Certification Council

HSPA is a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors. The Board has established the Certification Council, and granted authority to the Certification Council, to independently make essential decisions related to standards, policies, and procedures of the certification program. These decisions are made independently of, and under no influence by, any other individual or business entity within or outside of HSPA.



The HSPA Certification Council shall commit to acting impartially in relation to its applicants, candidates, and certified persons. Certification decisions shall be made in accordance with policies and procedures. Policies and procedures affecting applicants, candidates, and certified persons shall be made public and shall fairly and accurately convey information about the certification program. The HSPA Certification Council shall understand threats to impartiality that include, but are not limited to, self-interest, activities from related bodies, relationships of personnel, financial interests, favoritism, conflict of interest, familiarity, and intimidation. The HSPA Certification Council shall periodically conduct a threat analysis to determine the potential—both real and perceived—of an individual or an organization to influence certification.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Certification Council is responsible for the development of the requirements for eligibility, examination, and renewal for the certification programs as established in the HSPA Bylaws. The Certification Council has developed the certification program to increase the quality of patient care by recognizing competent Sterile Processing (SP) technicians, instrument specialists, and healthcare leaders.

The Certification Council is solely responsible for essential decisions related to the development, administration, and ongoing maintenance of the certification programs, specifically:

  • Establishing the policies and procedures for granting certification;
  • Establishing the policies and procedures for maintaining certification;
  • Establishing policies and procedures for suspending or withdrawing certification (including the oversight of all disciplinary investigations and actions related to certification holders);
  • Defining, expanding, and/or reducing the scope of the certification programs;
  • Overseeing the development, maintenance, administration, and scoring of the examinations to ensure that all tests are reasonably valid and reliable;
  • Establishing and enforcing a Code of Conduct for individuals holding credentials;
  • Proposing a budget for the operation of the certification program;
  • Providing oversight to all certification committees and establishing and overseeing committees as needed; and
  • Establishing and implementing policies and procedures for, and overseeing the ongoing operational processes of, the certification programs.

The Certification Council ensures that all application and eligibility requirements, examination development and administration, renewal requirements, and all certification program policies and procedures are directly related to the scope of the certification programs as stated above. Issues that fall outside of the scope and purpose of the certification programs fall outside of the authority of the Certification Council.

The Certification Council convenes to discuss the above issues throughout the year via conference calls and emails. As possible, the Council also meets at the HSPA Annual Conference.


Cynthia Timm, CRCST, CHL—Health System Specialist at Veterans Health Administration
Melissa Vargas, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL—SPD Manager at Christiana Care Wilmington Hospital
Certificant Representatives
Kari Creese, CRCST, CIS, CHL—SPD Supervisor at Trios Health
Casey Czarnowski, CRCST, CIS, CER—Independent Healthcare Consultant
Loraine Durigan, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL—SP Traveling Manager and Implementation Specialist, at Integra LifeSciences
Steven Hall, CRCST, CHL—SP Manager at Swedish Medical Center
Kyree Thomas, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL—SP Manager at Northside Hospital Cherokee, Canton Place, and Towne Lake
Areil Wimbush, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL—Surgical Support Services Educator at Emory University Ortho and Spine Hospital
Industry Stakeholders
Jill Holdsworth, CRCST—Infection Prevention Manager at Emory University Hospital Midtown
Joan Spear, MBA, RN, CNOR, CRCST—Independent Consultant, OR and SP
Public Member
Melissa King—Director of Group Sales at Hilton Columbus Downtown
Non-Voting Members
Anthony Bondon [Board of Directors Liaison], CRCST, CHL—Central Sterile Manager at HSHS St. John's Hospital
Siri Sorensen [Staff Liaison], MA, CAE, ICE-CCP, PMP, CMP—Director of Certification & Membership at HSPA


As a Subject Matter Expert: Subject Matter Experts or (SMEs) participate in exam development activities, such as exam question writing and review, exam form review, and more. All SMEs must hold the CRCST credential in good standing, ideally for a minimum of three to five years. Additional certifications, such as the CIS or CHL, are also preferred but not required (unless called for by the specific project.) Previous attendance at HSPA Annual Conferences or involvement with HSPA chapters or committees is also preferred but not required. SMEs serve on a per-meeting basis.

As a Committee Member: As necessary, the Certification Council may create various committees to oversee projects and elections. All committee members must be certification holders in good standing. Previous experience as a SME or Council member is preferred but not required. Committee members are typically appointed for two-year terms and may be reappointed for additional terms (unless otherwise dictated by a specific committee/project.)

As a Council Member: The Certification Council has four to eight certified member representatives. All certificant representatives must hold the CRCST credential in good standing. At least one certificant representative must also be CIS certified and at least one certificant representative must also be CHL certified. Previous experience as a SME is preferred but not required. A minimum of three to five years of Sterile Processing experience is also preferred but not required. Certificant representatives will serve three-year terms.

Applications to serve as a Certification Council Nominating Committee Member or a Certification Council Member will be available in August, 2024.



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