Differences between CRCST certification and CSPDT certification

IAHCSMM (International Association of Healthcare Central Sterile and Material Management)

CBSPD (Certification Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution)

CRCST CERTIFICATION:  Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)

 

Note that both IAHCSMM and CPSPD have a lot more certifications, but we are limiting our comparison to CRCST vs CSPDT

 CSPDT CERTIFICATION: Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT)

 

 PREREQUISTES TO TAKE CRCST EXAM

 

You must meet only the following conditions prior to the examination deadline:

There’s no specific technical or training requirement in order to take the exam. You must submit application to IAHCSMM to allow you to take the exam. You may apply to take the exam without enrolling in a course. Whether you self-study or enroll in a course for the exam is a decision you make.

 

 PREREQUISITES TO TAKE CSPDT EXAM

 

You must meet only ONE of the following conditions prior to the examination deadline:

  • Completion of a Central Service/SPD training course with a passing grade of 70 or higher

           OR

  • Completion of 12 months of full-time employment performing SPD activities

          OR

  • Completion of 6 months (each) of fulltime employment in related clinical healthcare profession as well as performing SPD activities 

           OR

  • Completion of 12 months of healthcare product sales or service related to the SPD profession

GETTING A CRCST CERTIFICATE

 

Two types of Certificates:

  1. Provisional certificate is issued to those who pass the exam without hands-on experience. It is valid for 6 months
  2. Full certificate is issued to those who pass the exam and obtain at least 400 hours of hands-on experience within six months of passing the exam

GETTING A CSPDT CERTIFICATE

 

You become fully certified once you pass the exam.

 

 

 

Number of questions on the CRCST exam: 150 multiple choice

Time to complete CRCST exam: 3 hours

Passing scaled score for the CRCST exam: 70

CRCST Exam fee: $125 exam ($150 USD outside of the US or Canada)

CRCST Exam Testing center: Prometric testing

 

Number of questions on the CSPDT exam: 100 multiple choice

Time to complete the CSPDT exam: 2 hours

Passing scaled score for the CSPDT exam: 70% grade average

CSPDT Exam fee: $125 exam

CSPDT Exam testing center:  PSI testing

 

CRCST RECERTIFICATION – CONTINUE EDUCATION

 

CRCST certificants are required to recertify annually through completion of continuing education requirements

 

CSPDT RECERTIFICATION – CONTINUE EDUCATION

 

CSPDT certificants are required to recertify every 5 years through completion of continuing education requirements

TO RETAKE THE CRCST EXAM

An applicant who fails any IAHCSMM exam must wait a minimum of 6 weeks before being allowed to retest. But can submit retest application immediately upon failing the test.

TO RETAKE THE CSPDT EXAM

 

An applicant who fails the CBSPD exam can retake the exam at the next test date. There are only 4 test dates available in a year 

 CRCST vs CSPDT WHICH IS MORE PREFERRED BY EMPLOYERS?

 

The answer depends on who you ask. Both certifying agencies are accredited, recognized globally and are accepted at most hospitals and surgery centers across the country.

 

My personal advice: Check career websites like indeed.com for sterile processing job postings and determine which certification has an edge as far as what certification hiring managers are requiring.

 

Website: www.iahcsmm.org

Website: www.sterileprocessing.org

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