Surgical Processing Technician Certificate Program

Explore one of the most exciting, highly technical, and specialized environments in healthcare. The surgical processing department of a healthcare facility is the center of all activity involving cleaning and sterilizing supplies and equipment needed for surgery and other patient care areas.

The Surgical Processing Technician program provides students with the knowledge and professional skills necessary to deliver support to all patient care areas within a healthcare facility. Students learn processes for maintaining medical instruments and devices that must be decontaminated, processed, sterilized, and distributed in hospitals and surgical centers. Graduates have in-depth knowledge of infection control as it relates to sterile processing and decontamination procedures, instruments used in operating rooms, and processes for sterilizing and packaging instruments used during surgery.

Students who wish to enhance their career opportunities can apply Surgical Processing Technician certificate program credits toward the Berkeley College Health Sciences Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Benefit from:

  • A strong foundation in both the theory and techniques of decontamination
  • Hands-on learning in on-site medical laboratories that simulate the surgical processing environment
  • Opportunities to practice communication and interpersonal skills needed for developing a rapport with colleagues and patients
  • Valuable, practical experience gained through the completion of a practicum at an off-campus healthcare facility under the supervision of instructors and professional practitioners

The Berkeley College Surgical Processing Technician program meets the requirements of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). As a result, graduates of the Surgical Processing Technician program are eligible to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) examination. 

Graduates of the Surgical Processing Technician program also are eligible to participate in the Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER) examination administered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Not all programs are offered for completion at each campus or through Berkeley College Online®. Please review the academic program pages ( for information on where each program is offered. Additionally, all students may be required to take some courses at another campus or online. The Internship courses are only offered online.



Course Requirements


HEA2200 Medical Terminology

3 Credits

Provides a solid foundation and understanding of the medical language used by healthcare professionals through the introduction, reinforcement, and combination of medical word parts including prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Emphasis is placed on word building, analysis of word parts, spelling, special endings, plural forms, correct pronunciation of terminology related to procedures, and diseases of the various body systems. Commonly used abbreviations and symbols will also be introduced.

HEA2203 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Services

3 Credits

An introduction to the principles of law as applied to the healthcare field. Students learn ethical standards and issues as related to healthcare.

SPT1110 Fundamentals of Surgical Processing

4 Credits 

Introduces the important role of the Central Service Department. Government regulations/standards, infection prevention/control, quality assurance, safety, communication, human relations skills, body systems and related surgical procedures, and medical terms and abbreviations used in surgery are discussed.

SPT2100 Surgical Instrumentation

4 Credits 

Examines the basic categories of surgical instruments (simple to complex), processing standards accompanying flash sterilization, concepts of inventory management, and management of commonly used patient care equipment. Students learn the sterile packaging process and factors impacting sterilization.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: SPT1110

SPT2120 Endoscopic Reprocessing

3 Credits

Students learn the methods and importance of proper reprocessing of endoscopes and accessories and the role Central Service Departments play in ensuring that equipment is cleaned and reprocessed according to established guidelines. Government regulations and standards, infection prevention and control, decontamination, cleaning, disinfection, microbiology, body systems and related surgical procedures, and medical terms and abbreviations used in endoscopy are discussed.

SPT2150 Surgical Processing Clinical Practicum

8 Credits

Offers supervised practical work experience in a sterile processing environment, which provides students with hands-on experience. Didactic and laboratory skills acquired in the program are applied in the clinical setting.

Prerequisite: Departmental permission

Corequisite: SPT2151

SPT2151 Surgical Processing Clinical Seminar

2 Credits 

Focuses on integrating the skills learned throughout the program with the work experience while also participating in focused discussions and special projects. This course stresses entry-level job requirements and upward career paths, resume writing skills, interviewing techniques, and networking.

Corequisite: SPT2150


SCI1100 Anatomy and Physiology I

3 Credits

Study of the structure, function, and pathology (disease) of the human body. Students are introduced to various body systems including the musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous, and integumentary, as well as the special senses.

SCI2100 Anatomy and Physiology II

3 Credits

Study of the structure, function, and pathology (disease) of the human body. Students are introduced to various body systems including the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, endocrine, lymphatic, and reproductive systems.

Prerequisite: SCI1100


Governing regulations may disqualify individuals from obtaining professional certification in this field based upon health or criminal records. Therefore, in addition to meeting the immunization requirements of Berkeley College and the State of New Jersey, students applying to the Surgical Processing Technician program must provide authorization for a criminal background check prior to acceptance into the program.  Prior to participating in clinical rotations, students must also submit a physical assessment by a licensed medical professional.

Extensive criminal background checks may be repeated after admission at the request of clinical facilities, and positive findings may prevent students from completing the clinical portion of the program, graduating, and participating in certification exams. Health requirements required for clinical courses are extensive and may total several hundred dollars. The costs of these health requirements are borne by the student.

To qualify for graduation, students enrolled in the Surgical Processing Technician program must pass Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology I, as well as Anatomy and Physiology II with a minimum grade of C; any grade below a C is a failing grade.  In addition, students must pass all SPT courses with a minimum grade of C+, as well as participate in the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification examination.

New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut require individuals to earn the CRCST credential before becoming eligible for employment. As of the date of posting, Pennsylvania does not have state law requirements relating to the education and certification of central service technicians. The College has not made a determination with respect to certification requirements of other states.

This program requires students to take and pass the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers - BLS (AHA) exam.

Information about program costs (including tuition, fees, books and supplies) is available at: