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Credentialing Guidelines and Requirements

A Candidate Guidebook

Maintaining PTCB Certifications

Certification Renewal

PTCB certificants are required to recertify to maintain active certification. Many employers and/or State Boards of Pharmacy require CPhTs to maintain their PTCB Certification. The purpose of recertification is to ensure that pharmacy technicians stay current in pharmacy practice through the completion of Continuing Education (CE) and/or training, skill and competency assessments. CPhTs must have an NABP e-Profile ID on file with PTCB that is visible in their PTCB Account in order to recertify. Certificants who do not have an e-Profile ID will not be able to recertify or reinstate their credential. To obtain an NABP e-Profile ID, visit NABP.pharmacy. The complete Recertification Policy is available in Appendix H.

What is Continuing Education?

According to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), continuing pharmacy education is, “a structured educational activity designed or intended to support the continuing development of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians to maintain and enhance their competence. Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) should promote problem-solving and critical thinking and be applicable to the safe practice of pharmacy.”

Approved Activities

Seminars, Workshops, and Conferences. Credit may be earned by attending seminars, workshops, conferences, or other educational programs that contain subject matter contained within the PTCB Certification Program’s Exam Content Outline. These activities may include a live, web-based, or recorded presentation, teleconference, virtual meeting, panel discussion, or workshop.

College Courses. A maximum of 10 hours may be earned by completing a relevant college course equal to 3 academic credit hours with a grade of “C” or better. Relevant coursework must contain subject matter contained within the PTCB Certification Program’s Exam Content Outline. 

Service to PTCB. Credit may be earned for unpaid participation in certain PTCB activities and functions that are essential to maintaining the Certification Program. The activities and functions that are eligible for CE hours and the amount of CE hours that will be granted are at the discretion of the PTCB Certification Council.

Beginning January 1, 2018, PTCB no longer accepts what is known as “in-service” continuing education (CE) hours. More information can be found here.

Continuing Education (CE) Documentation

PTCB certificants must maintain their own records of continuing education hours earned during each recertification period and are responsible for maintaining these records for at least one year after the certification cycle ends. Acceptable documentation of participation in a college course may be either a transcript or a grade report. Certificants are randomly selected for an audit of their continuing education (CE) and PTCB has the discretion to audit the recertification eligibility of a PTCB certificant at any time.

Applying for Recertification

Certificants apply online from within their PTCB Account. 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.

Certificants can apply for recertification 60 days prior to their certification expiration date. PTCB will notify certificants via email when their Recertification Window has opened. Certificants must submit their application by 11:59 PM ET of their Application Deadline, which is the first day of the certification expiration month. Applications submitted after the Application Deadline will incur the $25 late application processing fee. PTCB will still accept recertification applications up until the expiration date but cannot guarantee that applications submitted after the application deadline will be processed before the expiration date.

All applications are processed by PTCB in the order in which they are received. Once an application is approved, the verification database will be updated and certificants will be able to log into their PTCB Account to download and print an updated certificate.

Returned Applications

Applications that are incomplete, contain errors, do not meet CE requirements, provide inadequate CE information (e.g., do not include the full name of the course and provider), or are accompanied by an incorrect payment amount will be returned for correction. Returned renewal application notifications will be sent via email and the certificant will have 30 days to submit corrections and the $10 reprocessing fee to PTCB. PTCB will not accept CEs completed outside of the applicable recertification cycle, during this return period.

Current Renewal Fees

CPhT/CPhT-Adv RENEWAL FEES CSPT RENEWAL FEES MISCELLANEOUS
Recertification Application Fee: $49 Recertification Application Fee*: $20 Recertification Late Application Processing Fee**: $25
Reinstatement Fee: $89 Reinstatement Fee: $40 Reprocessing Fee***: $10
    Administrative Fee****: $25
    Optional Certificate Printed on Fine Paper: $15

*Only applies when renewing CSPT® only (mid-cycle reporting).
**Applies to applications received after the Application Deadline.

***Applies each time an application is returned for corrections.

****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.

CPhT Recertification Requirements

PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) are required to recertify every two (2) years to maintain certification. PTCB’s CPhT recertification requirements correspond to the biennial renewal schedule for professional pharmacist licensure as governed by State Boards of Pharmacy. CPhTs must complete all continuing education hours within the two (2) year recertification cycle (on or before the expiration date). No CE hours completed before certification is granted may be used to satisfy recertification requirements. In addition, CE hours cannot carry over to a future recertification cycle.

CPhT Continuing Education Requirements

During each two (2) year recertification cycle, CPhT Certificants are required to complete a minimum of twenty (20) hours of CE containing subject matter listed within PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®) Content Outline. For recertification candidates, one (1) hour of the twenty (20) hours must be in the subject of pharmacy law and one (1) hour must be in the subject of patient safety (refer to Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) definition of patient safety, defined in the ACPE Policy and Procedures Manual). For reinstatement candidates, two (2) of the twenty (20) hours must be in the subject of pharmacy law and one (1) hour must be in the subject of patient safety. A maximum of ten (10) hours of the twenty (20) CE hours may be earned by completing a relevant college course equal to 3 academic credit hours with a grade of “C” or better. Relevant coursework must contain subject matter contained within the PTCE Content Outline.

Pharmacy Technician Subject Matter

To qualify as pharmacy technician subject matter, a CE activity must contain subject matter listed in PTCB’s PTCE Content Outline. Accepted CE are described in the following statements:

  1. CE activities offered by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited providers with the target audience designation ‘T’ satisfy the requirement of pertaining to pharmacy technician subject matter found within the PTCE Content Outline. 
  2. PTCB accepts CE from ACPE-accredited providers with the target audience designation ‘P’ (pharmacist-specific; ‘P-specific’) not to exceed five (5) hours for CPhTs if the CE activity contains subject matter found within the PTCE Content Outline.
  3. CE activities from non-ACPE-accredited providers will be accepted if PTCB determines that the activity contains subject matter listed within the PTCE Content Outline. 

For renewal applications submitted after September 1, 2020, PTCB requires a minimum of 15 T-specific CE hours and accepts a maximum of 5 P-specific CE hours completed from ACPE-accredited providers. At least one (1) hour of CE activity must have the ‘03’ ACPE topic designator for pharmacy law, and at least one (1) hour of CE activity must have the ‘05’ ACPE topic designator for patient safety.

CSPT Recertification Requirements

CSPTs are required to recertify every year to maintain certification. This annual requirement is consistent with the training and competency requirements required by USP and other authoritative bodies. To be eligible for recertification, a CSPT must be an active PTCB CPhT in good standing. CSPTs must complete a minimum of five hours of sterile compounding continuing education (CE) and submit the CSPT  Competency Attestation Form during each one-year recertification cycle. A loss of CPhT certification due to failure to recertify, revocation, or any other reason will result in loss of CSPT certification.

Once a PTCB CPhT earns the CSPT certification, the CSPT certification expiration month will align with the CPhT expiration month. If the CSPT credential is earned within six months of a CPhT’s expiration date, the certificant must recertify the CSPT credential one year after the CPhT expiration date. For example, if a CPhT’s expiration date is October 31, 2018, and the CSPT initial certification date is July 1, 2018, the CSPT expiration date will be October 31, 2019.

If the CSPT credential is earned and the CPhT expiration date is more than six months from the initial CSPT certification date, the certificant must recertify both certifications by the upcoming CPhT expiration date. For example, if a PTCB CPhT’s expiration date is March 31, 2019, and the CSPT designation is earned during July 1, 2018, the certificant must recertify both certifications by March 31, 2019.

CSPTs must complete all continuing education hours and submit a completed CSPT Competency Attestation Form within their one-year recertification cycle (on or before the expiration date). No CE hours and/or CSPT Competency Attestation Forms completed before certification is granted may be used to satisfy recertification requirements. In addition, CE hours/CSPT Competency Attestation Forms cannot carry over to a future recertification cycle.

Sterile Compounding Subject Matter

To qualify as sterile compounding, a CE activity must contain subject matter related to compounding sterile preparations. 

CPhT-Adv Recertification Requirements

CPhT-Adv certificants must satisfy the CPhT CE requirements plus an additional five (5) hours of CE in any pharmacy topic for a total of twenty-five (25) during each two (2)-year recertification cycle. For recertification candidates, one (1) hour of the twenty-five (25) hours must be in the subject of pharmacy law and one (1) hour must be in the subject of patient safety. For reinstatement candidates, two (2) of the twenty-five (25) hours must be in the subject of pharmacy law and one (1) hour must be in the subject of patient safety.