Renewal Options

 

Importance of Renewal

Commitment to professional development, continuing education and ongoing credentialing is a hallmark of professional practice. The decision to renew a CST or CSFA credential is an important component in delivering the best care possible for the surgical patient. The credentialed surgical technologist or surgical first assistant is a valuable contributing member of the surgical team.  The NBSTSA commends all Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) and Certified Surgical First Assistants (CSFAs) for their ongoing commitment to the renewal of their professional credentials.

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Overview of Renewal Options

The NBSTSA renews certification every four years. The date certification expires is printed clearly on your card and certificate.

Individuals renewing certification may submit a renewal application up to 6 months before their expiration date. Upon satisfying renewal requirements, the NBSTSA recertifies the individual and issues a new certification card and certificate.

Individuals can use the following methods to renew certification:

  • Earn and submit required continuing education credits within the renewal cycle to AST.

  • Retake and pass the national certifying examination through the NBSTSA.

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Testing Fees for Renewal

CURRENT OR PREVIOUS CERTIFIED SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST (CST) and/or Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA) renewing certification by examination.

Current AST/ASA Members:
Processing Fee Examination Fee Total Fee
$60 $339 $399
Non-Members:
Processing Fee Examination Fee Total Fee
$60 $439 $499

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Renewal By Continuing Education Credits

CSTs must earn 60 credits within their renewal cycle to renew their credential.

CSFAs must earn 75 credits within their renewal cycle to renew their credential. 

Individuals who hold both credentials (CST/CSFAs) must earn 75 credits within their renewal cycle to renew both credentials.

Renewing your credential is a two-step process: 1.) Submit required CE credits to AST and 2.) submit the appropriate renewal form to the NBSTSA with the renewal fee. If you have any questions, please contact AST (800-637-7433 or www.ast.org) or The NBSTSA (800-707-0057).

The responsibility is yours to mail your renewal application in a timely manner, especially if you are required by your employer to be certified.  Please allow up to 4 weeks for the NBSTSA to process your application and mail your new certificate and card.  You may choose to add rush processing for your application for an additional $50 charge.  In that case, the total fee must be paid by a credit or debit MasterCard or Visa or a money order.  Rush processing is guaranteed 3-5 business days in the office before we mail your new documents.  You may elect rush processing for your application; however, NBSTSA will not honor requests to e-mail or otherwise notify employers an application was received for processing.  As soon as your renewal has been processed in the database, it can be verified under the Verify Credentials section of this website or your employer can call us at 800-707-0057.

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Late Renewal

Individuals renewing their credential beyond the expiration date (late renewal) may do so by one of the following methods:

  • Retake and pass the national certifying examination and pay all appropriate fees.
  • Submit required credits and pay all appropriate late fees (see the "Policy for late renewal" within this section below).

IMPORTANT: Individuals whose certification has lapsed will be issued a new certification number upon satisfying renewal requirements.  Note that if continuing education credit requirements were not satisfied (meaning that the correct amount of hours were not earned within the renewal cycle), the policy does not apply and the certification examination must be taken for renewal.

Policy for late renewal

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Renewal Rationale

  • Rapid changes in the operative arena necessitate ongoing and frequent assessment of continuing competence of the surgical technologist and surgical first assistant.

  • Similar to standards established in comparable medical/nursing/allied health professions, the NBSTSA has determined that a four year re-certification cycle is appropriate in the assessment of continuing competence of the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA).

  • Effective January 1, 2009 all candidates successfully acquiring certification as a surgical technologist or surgical first assistant through the NBSTSA will be required to demonstrate continuing competence and credential renewal via a four year re-certification cycle.

  • Continuing competence and credential renewal for the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) or Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA) may be accomplished via submission of continuing education credits or re-examination.  

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NBSTSA Renewal Statistics: Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) and Certified Surgical First Assistants (CSFAs)

2013 Renewal Statistics

CSFA Renewal Statistics

461 possible renewal candidates in 2013.  Of these, 404 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2013 is 88%.

CST Renewal Statistics

7,504 possible renewal candidates in 2013.  Of these, 5,096 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2013 is 68%.

 

2012 Renewal Statistics

CSFA Renewal Statistics

539 possible renewal candidates in 2012.  Of these, 483 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2012 is 90%.

CST Renewal Statistics

8,253 possible renewal candidates in 2012.  Of these, 6,035 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2012 is 73%.

 

2011 Renewal Statistics

CSFA Renewal Statistics

452 possible renewal candidates in 2011.  Of these, 415 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2011 is 91%.

CST Renewal Statistics

7,206 possible renewal candidates in 2011.  Of these, 5,637 renewed.  The national renewal percentage for 2011 is 78%.

 

2010 Renewal Statistics

CSFA Renewal Statistics

359 possible renewal candidates in 2010. Of these, 342 renewed. The national renewal percentage for 2010 is 95%.

CST Renewal Statistics

5,567 possible renewal candidates in 2010. Of these, 4,243 renewed. The national renewal percentage for 2010 is 76%.

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Pre-1977 CST Certifications

The NBSTSA started utilizing certification cycle dates on September 1, 1977, meaning anyone who was certified prior to that date is considered""certified for life" and is considered "noncurrent".   Those certified before September 1, 1977 have the option to become "current" if they wish.  To become "current",  pre-1977 CST certified candidates must either pass the current CST examination or earn 60 continuing education credits.  The continuing education credits must be earned within four years prior to when the application is received.  All first-time currency earners must submit the Initial Application for Currency Pre-1977 Certification.    A new certificate and card are issued when currency is earned.  Maintaining currency is voluntary.  To maintain currency, a renewal application must be  completed before the current cycle expires.  The cycle period is every 4 years.  If earning credits, the credits must meet the criteria of the "AST Continuing Education Policies for the CST & CSFA" and be submitted to AST for processing.  Best practice is to become an AST member prior to earning credits to avoid a processing fee.  When currency lapses, the individual returns to "certified for life but not current" status. If there is a lapse in currency, the pre-1977 certified candidate must earn currency by taking and passing the examination.  Pre-1977 CSTs who wish to sit for the CSFA Exam using the CST with Currency Experience Verification pathway must earn currency first.

 
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