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.

Here is what NBSTSA is ready to do for you:

  1. Waiving renewal fees - we will not charge the usual $25 renewal application processing fee for recertifications between March 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020. We are making this offer in partnership with and through the generosity of the Association of Surgical Technologists. The Association of Surgical Assistants will partner on the renewal processing fee for CSFA members of ASA.

    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.

    You will still need to apply for renewal of your certification. The renewal application form for CST and CSFA will allow you, if renewing by CE credits, to fill out the form and submit it to us with no payment. 

  2. Extended grace period for late renewal - the grace period for recertifications in 2020 has been extended from the usual 90 days to 180 days, to give you time to turn in your renewal application form, and we will waive the usual $75 late recertification application fee through December 31, 2020.

    All applicants for renewal in 2020 have been in a 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.

  3. 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 are extending 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. In example, if your certification expiration date was March 15, 2020, we will extend that date to June 15, 2020, 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.
  4. Extended Time To Test - If you had applied to sit for the CST or CSFA examination, but had not yet scheduled it or taken it, we have extended the period in which you may sit for the examination to 12/31/2020. Our testing partners at PSI are allowing applicants to schedule for May through July test dates now. 

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.

We will not be able to send paper CST or CSFA certificates or certification cards at this time. However, your certification can be verified any time at nbstsa.org/verify-credentials.

Testing Services

Current State:

  • Our test centers in the US will remain closed through April 30, 2020.
  • The test scheduling web site is open and candidates can now schedule for May through July testing dates.
  • Our plan for now is that sites will re-open meeting social distancing requirement on Friday, May 1, 2020. This is subject to change based on new developments with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All candidates affected by this extension of test center closures will have their appointments canceled and will be contacted via email and phone regarding rescheduling procedures.

Educators: On-campus testing is available as normal, based on the availability of your on-campus testing center.