Required Hours of Experience
How many hours of hands-on experience are required?
While there are no hours of experience required to apply for the CHL exam, it is best geared toward those who are already in a leadership position, in training to become a Sterile Processing leader, or interested in pursuing a leadership role.
Please be aware that you must hold a current, full CRCST certification prior to applying for the CHL exam.
Exam Preparation: Self-Study vs. Work Experience
Option 1: Online/Distance Learning Course
Purdue University offers a traditional correspondence course by mail, designed to help prepare Sterile Processing Supervisors and Managers for the CHL exam. You can find out more about the course by calling Purdue at 800.830.0269 or by visiting their website. (!)
Option 2: Self-Study
You may purchase reference materials and choose to study on your own to prepare for the CHL exam. HSPA’s CS Leadership Manual was used as a reference in creating the CHL exam, along with HSPA’s Central Service Technical Manual (8th edition) and ANSI/AAMI’s ST79 (2010 edition), all available through the HSPA Online Store. An additional resource, AORN’s Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices (2017 edition) can be purchased through the AORN website.
Option 3: Work Experience
You may take the exam based on your personal knowledge from experience in the field. It is not required that you take or pass a preparatory course, or study materials on your own. Applicants can apply directly to take the exam without purchasing study materials or enrolling in a course.
- Courses are preparation for the exam only. Passing a course does not equate to certification.
- HSPA’s Education department has developed the materials above as an optional method to assist individuals in preparing for the CHL exam. They were developed and produced independently from the Certification Council, which does not develop, require, approve, or endorse any specific training materials.
Content & Composition of the Exam
Exam Content Outline
The CHL exam will test your proficiency in the following areas:
- Planning and Decision-Making
Each of the seven knowledge domains listed above is comprised of a series of sub-domains which are explained in further detail in the CHL Exam Content Outline (updated August 2021). The Content Outline also describes further detail on the type and amount of content covered in each section, as well as its weight on the certification exam.
- The exam is computer-based and no writing instruments are needed (a written version of the exam is not available)
- The current version of the test is comprised of 150 multiple choice questions
- You will have three hours in which to complete the exam
- Questions can be marked for review and answered or changed later in the exam
- A 15-minute tutorial describing how to take the exam on the computer precedes the test and is also available online, below