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

“Jingle-bell, jingle-bell, jingle-bell rock. Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring.”

Various artists (but my favorite is Randy Travis)

Welcome to the holiday issue of the ARC/STSA eNewsletter! It is December, and there is so much to do and so little time. All of us here at the ARC/STSA hope you make the time to relax, enjoy family, friends and rejoice in the holiday season. Before you do, please take a few moments for some end-of-year updates.

The proposed “Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology” met approval by CAAHEP at the November 19, 2021, meeting of its board of directors. To provide programs additional time to review and implement the newly approved CAAHEP Surgical Technology Standards and Guidelines, the ARC/STSA has established August 1, 2022, as the implementation date for the new Standards and Guidelines. Over the coming months the ARC/STSA will be providing ongoing guidance to our program community on the implementation process. We encourage you to contact the ARC/STSA at for guidance related to your specific implementation questions.

ARC/STSA received an electronic copy of the “Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology, 7th Edition” (CCST-7e) from AST the first week of December. Once we receive the printed version, the ARC/STSA will mail a complementary hard copy of the document to every program director, along with CCST-7e implementation criteria. The digital version may be accessed here. The ARC/STSA has established the two-year period, beginning January 1, 2022, for implementation of the new curriculum. Please review the implementation criteria accompanying your CCST-7e for more detailed information.

A newly revised and rebranded “Surgical Technology — Standards Interpretive Guide” is near completion and is scheduled for review at the December meeting of the ARC/STSA board of directors. We are anticipating that the significantly streamlined “Best Practice Guide for Surgical Technology Education” will be released in early January 2022. Our profound thanks to the educator task force who spent hours on this project, allowing ARC/STSA to coordinate its release with the CCST-7e.

The ARC/STSA Accreditation Management System (AMS) is well under way with ARC/STSA staff working with our IT vendor to make final changes on the new, streamlined ARC/STSA Annual Report. Annual reporting is scheduled to resume in 2022, with the report likely opening on March 1. With so much to do still, be on the lookout in January for initial instructions on the new AMS and how to access its features. We are so excited to be offering this new AMS to our programs!

October 6-8, 2022 … save the date! We are proud to host our first ever accreditation conference and expo, AccredX! Join us in San Antonio, Texas, at the historic Menger Hotel for two and a half days of workshops, roundtables and presentations specific to your programmatic management and accreditation compliance. We are so excited by your enthusiastic response already, thank you! We can’t wait to celebrate of 50 years of ARC/STSA accreditation services and the excellence of our surgical technology and surgical assisting programs in person! And, no, I have not been with ARC/STSA the entire time…

Please enjoy this eNewsletter and our end-of-year features on community service and self-care. Especially self-care — we need you!

As 2021 concludes, we at the ARC/STSA cannot help but look back at another tumultuous year in education, fraught with challenges, both ongoing and new. I cannot thank you all enough for your commitment to your students! You are making a difference, for your graduates and the surgical patients. Please reach out to me anytime at with your questions, comments or concerns. Have a wonderful holiday season!