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 Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), formerly 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. 

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.

Prerequisites: SPT2100, SPT2120

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


Additional Program Information

Students applying to the Surgical Processing Technician certificate program must provide authorization for a criminal background check prior to being accepted into the program. In instances where a student’s criminal background check contains information related to past criminal activity, the student may be permitted to progress in the Program at her/his own risk.  Berkeley College cannot guarantee that it will find suitable clinical placement(s) since the decision to accept students is at the sole discretion of the clinical affiliate. Prior to participating in the required clinical rotation, students must satisfy all clinical clearance requirements, which include, but are not limited to, a physical assessment by a licensed medical professional; meeting immunization requirements; a secondary criminal background check at the request of clinical facilities; and drug screenings.

Students enrolled in the Surgical Processing Technician (SPT) specialization must meet the minimum passing grade requirements for certain courses.

For more information about the SPT program, grade requirements, and clinical requirements, see:

Surgical Processing Technician Student Handbook Supplement

Program Costs

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

Professional Licensure & Certification

Information about professional licensure and/or certification requirements for this program is available online at: