By Ron Kruzel, MA, CAE, CST, ARC/STSA Executive Director

Valentine’s greetings from all of us here at the ARC/STSA! Who do we love?! Our surgical technology and surgical assisting educators!

So much is happening at the ARC/STSA with the start of 2022. November and December saw CAAHEP approval of the surgical technology Standards and Guidelines, launch of the Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology, seventh edition, revision of the ST-SIG document into the ARC/STSA Best Practice Guide in Surgical Technology Education, and development of the new ARC/STSA annual report and database. Time to dive a little deeper into everything…

The implementation date for the new Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology is August 1, 2022. As related to the implementation of the associate degree, sponsoring institutions that are running dual tracks (associate degree and certificate/diploma) will no longer be able to enroll students into a CAAHEP-accredited certificate/diploma track after that date. Institutions with no associate degree track may petition the ARC/STSA for a one-time implementation extension of two years, to August 1, 2024. The submission period to request the extension will be July 1, 2022, through July 31, 2022. ARC/STSA will provide updates on this process as we continue into 2022.

AST released the electronic version of the Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology, seventh edition in December 2021.  ARC/STSA will distribute complimentary hard copies of the CCST-7e to our programs as soon as possible. Programs will have two years to implement the CCST-7e, to January 1, 2024.

ARC/STSA is putting the final changes on the newly developed ARC/STSA Best Practice Guide in Surgical Technology Education, which will replace the current Standards Interpretive Guide for Surgical Technology. Look for release later this spring.

If that is not enough, ARC/STSA will launch the NEW and IMPROVED 2022 Annual Report on March 1, 2022. Be on the lookout for notification of this launch in the coming weeks. ARC/STSA will provide online and on-demand webinar training for the new reporting system. You are going to love it! The Annual Report submission period will be March 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022.

Finally, ARC/STSA will be releasing a series of new policies approved by the Board of Directors related to the associate degree implementation, clinical resources, lab ratio, outcomes reporting, AFE,  and  Program Advisory Committees. The release date will be February 2022.

Here is to a better and better 2022, with the pandemic winding down and meetings reconvening. This update is coming to you from Las Vegas, Nevada, and the 25th anniversary AST Educators Conference! Many thanks to the 66 amazing educators who attended the ARC/STSA Accreditation Fundamentals for Educators Workshop on February 10! Do not worry if you missed it, we are doing it again in October 2022 at our inaugural AccredX accreditation conference and expo! Join us in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, at the historic Menger Hotel!