HSPA Examination Testing

HSPA (formerly IAHCSMM) began formal certification of Sterile Processing (SP) technicians in 1971 to provide a mechanism for individuals to be recognized as having the necessary competence to perform their duties as SP professionals. HSPA certifications are industry-recognized credentials.


The examination is confidential and proprietary. It is made available to you, the examinee, solely for the purpose of becoming certified in the technical area referenced in the title of the exam. You are expressly prohibited from recording, copying, reproducing, disclosing, publishing, or transmitting this examination, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of HSPA.



When arriving to take your exam, the Prometric representative will ask for one form of ID showing both:

  • Your current photo
  • Your signature

Any form of ID presented must be current and non-expired, and exactly match the first and last name(s) provided on your application and appearing on your scheduling letter. Any typos/misspellings or change of name(s) due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons must be made with HSPA prior to scheduling an exam.

List of Acceptable Identification:

  • Non-expired Driver’s License
  • Non-expired State/Federal Government ID Card
  • Non-expired Passport
  • Non-expired Employee ID Card
  • Non-expired Military ID card
  • Non-expired Student ID card

All other forms of identification (credit cards, check cashing cards, voter registration cards, social security cards, etc.) are not valid, and if presented, will not be accepted.

Failure to have the necessary identification on-site for scheduled appointments, or if the photo identification shown does not match exactly to the records submitted from your original application (or updates made before an exam was scheduled), will prohibit you from sitting for the exam, forfeiting the application and fees. The application process will then have to be repeated for further certification attempts including the submission of another full exam fee.

Please remember: Failure to schedule and take an exam within the allotted 90-day window, missing or arriving late for an appointment, or presenting ID that is unacceptable, expired, or does not match your registered name, will all prohibit you from testing and effectively end your exam eligibility period. Your exam fee will be forfeited and the application process must be repeated.


Wear comfortable, layered clothing as test center temperatures may vary. Any clothing or jewelry items allowed to be worn in the test room must remain on your person at all times. Removed clothing or jewelry items must be stored in your locker. If you are sensitive to noise, earplugs or noise-blocking headphones may be available at the testing center (ask the test administrator for a pair.)

No personal belongings are allowed into the testing lab. A private locker will be provided for you in which to store your personal effects including, but not limited to outerwear, hats, food, drinks, purses, wallets, briefcases, notebooks, pagers, cell phones, keys, coins, recording devices, and photographic equipment. You are not permitted to bring anything but your ID and locker key into the testing lab. Calculators will not be necessary, but writing material will be provided to you for any notes you wish to make while testing. All writing material is collected at the end of your exam and may not be removed from the testing center.


You must arrive for your test a minimum of 30 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. Candidates who arrive later than their scheduled exam start time, for any reason, are subject to availability and may not be able to take the exam, resulting in a no-show, thereby forfeiting the exam fee. If someone else is transporting you to the testing center please be aware that persons not scheduled to take a test are not permitted to wait in the test center.

You will be given a list of test center rules and regulations and be asked to check all personal belongings in a private locker (see the “What to Wear” section above.) You must keep your ID and locker key with you at all times, and nothing else. If you need access to an item stored in your locker during a break, such as food or medicine, you must inform the test proctor before you retrieve the item. You are not allowed to access any prohibited items, such as cell phones, notes or study materials.

Prior to every entry to the testing lab, you will be scanned with a metal detector wand and asked to empty and turn your pockets inside out to confirm that you have no prohibited items. If you refuse, you cannot test. You will be continuously monitored by video, physical walk-throughs, and the observation window during your test. All testing sessions are video and audio recorded.

While you are welcome to take as many breaks as you wish while testing, the test clock will continue to run. Repeated or lengthy departures from the test room will be reported by the test center administrator.

Once seated in the testing lab the computer will have a screen asking you to verify that you are the person whose name is listed. Click “Yes” to launch the test, unless you are not the person whose name appears. Clicking “No” will end the exam.

A 15-minute tutorial describing how to take the computer-based exam precedes the test and can also be reviewed online, here. Time spent reviewing the tutorial does not affect the allotted time for the actual examination. When finished with the tutorial click “End” to launch your exam.

All questions are multiple-choice and can be marked for review and returned later. You may move forward and backward through the exam using the “Previous” and “Next” buttons. You can select a question to return to later with the “Mark” button and see a full list of questions by pressing “Review”. When you are completely finished you can conclude the exam by pressing “End” from the review page. Once you have ended the exam it cannot be re-launched, so please be sure you are finished before doing so.

A brief, optional survey follows the exam after which you will receive a pass/fail notification (both on-screen and from the test administrator.)

If a Prometric test proctor suspects or determines that you have engaged in inappropriate conduct during the examination (such as, but not limited to, giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid; accessing cell phones, notes, or study materials; unauthorized exiting of the testing facility; attempting to test for someone else; removing or attempting to remove note paper from the testing center; abusive or inappropriate behavior towards a test center employee or fellow test taker; etc) your examination session can be terminated and you will be unable to complete your examination. Any and all suspicious behavior will be reported to HSPA and reviewed by the Certification Council.

Candidates are expressly prohibited from recording, copying, reproducing, disclosing, publishing, or transmitting any HSPA examination, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose. Anyone caught or suspected of violating these guidelines will be reported to HSPA and reviewed by the Certification Council.

The HSPA Certification Council will review all such instances of misconduct, cheating, or alleged cheating. As described in the disciplinary policy, the Certification Council will determine the appropriate recourse, up to and including the invalidation of the results of your examination, the revocation of any certifications which have been granted, and/or your temporary or permanent disqualification from future testing with HSPA.


[Due to Bad Weather or Other Emergencies]


Candidates who fail to appear for a scheduled exam will be considered a no-show and will forfeit their application and payment. A new application and additional exam fee must then be submitted to HSPA before a new appointment can be scheduled.

Candidates who arrive later than their scheduled exam start time are subject to availability and may not be able to take their exam. They will then be considered a no-show and required to reapply and repay for new testing eligibility.

Candidates who appear at the testing center without valid identification will not be permitted to test. Candidates whose first and last names, as listed on their identification, do not match the information they registered with will not be permitted to test. Those unable to test due to invalid identification will then be required to reapply and pay the full fee for another examination period.


Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, electrical failure, or other emergencies may require a test center to unexpectedly close. Should this happen, Prometric will make every effort to contact you in advance of your appointment. Prometric will try contacting you by email and telephone, so please ensure that the contact information you provide during the scheduling and registration process is accurate. You may also check for test site closures by calling Prometric.

If your test center unexpectedly closes for any reason, you will be contacted by the Prometric rescheduling department within 48–72 hours to reschedule your appointment.

If a testing center is open for testing and you choose not to appear for your appointment, your fee will be forfeited. You must then reapply for your examination and pay another full examination fee.