Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technicians® (CSPT®s) have demonstrated knowledge and skill in the specialty area of compounded sterile preparations (CSPs). Preparing CSPs, commonly referred to as sterile compounding, requires unique knowledge and skill that is above and beyond the standard for CPhTs. CSPs are administered via routes that cause immediate effects for patients, and may also contain hazardous ingredients. CSPs therefore generally carry a higher risk than non-sterile medications or preparations. CSPTs practice under a licensed pharmacist in a variety of settings, including hospitals, home infusions centers, and other compounding facilities. The legal scope of practice for CSPTs is the purview of individual State Boards of Pharmacy.
To be eligible for the CSPT Exam, an applicant must be an active PTCB CPhT in good standing and satisfy one of the following pathways:
Pathway 1: Completion of, or enrollment in, a PTCB-recognized sterile compounding training programA AND one year of full-time continuous compounded sterile preparation (CSP) work experienceB.
Pathway 2: Three years of full-time continuous compounded sterile preparation (CSP) work experienceB.
To obtain CSPT Certification, candidates must pass the CSPT Exam and submit the CSPT Competency Attestation Form. Candidates that are deemed eligible for CSPT Certification will be granted a one-year CSPT Candidacy Eligibility Window.
A CSPT candidates who are within 60 days of completing a PTCB-recognized sterile compounding program are eligible to apply for CSPT Certification. CSPT Certification will not be granted until proof of program completion is provided to PTCB.
B Work experience must be within the last eight years. Part-time employment and roles that include, but are not fully devoted, to sterile compounding qualify.
The CSPT Competency Attestation Form is used to document that the Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT) Certification requirements for training, skill assessment, and competency assessment have been completed. CSPT candidates are required to submit this form to earn CSPT Certification and on an annual basis to maintain CSPT Certification. This form must be completed by a qualified supervisor that has directly observed the training, skill assessment, and competency assessment of the CSPT candidate/certificant. A qualified supervisor must be in good standing with their current employer and all regulatory bodies (e.g., state board of pharmacy) that have jurisdiction over the supervisor’s work site and must have at least five (5) years of experience working directly with or supervising compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) production. Please note that if the supervisor has less than five (5) years of experience, a letter from the pharmacy director describing the supervisor’s qualifications to oversee CSP production must be submitted along with the completed CSPT Competency Attestation Form.
Once approved, CSPT candidates will be granted a one-year Candidacy Eligibility Window. All exam and certification requirements must be completed within the candidacy eligibility window including a passing score on the CSPT Exam. Candidates who fail to complete the CSPT Certification requirements within their one-year candidacy eligibility window will be subject to reapply for eligibility again if they wish to obtain CSPT Certification. CSPT applicants reapplying for eligibility will be subject to current CSPT program requirements. All previous certification requirements completed will be deemed ineligible for future eligibility windows, including a passing score on the CSPT Exam and any previously approved CSPT Competency Attestation Form.
Passing the CSPT Exam is required to earn the CSPT credential. The CSPT Exam is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. The CSPT Exam is a two-hour, multiple-choice, exam that contains 75 questions: 60 scored questions and 15 unscored questions. Each question lists four possible answers, only one of which is the correct or best answer. Unscored questions are not identified and are randomly distributed throughout the exam. A candidate’s exam score is based on the responses to the 60 scored questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allotted for answering the exam questions and 10 minutes for a tutorial and post-exam survey.
The CSPT Exam covers knowledge specific to CSPs that build upon the content of the PTCE®. The CSPT Exam covers all aspects of CSP preparation, including all risk levels and both hazardous and non-hazardous CSPs. CSPT Exam content is organized into four domains, but exam items are presented in random order throughout the exam. A complete version of the content outline, which lists the knowledge required to perform the activities associated with each function, can be found in Appendix E.
Exam Passing Score
A panel of subject-matter experts established a passing score for the CSPT Exam using industry best practices. The method used by the panel, as directed by a psychometrician, is the modified-Angoff method. This method requires experts (panel members) to evaluate individual test questions and estimate the percentage of qualified pharmacy technicians that would be able to answer each question correctly. These estimates were analyzed for consistency and averaged to produce the passing score. The passing score and candidate results are reported as scaled scores. The passing scaled score for the CSPT Exam is 1,400. The range of possible CSPT Exam scores based on the exam outline is 1,000 to 1,600.
Preparing for the CSPT Exam
PTCB has made three essential resources available to assist candidates in preparing for the CSPT Exam:
Candidates should thoroughly review these resources before attempting the CSPT Exam. PTCB does not currently offer practice tests for the CSPT Exam but may develop such practice tools in the future.