Organization and Purpose

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), offered its first examinations in 1970 under the auspices of the Association of Operating Room Technologists (AORT) Advisory and Exam Committee.  The Liaison Council on Certification of the Surgical Technologist (LCC-ST) was established in 1974 as the certifying agency for surgical technologists.

NBSTSA is organized as a 501-C(6) organization, and is solely responsible for all decisions regarding certification; from determining eligibility to maintaining, denying, granting and renewing the designation.

The purpose of NBSTSA is to determine, through examination, if an individual has acquired both theoretical and practical knowledge of surgical technology or surgical first assisting. In addition, through the acquisition of continuing education credits or by re-examination, CST’s certified after August 31, 1977 and all CST/CSFAs are required to stay up to date with changes in the medical field.


The NBSTSA is governed by a ten (10) member Board of Directors composed of:

  • Seven Certified Surgical Technologists (CST’s), and Certified Surgical First Assistant (CST/CSFA)
  • One public member
  • One surgeon; as appointed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • One surgical technology educator


The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) reviews and grants accreditation to the NBSTSA for its administration of both the CST and CSFA certifications.

The CST and CSFA certification programs are currently accredited by NCCA through 04/30/2025.