For the first time, industrial sterilization specialists will be able to earn certification credentials from the AAMI Credentials Institute (ACI). The initial testing window for the Certified Industrial Sterilization Specialist (CISS) exam will be open from December 4-15.

“AAMI’s involvement in the sterilization field is constantly growing in the areas of standards development and continuing education,” says Sherrie Schulte, AAMI’s senior director of certification and the annual conference. “With so many individuals coming to AAMI for guidance and training in this significant area, it made sense to create a certification that would allow professionals to showcase their knowledge and experience.”

Professionals often decide to become certified as a way to demonstrate their accomplishments, mastery of skills, and experience in core competencies. In addition, certification helps to highlight a professional’s ability to provide quality and trustworthy service.

To be successful, industrial sterilization specialists must understand the principles of sterilization process development, validation, control, and management as part of the manufacture of healthcare products, according to Schulte. A CISS will also have expertise in the science of sterilization, including microbiology, physics, and chemistry, as well as knowledge of quality management systems, risk management, and regulatory requirements.

To be eligible to take the CISS exam, interested individuals must have one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering field and three years of full-time industrial sterilization work experience
  • A bachelor’s degree with 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of course work in microbiology or a related field and three years of full-time industrial sterilization work experience
  • A high school diploma with 20 academic credits awarded for participation in workshops sponsored by AAMI or other sterilization organizations and seven years of full-time industrial sterilization work experience

CISS candidates also have the opportunity to specialize in ethylene oxide, moist heat, or radiation sterilization. According to ACI, individuals may take the core and specialty exam in the same testing window, if desired.

Registration for the December testing window closes November 27. More information about the CISS credential and other ACI certifications is available at