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PTCB To Implement Changes In Continuing Education Requirements In 2015

by PTCB Staff | Oct 06, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC - Beginning in 2015, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) will implement two changes in recertification requirements for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs). First, any continuing education (CE) hours earned by a CPhT will need to be pharmacy technician-specific ('T-specific') to qualify for recertification. Second, PTCB will reduce the number of allowable 'in-service' CE hours from 10 to 5. In-service CE refers to certain projects or training earned at a CPhT's workplace under a pharmacist's supervision.

PTCB's new requirements are part of the Certification Program changes PTCB announced in early 2013 to advance pharmacy technician qualifications by elevating PTCB's standards for certification and recertification. The revised CE requirements are meant to ensure that CPhTs are continually educated through programs specific to the knowledge required in today's pharmacy settings.

As the nation's healthcare system evolves, pharmacy technician roles are expanding to better support pharmacists. "It is important for pharmacy technicians to be educated through programs designed to address technician-specific responsibilities and knowledge requirements in the pharmacy," said PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh. "PTCB's T-specific CE requirement and the phased reduction in allowable in-service CE hours are both consistent with this goal."

Many CE providers currently offer T-specific CE, and others are expanding their T-specific programs. PTCB will accept any T-specific program provided by an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), as indicated by a 'T' as the last digit of the course accreditation number. However, PTCB does not require CPhTs to earn their CE hours only from ACPE-accredited providers. To qualify as T-specific, a CE course's objectives must assess or sustain competencies critical to pharmacy technician practice. These competencies are stated in the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) Blueprint, a detailed outline of exam content.

PTCB will implement additional Certification Program changes in the future. Changes in recertification requirements will include: decreasing allowable CE hours earned from college courses from 15 to 10 by 2016; and completely phasing out allowable in-service CE hours by 2018. By 2020, PTCB will require new candidates seeking initial certification to successfully complete an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/ACPE-accredited education program.

PTCB's Certification Program changes support and advance improved patient care and safety throughout pharmacy practice. The changes are the result of a PTCB initiative which began with a 2011 summit on future directions for pharmacy technicians. Summit findings, combined with results from two profession-wide surveys, called for decisive changes.

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View the Fact Sheet on the 2015 changes in recertification requirements.

View the February 2013 announcement of PTCB's Certification Program changes.

View past PTCB press releases.