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TN to Require Certification for Central Service Techs

Publish Date: May 25, 2016


Earlier this year, Tennessee Senator Mark Norris introduced a bill, SB2581, to study whether certification requirements for central service technicians was needed to increase patient safety in the state. However, after discussion with stakeholders, the bill no longer commissions a study on the topic and was changed to require certification of central service technicians.

The amended bill passed the Tennessee legislature on April 13, 2016 and was signed on April 27, 2016 by the Governor.

Effective January 1, 2017 no person shall function as a central service technician unless the person:

  • Has successfully passed a nationally accredited central service exam for central service technicians and holds and maintains a certified registered central service technical credential administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. or;
  • Was employed or otherwise contracted for services as a central service technician in a healthcare institution before January 1, 2017; or
  • Obtains a certified registered central service technician credential administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc., not later than two (2) years after the person's date of hire or contracting for services with a healthcare institution.

Additionally, all central service technicians must complete a minimum of ten (10) hours of continuing education annually in areas related to the functions of a central service technician.

Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York have similar laws requiring certification of central service technicians. Massachusetts is currently considering legislation that requires certification of central service technicians.

AORN will continue to monitor efforts to require certification for central service technicians and provide updates. If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Glover, Government Affairs Manager.