In February 2013, PTCB announced future changes to the PTCB Certification Program. The new changes will advance pharmacy technician qualifications by elevating PTCB’s standards for national certification and recertification. During the next seven years, PTCB will phase in the changes, including mandatory background checks, accredited education requirements, and changes in acceptable continuing education (CE) programs for recertification.
To qualify for PTCB certification, each new candidate must complete a(n):
- Criminal background check by a future date to be determined
- ASHP-accredited pharmacy technician education program by 2020
To qualify for PTCB recertification, each Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) must complete:
- One hour of medication safety (equivalent to patient safety) continuing education (CE) by 2014
- Twenty hours of pharmacy technician-specific CE by 2015
The number of CE hours accepted will be modified for those earned:
- Via college/university coursework—from 15 to 10 hours by 2016
- Through in-services —from 10 to 5 hours in 2015, and from 5 to 0 in 2018
For further information regarding the history and proposed implementation plans of these upcoming changes, please refer to this Background Document
On May 31, 2013, PTCB completed a 90-day open online comment period which allowed members of the pharmacy community to share best practices for implementing the new requirements. Procedures, guidelines, and other details will be published closer to the planned implementation dates.
Open Forums PTCB is working closely with educators, employers, boards of pharmacy, and state/national organizations to best implement these decisions. During early 2013, PTCB asked for live feedback from pharmacy technicians and stakeholders at the following open forums across the country: American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition 2013
Session: Sunday, March 3 from 2:00-3:00 pm in room 153B, in Los Angeles, CA California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) West Coast Pharmacy Exchange
Session: Sunday, March 17 from 5:00-6:00 pm, in Monterey, CA South Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SCSHP) 2013 Annual Meeting
Sessions: Sunday, March 24 & Monday, March 25 from 3:30-4:30 pm, in Charleston, SC Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) Educational Conference
Session: Thursday, April 18 from 1:00-2:00 pm, in Madison, WI North Dakota Pharmacists Association (NDPhA) Annual Convention
Session: Friday, April 26, in Dickinson, ND Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) 2013 Annual Meeting
Session: Saturday, April 27 in Austin, TX
PTCB launched the C.R.E.S.T. Initiative in 2011 by hosting a summit focused on the areas of Consumer Awareness, Resources, Education, State Policy, and Testing relating to pharmacy technicians. Attendees included pharmacists, Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs), educators, major employers, State Boards of Pharmacy, as well as representatives from state and national pharmacy organizations.
During the summit, participants expressed the need for the profession to move beyond philosophical discussion and make decisions on the future of pharmacy practice and the role of pharmacy technicians.
Recommendations from the summit include eligibility requirements for the PTCB Certification Program, requirements for recertification, and the creation of new specialty certification programs.
In March 2012, the C.R.E.S.T. Initiative Steering Committee, composed of 10 leaders in pharmacy, developed and launched a profession-wide survey on the above recommendations. The survey was completed by more than 17,000 pharmacy technicians and pharmacists nationwide. Results from the survey will provide the PTCB Board of Governors and Certification Council with important input from the profession on advancing the work of pharmacy technicians and the future of the PTCB Certification Program.