Central Processing Technician Program

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is CPD?

A: The Central Processing Department is the nucleus of a healthcare facility where medical/surgical supplies and equipment are cleaned, processed, packaged, sterilized, and used for patient care.


Q: What does a Central Processing Technician do?

A: Central Processing Technicians are healthcare professionals who use specialized training in aseptic technique to ensure a sterilized environment for medical personnel and patients. Their primary responsibility is infection control which includes cleaning, testing, assembling, adjusting, packaging and sterilizing reusable medical supplies, instruments and equipment.


Q: What are the requirements to take the Central Processing Technician course?
A: All applicants must fill out an application, and pay the $850 course fee; All applicants must have graduated from high school or earned a GED and be at least 18 years of age


Q: Is there an application deadline?
A: Our program reviews and accepts applications year-round. Once enrolled, students are allowed to begin the course immediately.


Q: Are there any prerequisite courses I need to take before I take the Central Processing course?

A: No. There are no prerequisite courses needed for this course.


Q: How do I apply for the course?

A: To be considered for admission into the program, you must:

1. Submit a completed on-line application

2. Pay $1150 course tuition


Q: How much does the course cost?

A: The cost of the course is $1150.00


Q: What does the program cost include?

A: Tuition, course material, final exam fee, and certificate


Q: Does CPTTS offer financial aid?

A: Our institution does not provide financial aid, nor do we accept grants. Students are required to make financial plans that suit their personal needs prior to enrolling in the course.


Q: Do I have to have experience in the health care industry to take the course?

A: No. Our students come from diverse backgrounds that are not limited to the health care industry.

Q: Do I need to know medical terminology before I begin the course?

A: No. Each chapter comes with a list of medical terms. We encourage students to study these lists and memorize them. Knowing and understanding medical terminology plays a big role in your success in the field.


Q: What is the length of the course?

A: Students have up to 12 weeks to complete the program.


Q: Is the entire course offered online?

A. Yes.


Q: If I start the program on-line, can I switch to the class version? Do I have the option?

A: If you are located in the Sacramento, CA metropolitan area and enroll in the on-line course and would like to attend the class in person, please contact the Program Administrator to explore further options. We will make an effort to accommodate our students to the best of our ability.


Q: Is this a full time program?

A: No. This course is set up to accommodate students who work full time. With 24/7 access to the course, students work on their own time and pace until the course is completed.††


Q: Does this course require an internship?

A: No. Although this course does not require an internship to obtain a certificate, we encourage students to gain as much hands on experience as possible. It is strongly recommended that students learn surgical instruments, gain hands-on experience through internships, and read additional material pertaining to the Central Processing Department to enhance their learning experience and increase their knowledge.


Q: How many chapters are taught in this course?

A: Ten chapters will be presented in the course:

Introduction to Central Processing Department
: History, purpose and concepts of CPD

Microbiology: Basic microbiology and its importance to the CPD environment

Decontamination: Purpose and procedures of decontamination and infection control

Surgical Instrumentation: Components, proper handling and overview of instruments

Packaging: Proper packing/wrapping of materials and supplies for processing

Sterilization: Requirements and proper preparation of items for sterilization

Clean/Sterile Storage: Understanding requirements for clean and sterile storage

Distribution: Accurate, efficient distribution of equipment and supplies

Inventory Management: Identify the role and process of inventory management

Synopsis, roles and functions of major body systems: Synopsis, roles and functions of major body systems


Q: How long is each chapter? What does each chapter include? How long do I have to complete it?

A: Each chapter consists of information that pertains to the subject matter at hand and includes PowerPoint presentations, medical terminology, chapter summary, all information needed is provided for successful completion of each chapter. Students have the freedom to complete each module on their own time provided they complete the course in 12 weeks.


Q: Can I by-pass or challenge a class if I already took it?

A: No. We do not allow students to by-pass or challenge any subjects covered in the course content. Each topic provides a foundation that builds upon itself as each chapter progresses and is necessary to successfully perform as a Central Processing Technician.


Q: Can I choose the order of the chapters to study?

A: No. Students are required to complete each course topic sequentially.


Q: What if I do not or cannot complete the course in 12 weeks?

A: Contact the Program Director immediately and arrangements will be made to assist you with the completion of the course.


Q: Can I do extra credit work?

A: No extra credit is offered for this program.


Q: Can I transfer the classes of this course to another college?
A: No. This program does not have transfer options into other degree programs.


Q: What happens if I donít pass the chapter test?
A: You will have five (5) opportunities to take the chapter test to pass it with a score of 80 or higher. Students must pass each chapter test to be granted access to the next chapter. Contact the Program Administrator if you do not pass the test after 5 tries for further instructions.


Q: What are the graduation requirements?

A: To be eligible for graduation from the program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • All financial obligations must be met††
  • The student must pass all chapter tests and final exam with scores of 80% or higher
  • Course must be completed in 12 weeks or less


Q: Once I complete the program, will I be getting a diploma or certificate?

A: A certificate of completion is awarded to all students that successfully meet the requirements of the course.


Q: How will I get my certificate of completion?

A: Once you have successfully completed the course, your certificate of completion will be mailed to you.


Q: What is the refund policy?

A: FULL REFUNDS will be given to students who withdraw from the course within the first five (5) business days after registering with CPTTS.


PRO-RATED REFUNDS will be given to students withdrawing from the course after the first five (5) days up to the fifth (5th) week of class after registering with CPTTS.


NO REFUNDS will be given after the fifth (5th) week after registering with CPTTS.


Students can withdraw from the program up to five (5) weeks after registering to receive a partial refund. Only the portion of the program that is not completed will be considered for the pro-rated refund if the request is made within the acceptable timeframe. Refunds will be paid within thirty (30) days after the request has been made.


Q: Does the completion of this course automatically certify me as a Central Processing Technician?

A: No. This program is considered a stepping stone and certifies you as a Level I Central Processing Technician.

The state of California does not require or provide a certification exam; however, it is customary for employers to expect potential employees to have taken a course or certification exam prior to employment.


Q: Will the course prepare me to sit for the national certification exam?

A: Yes. This course is designed to prepare students for the national exam. Test preparation is strongly emphasized throughout the course.


Q: How can I get more information about the national certification test?

A: There are many websites that provide this information about the organization and test dates and sites. Students are encouraged to research websites that provide information on local test sites and dates.††


Q: Where can I work once I complete the course?

A: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to obtain entry level positions as a Central Processing Technician in hospitals, outpatient centers, surgical centers, doctorsí/dentistsí office, and other medical facilities.


Q: Do you offer job placement?
A: No. We do not offer job placement. Students that have successfully completed the course have stated they have gained employment in various medical facilities after completing paid/unpaid internships.


Q: Who can I contact if I have any questions?

A: Should any questions or concerns arise during the course, you are highly advised to contact the Program Administrator as soon as possible to address any issues.Questions are encouraged and welcomed.


Q: What are the hours of a technician?

A: Some central processing departments may operate 24 hours a day so technicians must work shifts that may include nights, weekends and holidays.


Q: How much will I make as a CPD Technician?
A: Salaries vary depending on the responsibilities of the position and the qualifications of the worker.


Q: What are the performance requirements of a CPD technician?

A: Performance requirements for a CPD technician includes:

Didactic Knowledge:

  • Proper handling, cleaning, assembly, function testing, packaging and sterilization of surgical instruments and equipment
  • Medical terminology
  • Surgical instrumentation
  • Successful completion of chapters: Introduction to Central Processing Department, Microbiology, Decontamination, Surgical Instrumentation, Packaging, Sterilization, Clean/Sterile Storage, Distribution, Inventory Management, Anatomy and Physiology
  • Aseptic technique
  • Learn how microbes and germs cause infections
  • Manage inventory
  • Order supplies
  • Inspect, maintain integrity of sterilized packages
  • Deliver and retrieve instruments and equipment


Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

  • Be able to read/write/speak English
  • Communicate effectively with co-workers, nurses and physicians
  • Be a team player and become a part of the hospital team
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with management and other employees
  • Work independently
  • Have the ability to exercise judgment and make decisions
  • Must be honest, dependable, and ethical
  • Ability to perform while under stress
  • Ability to document accurately and concisely
  • Be willing to learn new procedures, material protocols


Physical Demands

  • Eye/hand coordination. Full use of arms, hands and wrists
  • Students should be able to stand for at least 8 hours at a time
  • Be able to lift at least 50 lbs
  • Transport, lift, lower, move, turn heavy objects
  • Color vision and depth perception: Must be able to differentiate between colors
  • Respond to audio signals
  • Keep up with a fast paced environment
  • Be able to multi-task


Q: What skills do I need to be successful?
A: Many Technicians have the following skills: good organizational, planning, and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently or in a team setting, ability to adapt to changing technology, good problem solving skills, and good physical stamina (ability to walk or stand for long periods of time).


Q: Where can I get more information?

A: For a complete summary report for Central Processing Technicians, please visit: http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/31-9093.00