A minimum of three months of experience must be completed, on a paid or volunteer basis, reprocessing endoscopes on a regular basis in a medical center, hospital, surgery center, or independent endoscope center. These hours must be completed at the time of application and must have been accumulated within the past three years. Because of the complex nature of endoscopes, firsthand experience is essential to supplement an individual’s understanding of the necessary knowledge and concepts of reprocessing, and to illustrate their practical use. This experience must include the pre-cleaning, testing, decontaminating, inspecting, disinfecting and/or sterilizing, transporting, and storing of endoscopes.
Please be aware that HSPA does NOT provide placement services. It is your responsibility to find a department in which to complete your hours.
If you are unsure whether your department is authorized to sign off on your hours, please complete our Department Authorization Form.
HSPA believes that both training and experience contribute to the delivery of quality patient care.
The hands-on experience requirement provides an invaluable resource with which to better understand the standards, knowledge, and practices needed to be successful in a Sterile Processing department and on the CER Exam.
Those interested in becoming a CER can prepare in one of the following ways:
Please note: Online/distance learning courses are not available for the CER. HSPA's Education department developed some of the materials above as an optional method to assist individuals in preparing for the CER exam. They were developed and produced independently by the HSPA Certification Council, which does not develop, require, approve, or endorse any specific training materials.
The CER exam will test your proficiency in the following areas:
Each of the seven knowledge domains listed above is comprised of a series of sub-domains which are explained in further detail in the CER Exam Content Outline (updated August 2017). 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.
Hands-on experience is required for your examination, and documentation of that experience must be provided on the exam application as indicated. No other documentation is necessary or acceptable.
The sections of your application documenting your experience must be completed by your department's immediate manager/supervisor. An individual may never document their own experience.
Provided they are in a position above your own then experience hours can be documented by:
Hours cannot be documented by technicians or private instructors. In order to verify experience, all contact information provided for the manager or supervisor documenting your hours must be current or your application will be rejected.
Hands-on hours can be accumulated on a paid or volunteer basis and you need not be currently employed or volunteering with a facility in order to test.
Applications requiring hands-on experience may be subject to verification before processing. Once selected for verification an application cannot be processed further until the manager/supervisor documenting the applicant's hours of experience can be contacted and the experience confirmed. If the listed manager/supervisor cannot be reached for confirmation the application will be returned, unprocessed. If the manager/supervisor is reached but refutes the information submitted in any way, the application will be sent to the Certification Council for further investigation and review.
Applicants who have submitted a completed application and who are notified that they do not meet the eligibility requirements may appeal this decision by sending a written notice of the appeal to the Certification Council within 30 days of the time stamp on the eligibility decision. Appeals that cannot be resolved to the applicant's satisfaction will be forwarded by the Certification Manager to the Certification Council for review along with any relevant information from the initial review of the application. Written notice of the final decision will be sent to the applicant within 30 days of the review. The decision of the Certification Council will be final.