Recertification Information

Recertification Purpose and Rationale

ABSA supports the ongoing professional development of its certificants. The mandatory recertification process provides is designed to ensure that the Surgical Assistant – Certified continues their education and experience in health science and medicine by reinforcing and expanding their knowledge and skills and retaining knowledge of current practice.

Recertification encourages and acknowledges professional development participation. To support this purpose, the recertification requirements include attainment of recertification points through completion of professional development activities such as continuing medical education (22 hours), ACLS/PALS/CPR certification, and relevant work experience or recertification by passing the current certification exam. These activities support ongoing professional development, encourage opportunities for new learning, and provide a process for utilizing updated skills/knowledge through relevant work experience.

The two-year period established for recertification is based on ABSA’s assessment that new practices, research, and information are introduced in the field with enough frequency that professional development activities should be conducted routinely so that certificants remain up to date with both current best practices and emerging knowledge.

Recertification Requirements

Certification is valid for a two-year period, and the certification expiration date is indicated on each individual’s certificate. Certification expires on June 30 of the expiration year.

Individuals have two options to recertify:

  • Complete professional development and experience requirements or
  • Take and pass the SA-C certification exam. Individuals must complete the recertification application and submit the required fee at the time of application.

Certificants should review the ABSA Certification Handbook for full information and policies related to maintaining certification.

ABSA will review all recertification applications for adherence to the recertification requirement. In addition, ABSA will select a percentage of recertification applications for audit. Candidates should keep documentation information for up to one year in the event they are selected for audit.

Please Note: Anyone found guilty of “Practicing Medicine Without a License,” in the United States of America or its territories, either by court trial or plea agreement, will lose their certification and never be eligible to certify with the ABSA again.

Failure to Recertify

Recertification is mandatory for all certificants. If certification is not renewed it will expire on June 30 two years after the certification was last earned. Individuals whose certification has expired or been suspended or revoked may not represent him/herself as an ABSA certificant and may not use the credential until he/she receives official notice that the recertification requirements have been satisfied or that certification status has been reinstated.

Certificants who fail to recertify in accordance with ABSA policy will be changed from an active to inactive status in the online registry of certificants and the verification letter.

Role and Function of the Surgical Assistant

Certification as a surgical assistant through the ABSA (SA-C) does not allow for independent performance of any medical or surgical procedures. Certification as a surgical assistant is not intended to define requirements for employment or scope of practice, nor does it restrict who may or may not function as a surgical assistant. Certification does not guarantee employment, nor does it relieve an employer from determining the background or professional responsibilities of the assistant.

The ABSA and its officers neither endorse nor reject any scope of practice established by any physician, hospital, or medical facility. Each SA-C must abide by the rules and regulations established for their scope of practice.