Below is a list of all the classification categories and criteria for each. Find your specific category and review the criteria outlined in the category to determine whether you are eligible for certification. If you meet the criteria for certification please complete the certification application form and we will review your application and determine your eligibility.

The NCCSA strives to get back to all applicants in a timely manner. Our response time is impacted by the completeness of your application and the response time of your references. Please ensure that you have notified your references and your academic institutions that we will be verifying your information.

NCCSA recognizes all Surgical Assistant Programs accredited by CAAHEP and ABHES that have completed the NCCSA Program Approval Process

Criteria & Qualifications

Please be advised that, as of January 1st, 2019, there will be substantive changes to the alternate pathways for CSA eligibility. Beginning on this date, only physicians and appropriately educated military personnel will be qualified to sit for the CSA exam, without completion of a formal CAAHEP accredited program in surgical assisting.

We therefore strongly encourage any other allied health professionals interested in applying for the CSA credential, to submit their completed application packet prior to January 1st, 2019.

Individuals wishing to apply for Certification must qualify in one of the following categories:


Documentation Required:

Certification Application

Fill out the Certification Application to get started today


Certification Application Fees:

  • MD/DO; PA-C; NP; RN; CSFA; OA-C; SA-C; Departed Military $100.00
  • Graduate from NCCSA-approved SA Educational Program $100.00
  • New Graduate (graduated within last 12 months) $50
  • Active Military $50

Note: All certification application fees are non-refundable and are due each time you request an eligibility review.


CATEGORY 1 – Medical Doctor/Doctor of Osteopathy/Foreign Medical Graduate

Documentation Required:

  • NCCSA Certification Application
  • One letter of recommendation from a Surgeon
  • Copy of documents of training as a surgeon of documentation of at least 2250 hours of first assisting in a surgical rotation
  • For FMG ONLY – you must either provide a copy of your English Equivalency Exam, or request a waiver of that exam, with full knowledge that the Certification Examination is given in English


Documentation Required:

  • NCCSA Certification Application
  • Skills Affidavit
  • Experience Affidavit
  • Certificate/Proof of formal surgical assisting training program/education
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from surgeons you have assisted
  • One (1) year of case log showings the YOUR name as the assistant and the type of surgeries
  • Copy of the Current Certification and/or License you hold (must have held Certification or Licensure for the past 3 years and have a total of 2250 hours of first assistant experience within that timeframe)

CATEGORY 1 – Discharged from Military More than One (1) Year

Documentation Required:

  • NCCSA Certification Application
  • Copy of  DD214
  • Copy of Certification of Training (showing emphasis on surgical assisting)
  • Skills Affidavit
  • Case Log Book (showing at least 125 cases)
  • One letter of recommendation from a surgeon you have assisted (letter must not be dated over one year from date of application)

CATEGORY 2 – Active to Less than One (1) Year Discharged

Documentation Required:

  • NCCSA Certification Application
  • Documentation of Training with emphasis on surgical assisting (can be a certificate – which shows emphasis on surgical assisting; letter from a supervisor attesting to training with emphasis on surgical assisting)
  • Skills Affidavit