. Visitors or observers are not allowed in the test center.
NO SHOWS – Any candidate that fails to show up for the exam will not be issued a refund or transferred to another exam date.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT CHEATING –
The Board of Directors of the CBSPD consider any of the following
activities (occurring during or after the administration of any of the
CBSPD certification examinations) as cheating: verbal and non-verbal
communications in which discussion of any of the questions on the exam
are made, use of cell phones, pagers with text messaging or phones; use
of textbooks, reference materials, crib sheets, writing information and
removal from the room, removal of exams from the room, etc. Any
instances of cheating or alleged cheating will result in a thorough
investigation. Any candidate who is found to have cheated will
face strict disciplinary action up to and including non-scoring of
their examination and possible legal action for theft of copyrighted
property. Any candidate who has cheated or allegedly cheated
during the exam will be precluded from taking any CBSPD examination for
a period of no less than six (6) months as determined by the Board of
Directors based upon the results of the investigation of the incident.
Exam Policies To Be Aware Of
For candidates that find they are signed up for the wrong exam: When
you receive your registration verification notice, if there is an error
in the exam you wish to take, please contact the CBSPD office
immediately so the correction can be made. If you decide to sit for a different exam (i.e. change your mind), you must call the CBSPD office immediately to arrange for the change. There is a $10 fee for this change of exam. No changes of exams can be made within 48 hours of the START of the exam window.
REFUND POLICY - Candidates wishing to withdraw from their examination may do so up to 2 weeks prior to the START of the exam window.
Requests for withdrawal must be made in writing (by mail or fax) and
must be received by the CBSPD office on or before the 2-week deadline. There is a $60 non-refundable administrative fee for withdrawal. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED IF THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT FOLLOWED.
TRANSFER POLICY- Any
candidate unable to take the examination on the date originally
registered can transfer to the next available examination window up to 24 hours in advance.
There is a $20 non-refundable fee for ALL non-emergency transfers.
The request for transfer must be made in writing (by mail or fax) and
must be received by the CBSPD along with payment (credit card or Money
orders/Cashier’s Checks; made payable to CBSPD) no later than 24 hours before the START of the exam window. Transfers will not be processed by Lasergrade/PSI. The candidate must make all transfer requests to the CBSPD. No transfer requests will be honored for anyone other than the candidate.
the candidate has already reserved their exam seat with Lasergrade/PSI,
they must FIRST contact Lasergrade/PSI (1.800.211.2754) within 24 hours
of their originally scheduled exam date to cancel their seat in order
to be eligible to transfer to the next exam. If their
seat is not cancelled in time, the candidate will forfeit the entire
exam fee and have to register for the exam again. IF the
candidate has NOT scheduled their seat with Lasergrade/PSI, then they
will just have to submit their notice of transfer in writing along with
the payment within the 24 hours before the start of the exam window. The
CBSPD will provide written verification of the transfer to the
candidates. The candidate will automatically be registered for the next
testing window. It is the candidate’s responsibility to
re-schedule the exam date with the testing agency after the CBSPD has
approved the transfer. Once the candidate receives their new
registration verification notice, they can re-register. Failure
to sit for the next scheduled examination window will result in the
loss of the full registration fee. Only one transfer is permitted, per
registration period. NOTE: You cannot transfer 2 times in a row. If you
are transferred to the next exam window and do not take the exam, then
you will forfeit the entire exam fee and will have to re-register.
EMERGENCY TRANSFER POLICY
- Candidates unable to sit for the examination due to ILLNESS, INJURY
OR HOSPITALIZATION are required to call or e-mail the CBSPD immediately or within 24 hours of their scheduled examination date.
Leave a message with your name, address, phone number, exam that you
signed up for, and a reason you cannot take the examination. Also call Lasergrade/PSI to cancel your seat immediately.
The CBSPD reserves the right to require verification of the reason a
candidate is not able to sit for the examination. Upon verification,
the candidate will be transferred to the next scheduled examination
window (normal transfer fees will NOT apply).
CANDIDATES WILL NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEXT EXAM DATE IF THESE PROCEDURES ARE NOT FOLLOWED.
TESTING CANDIDATES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
- Special accommodations for examination services will be made at no
extra charge for candidates with special testing needs. Requests for
such accommodations must be made in writing to the CBSPD and must be received NO LATER THAN 4 WEEKS
prior to START of the examination window. Requests received after the
examination deadline will be held for the next examination date.
NOTE: The CBSPD will NOT allow a reader for anyone that has English as
a second language. The examination is only offered in English in the
United States. Candidates must be able to interpret, speak, and write
Written requests for special needs must contain the following:
• A signed letter from a professional on office letterhead who
has made an assessment of the candidate’s condition or
disability, describing the way in which the candidate would be best
• A letter from the candidate describing the requested accommodation.
When candidates have demonstrated they require a reader, the candidate
must supply the reader, and the reader must sign a confidentiality form
and return it to the CBSPD office NO LATER THAN 3 WEEKS prior to the START of the exam window. The Board will review and accommodate all reasonable requests for special testing services.
- Unlike cases of individual candidate misconduct, occasionally testing
irregularities occur that affect a group of test takers. Such problems
include, without limitation, administrative errors, defective equipment
or materials, improper access to test content and/or the unauthorized
general availability of test content, as well as, other disruptions of
test administrations (e.g. natural disasters and other emergencies).
When group testing irregularities occur, the testing agency will
conduct an investigation to provide information to the CBSPD. Based on
this information, the CBSPD may direct the testing agency either not to
score the test or to cancel the test score. When it is
appropriate to do so, the CBSPD will arrange with the testing agency to
give affected test takers the opportunity to take the test again as
soon as possible, without charge. Affected test takers will be notified of the reasons for the cancellation and their options for retaking the test.
- Any questions or comments concerning a particular examination
administration or item must be put in writing and sent to the CBSPD,
Inc. Comment forms are provided on the day of the exam for this
purpose. Specific information concerning an examination or its content
cannot be given over the telephone by the testing agency or the CBSPD.
All questions and comments must be put in writing and will be carefully
reviewed prior to response.
ALL OTHER ACTIONS
- If an application for an exam is denied, re-certification denied or
any disciplinary action taken against a candidate, the candidate will
be notified in writing within 5 business days of the decision/action
and offered the option to appeal the decision to the Board. This appeal
must be in writing and submitted within 5 business days of notification
of the denial or action taken. The Board will review the appeal and
provide a written decision within 10 business days of receipt of the
CHALLENGES TO SCORING RESULTS WITH COMPUTER-BASED TESTING
- Any individual who wishes to have their score rechecked after taking
one of the CBSPD computer-based examinations, please send a letter to
the CBSPD, Inc., 148 Main Street, Suite C-1, Lebanon, New Jersey 08833
requesting a re-scoring of your examination. This will involve printing
out your responses and scoring them by hand. There is a $20 charge for this service and the fee must be included with your written request. Please include your name, last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, and examination date at the top of your letter. Payment must be made payable to the CBSPD in the form of a money order or Facility check. All requests for re-scoring must be made within 45 days of the examination date. A written report with the re-scoring will be provided to the candidate.
CANCELLATION OF SCORES - If for any reason you decide that you do not want your score reported, you must:
1. Write to the CBSPD requesting cancellation of your scores. Your
written request must be signed and must reach the CBSPD within five days of the examination date. Lasergrade/PSI proctors cannot cancel your score at the end of your exam.
No refunds will be given for candidates requesting score cancellations.
To re-take the examination after a score cancellation, a new
application form and fee must be submitted.
EXAM RESULTS POLICY
- If a passing member’s certification packet is returned after
being mailed by the CBSPD, the CBSPD will try to contact the
certificant to get a new address. The CBSPD will resend the
packet ONLY ONCE at no cost. If the packet is not received
again, then the certificant must supply an alternate address to the
CBSPD and they must purchase replacements of each item in the
certification packet before it can be mailed out again.
Certificates are $10 each, ID cards are $5 each, and certification pins
are $10 each. Requests can be made in writing and sent to our office or
requested from our website. All forms of payment except a personal
check are accepted.
Disciplinary Action – Effective
January 1, 2000 any CBSPD certificant could have his/her credential
removed or suspended and be denied the right to register for any of our
certification exams for cause such as criminal record or unethical
practices. Individuals with information about any certified personnel
or individuals looking to register for one of our certification exams
should contact the CBSPD. All calls will remain confidential and
all complaints will be thoroughly investigated. Any individual whose
credential is suspended/removed or has been denied the right to
register for any of our certification exams can appeal the
CBSPD’s decision in writing within five business days of
notification. The Board will review your appeal and the final decision,
made in writing, will be forwarded to you within ten days of receipt of