NBSTSA Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


During the COVID-19 crisis, NBSTSA wants our surgical technologists and surgical assistants to know that we are here for you.

We know that maintaining your certification as either a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®) or Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA®) is important to you, your patients, and the institutions you work for.

Current COVID-19 Relief Policies - 2022

Please note: renewal is still a two-step process - you will still need to earn your continuing education credits and file with AST or recertify by testing.

  1. Extended grace period for late renewal - the grace period for recertifications has been extended from the usual 90 days to 180 days through June 30, 2022, to give you time to turn in your renewal application form, and we will also continue to waive the usual $75 late recertification application fee during that time. 

    All applicants for renewal in 2021 have been in completed their last four-year cycle, during which they were able to earn the required continuing education credits and file them. Please note that credits must have been earned within your certification cycle, or you may recertify by taking the certification examination again.

  2. Extended Certification Cycles - We realize that normal schedules are all changed for now, and that many of you are working extra hours at this time in response to the COVID-19 crisis. For this reason, we have extended the certification cycles of all certified individuals who hold the CST or CSFA credential that were set to expire or be renewed from March 15, 2020 through June 15, 2020 for a period of three months. Several groups were provided a second three-month extension in 2020.  In example, if your certification expiration date was December 15, 2020, we will extend that date to March 15, 2021, upon which date your certification will expire and will need to be renewed either by earning continuing education credits, filing them with AST, and applying for recertification through NBSTSA, or by applying for recertification through NBSTSA and sitting for the examination for recertification. Please check your certification expiration date by clicking "Verify Certification" on this site.

These are the first steps that NBSTSA is taking, and more may follow. Our leadership continues to monitor the ongoing situation in the United States, along with nationwide and regional stay-at-home orders, and to assess any additional steps or changes that may be necessary. Further announcements may be made, and you can follow them on this page, along with our other electronic communications.


While we are following all state and local directives, our staff remains available to you from 7:30am to 4:30pm weekdays, at 800-707-0057.

Certificates and Cards

Your certification can be verified any time at nbstsa.org/verify-credentials.  

Effective February 1, 2021, we are again sending certificates, and certificates/cards for all who have not yet received them from 2020 are being sent out. If you are one of the individuals in that group, you will be receiving an email soon, confirming the details for your certificate/card.  For all that certify or renew after February 1, 2021, you will receive an email to confirm your certificate printing details, and you will have the option to purchase an optional plastic certification card at that time. 

Testing Services

In addition to on-campus testing and testing at any of our hundreds of testing centers nationwide, we now offer testing at home via live remote proctoring.  Certain system requirements apply, and information is available to you when you have applied to test and are prepared to schedule through PSI. This allows you to test in the safety of your own home, at a time convenient to you.