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Important Updates to the
PTCB CPhT Program in 2020

On January 11, 2018, PTCB announced two important changes to the PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program that will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The first change is an updated education/training eligibility requirement for PTCB CPhT applicants replacing the current high school completion requirement. The second change is an updated Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) Content Outline. Stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to review these changes as described below.

Education/Training Eligibility Requirement

On January 1, 2020, completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program OR equivalent work experience will be required of all new CPhT applicants. Programs recognized by PTCB require curriculums to include specific knowledge identified in PTCB’s most recent job analysis. Program directors must attest that the required knowledge is included in their program’s curriculum. Program director attestations, together with independent audits, will ensure compliance with PTCB requirements and the quality of recognized programs. The required knowledge is listed on the CPhT Program Recognition Attestation Form.   

To be considered eligible for the the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) under this new requirement, a candidate must attest to one of the following:
1. Completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program.
OR
2. Equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician. This alternative path will serve experienced pharmacy technicians who were not in a position to attend a PTCB-recognized program in the past. Experienced technicians will need to have their supervisor complete a CPhT Work Experience Attestation Form on their behalf, which contains similar knowledge requirements used to evaluate recognized programs.

Stakeholders and members of the public are invited to submit comments by Wednesday, April 11, 2018 pertaining to the education/training eligibility requirement.

Submit Comments on the Education/Training Requirement

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) Content Outline

In 2020, PTCB will release an updated PTCE based on a recently completed Job Analysis study. The current PTCE content outline is organized into nine knowledge domains while the updated content outline is organized into four knowledge domains. The updated PTCE will focus on critical knowledge that applies across practice settings.

To aid in understanding the content changes, PTCB has created a crosswalk document to identify where knowledge listed under the current content outline is organized within the updated PTCE. Some content was removed from the PTCE because it will be addressed either by the education/training requirement or in another PTCB Certification Program.

Approximately every 5 years, PTCB conducts a Job Analysis Study. This study is based on a first-hand survey of the current roles and tasks performed by pharmacy technicians in every practice setting across the US. The results of the survey are then used to construct a new blueprint, or content outline, for the PTCE. PTCB’s most recent Job Analysis Study was completed in October 2016, with more than 40,000 pharmacy technicians from across the US participating in the survey. PTCB’s Certification Council reviewed the 2016 Job Analysis Study and approved the updated content outline for the PTCE. The length of the PTCE (90 items across 1 hour and 50 minutes) and the type of questions (multiple choice) will not change.

More information on these updates can be found in our press release.

If you have questions about these updates, please visit our Help Center and search ‘2020’.