Since 1972, the ARC/STSA has set the gold standard for higher education programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting.

The ARC/STSA is a private, non-profit accreditation services agency that provides national recognition for more than 400 higher education programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting in collaboration with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The mission of the ARC/STSA is to provide accreditation services to our communities of interest that validate excellence of educational programs in order to advance the professions and ensure quality patient care.

Serving as a CAAHEP Committee on Accreditation, the ARC/STSA is the largest programmatic accreditor of surgical technology and surgical assisting programs, and the only national recognition for surgical technology and surgical assisting programs sponsored by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

History and Role

The profession of surgical technology developed during World War II when there was a critical need for assistance in performing surgical procedures and a shortage of qualified personnel to meet that need. Individuals were educated specifically to assist in surgical procedures and to function in the operative theatre.

In December 1972, the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted recommended educational standards for the profession of surgical technology, leading to the formation of the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology (ARC-ST). Specialized accreditation of programs in surgical technology began in 1974, implementing standards of compliance developed in collabora