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Advanced CE

Earlier this year the National Board for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) announced that the certification cycle for CSTs and CSFAs will be changed from four to two years stating:

"Effective January 1, 2020, the phase-in of a two-year certification renewal cycle requirement for both the Certified Surgical Technologist® and the Certified Surgical First Assistant® will begin." For details go here:

CSTs will be required to earn a total of 30 CE credits including 4 defined as advanced and CSFAs will be required to earn 38 CE credits including 8 defined as advanced.

Working collaboratively, AST, ASA, and the NBSTSA have approved the following definition of Advanced CE:

"CE sessions conducted by physicians at AST/ASA-approved conferences and workshops, AST state assembly meetings, employer in-services, grand rounds, physician professional meetings and by manufacturers intended for physicians."

The requirements for Advanced CE credits has been implemented to achieve a balance in the methods in which CSTs and CSFAs earn CE credits, and to promote face-to-face discussions with lecturers that contributes to real-time learning experience.

Examples of advanced CE that will be accepted and processed for recertification include:

  • CE taught by physicians at AST conference will be defined as advanced (for example, at the 2019 annual conference there were 18 educational sessions taught by physicians).
  • CE taught by physicians at state assembly meetings are defined as advanced (for example, in 2018 there were 91 state assembly meetings with 235 educational sessions taught by physicians).
  • In addition to all of the physician organizations whose CE is defined as advanced (for example, ACS, AAOS, AMA, and about 20 other physician organizations), CE from many colleges, hospitals, and others accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) are also defined as advanced CE.
  • As noted above, any employer (for example, hospitals, surgical centers) in-services taught by physicians are defined as advanced CE.
  • There are also numerous examples of manufacturer taught CE provided by employers and at state assembly meetings that were developed for physicians that are also provided to CSTs and CSFAs are defined as advanced CE (for example, DaVinci surgical robot hands-on training).