Credentialing Guidelines and Requirements

A Candidate Guidebook

General Application Information

PTCB Credential Application Process

PTCB accepts applications for certification year-round on a continuous basis. Applicants apply for certification online at Online applications require payment by credit card payment.

First-time candidates must register for a PTCB Account to apply. Candidates who previously applied should log into their PTCB Account to submit a new application.

A paper application is only available to those with a disability or hardship that precludes using the online application. Requests to use the paper application must be submitted in writing to PTCB and include appropriate documentation of the disability or hardship.

As part of the application, candidates agree to be bound by PTCB Policies and Procedures as explained in the Certification Guidelines and Requirements and must declare whether they meet the eligibility requirements for PTCB Certifications.

A candidate may be disqualified for PTCB Certifications upon the disclosure or discovery of:

  • Criminal conduct involving the candidate.
  • State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure action involving the candidate.
  • Violation of a PTCB Certification policy, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct.

PTCB reserves the right to investigate criminal background, verify candidate eligibility and deny certification to any individual. It is the responsibility of the PTCB credential holder to report any felony conviction, drug or pharmacy-related violations, or State Board of Pharmacy action taken against their license or registration at the occurrence and at the time of recertification, to PTCB for review. Disqualification determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.

Certification Eligibility Conduct Disclosures

During the application process, candidates are required to disclose any and all criminal matters of which they are the subject, including but not limited to, investigations or disciplines by a government agency or other authority such as a State Board of Pharmacy, a professional association, or a credentialing organization.

Candidates must provide a complete, detailed explanation of the circumstances related to their disclosure including but not limited to the final dispositions or resolutions related to these matters. Disclosures must include all related documents issued by a court, government agency or other authority, professional association or credentialing organization that explains the disposition and resolution of the matter. At a minimum, the documentation must include the candidate’s name, the offense/charge, date of the incident and the disposition.

The following criteria will be applied by PTCB in order to make individual eligibility determinations where the candidate has been the subject of criminal and/or government agency disciplinary matters.

  1. The relationship of the criminal or disciplinary matter to the applicant’s professional activities and/or ethical responsibilities;
  2. The severity of the criminal or disciplinary matter, including any injury to person(s) or property related to the criminal or disciplinary matter;
  3. The amount of time that has passed since the criminal or disciplinary matter;
  4. The imposition and completion of any court, agency, or organizational conditions and/or requirements related to the criminal or disciplinary matter; and,
  5. Whether the criminal or disciplinary matter is part of a pattern of criminal, unethical, or otherwise improper conduct.

Based on its review of such matters, PTCB will determine whether the candidate is: eligible for certification; temporarily or permanently disqualified from eligibility; and/or, subject to eligibility conditions. Disqualification determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Candidates can submit documentation using the PTCB Help Center.

Candidates have 30 days from the application submission date to submit supporting documentation to PTCB. PTCB will not review supporting documentation prior to receiving a submitted application. After 30 days, candidates with incomplete applications will receive a refund of any examination fees paid, less an administrative fee of $50.

Testing Accommodations

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). To ensure equal opportunities for all qualified persons, PTCB will make reasonable testing accommodations for candidates when appropriate, and consistent with such legal requirements. PTCB will consider requests for testing accommodations related to any PTCB exams from candidates with a documented disability that substantially limits the candidate’s sensory, manual, speaking, or other functional skills, including a disability that impairs significantly the candidate’s ability to arrive at, read, or otherwise complete, the examination. These accommodations can include additional time to complete the exam or use of approved auxiliary aids.

PTCB requires that each candidate requesting a testing accommodation do so during the application process. Candidates must download the Testing Accommodations Form and are required to submit the completed form within 30 days of submitting an application. Candidates can submit the completed form using the PTCB Help Center. A physician or other qualified professional who has made an individualized assessment related to the candidate’s disability must provide the required information concerning the disability and the requested accommodation. A qualified professional is a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed individual who possesses expertise in the disability for which an accommodation is sought. The information and any documentation that a candidate provides regarding his/her disability and the need for accommodation(s) will be treated as confidential.

Candidates that have been approved for testing accommodations within the last 12 months do not need to resubmit documentation unless their diagnosis or accommodation request has changed.

Candidates with approved testing accommodations must call Pearson VUE at (800) 466-0450 to schedule an exam appointment. Candidates who schedule appointments through any other means (e.g., online, via a different number) will not have their accommodations available for the appointment.

PTCB will not review supporting documentation prior to receiving a submitted application. After 30 days, candidates with incomplete applications will receive a refund of any examination fees paid, less an administrative fee of $50.*

*This is only applicable to the CPhT and CSPT® certification exams.

Direct Billing

Direct billing is a simple way for employers and educators to pay for pharmacy technician employees or students to earn or renew PTCB credentials. Sponsored candidates are candidates whose fees are being paid by their employer or educational institution. Currently, PTCB offers four direct billing options:

  • Vouchers
  • IP Address Identification
  • Pre-approval
  • Token

Candidates whose fees are being paid by their employer or educational institution should contact their sponsor representative for specific instructions. Learn how an employer or educational institution can enroll in direct billing. Please note, in some cases, a sponsor must approve a candidate’s sponsorship before an application will be reviewed by PTCB for authorization.

Authorization to Schedule Exam

Once an application is approved, candidates will receive an authorization to schedule their exam via email from PTCB. The authorization period for candidates is 90 days. The authorization period for sponsored candidates may differ, as determined by the sponsor. If the authorization period expires before a candidate takes the exam, the candidate will forfeit all fees and must reapply to take the exam (See Withdrawing an Application).

Candidates have the option of extending their exam authorization period for an additional 90 days through their PTCB Account.* They must request the extension within the 90-day authorization period. 

*Candidates are limited to two 90-day extensions.

Updating Contact Information

Name Changes

Candidates must notify PTCB as soon as possible if their legal name changes, or if their name appears incorrectly in their PTCB Account. If the name PTCB has on file for a candidate does not match the name on the candidate’s identification, the candidate will be denied admission to the test center and will forfeit their fees.

Candidates who have had a legal name change must submit a copy of the original documentation (e.g., marriage license, divorce decree). Candidates who need to correct other inaccuracies (e.g. misspellings) must submit a copy of a valid government-issued photo-ID. Candidates and PTCB credential holders can submit name change requests by logging into their PTCB Account. Documentation must be received by PTCB at least ten (10) business days before a scheduled exam appointment. Candidates unable to submit the required documentation within this time frame must withdraw their application (see Withdrawing an Application).

Other Changes

Candidates can update their mailing address, email address, and phone number within their PTCB Account.

Please note that certificates are the property of PTCB, and must be surrendered upon request. If a certificate is lost, technicians must notify PTCB immediately.

Withdrawing an Application

PTCE® and CSPT® Candidates

CPhT and CSPT Certification candidates who are unable to test within their 90-day authorization period, or simply wish to withdraw, may do so within their PTCB Account. Candidates with scheduled exam appointments must first cancel the appointment with Pearson VUE (See Changing an Exam Appointment). Candidates must withdraw an application on or before the last day of their authorization period to be eligible for a refund. Candidates who successfully withdraw will receive a refund of any examination fees paid, less an administrative fee. Refunds are issued in the original form of payment within approximately 3-4 weeks.

Assessment-Based Certificate Program Candidates

Applications for PTCB’s Assessment-Based Certificate Programs cannot be withdrawn. However, if an emergency occurs on the day of the exam appointment, candidates may submit an Emergency Withdrawal Request.

Fees and Payment Methods

The current list of initial certification and certificate fees is shown below. Candidates can pay fees by credit/debit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or VISA). Please review PTCB’s Refund Policy for additional information.

Certification and Assessment-Based Certificate Program Fees





Application & Exam Fee: $129

Application Fee (nonrefundable): $50*

Application & Exam Fee (nonrefundable): $89

Administrative Fee**: $50

Exam Authorization Extension (nonrefundable): $20

Exam Registration Fee: $149 

Exam Authorization Extension (nonrefundable): $20

Optional Certificate Printed on Fine Paper for CPhT, CSPT, and CPhT-Adv: $15 

  Exam Authorization Extension (nonrefundable): $20    

 *The one-time fee is required per one-year CSPT Candidacy Eligibility Window.
**An administrative fee is charged for any payment returned by a bank for insufficient funds, processing of refunds due to an incorrect payment, and withdrawn or denied certification applications. Refunds are issued in the original form of payment.