Credentialing Guidelines and Requirements

A Candidate Guidebook

Point-of-Care Testing Assessment-Based Certificate Program

Point-of-Care Testing Certificate Program


PTCB Point-of-Care Testing certificate holders have demonstrated their advanced understanding of third-party payers and reimbursement systems utilized within the pharmacy. Individuals who earn the certificate will demonstrate that they not only have the necessary foundational knowledge but are capable of playing a leadership role in this crucial administrative function for a pharmacy, which helps patients access medication.

Eligibility Requirements

A candidate must hold an active PTCB CPhT Certification and complete a PTCB-Recognized Point-of-Care Testing Education/Training Program.


Candidates are required to pass the Point-of-Care Testing Exam to earn the PTCB Point-of-Care Testing Certificate. The Point-of-Care Testing Exam is a computer-based exam with 60 multiple-choice questions. Be prepared to commit 1 hour and 30 minutes for the exam (5-minute tutorial, 1 hour and 20-minute exam, and 5-minute post-exam survey).

Exam Content Outline

The Point-of-Care Testing Exam covers several knowledge areas organized into four domains, as shown in the following table.

Safety and Precautions (16%)
Roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in POC testing
OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard and related safety considerations
Biohazard waste handling and disposal
Personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to protect patients and those administering tests
Need for and methods to confirm patient identity
Diseases and Specimens (34%)
Basic anatomical and physiological terms related to tests
Common specimen types (e.g., whole blood, saliva) and their location on/in the body
Signs, symptoms, and characteristics of common chronic disease states (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia) where POCT may be relevant
Signs, symptoms, and characteristics of common acute infections where POCT may be relevant
Collecting a focused health history (e.g., acute symptoms [e.g., CENTOR score], medication allergies, signs of disease [e.g., swelling, bruising])
CLIA-waived Tests (30%)
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 as it pertains to POC tests
CLIA waiver process, CLIA Certificate of Compliance, and CLIA Certificate of Accreditation
Devices and technology used in common POC tests
Conditions and uses for common tests (e.g., Prothrombin time [PT], Influenza, Streptococcus, A1C, HIV, Hepatitis C, COVID-19, glucose, cholesterol)
Understanding and following manufacturer instructions for tests
Test Results, QC, and Recording (20%)
Qualitative and quantitative test results and their characteristics and related concepts (e.g., time since exposure, terms “false positive” and “false negative”)
Requirements and best practices in recording results
Identifying invalid or anomalous results
Labeling and documentation requirements for patient samples
QC testing methods (i.e., external, internal) and when they should be used


Exam Passing Score

A panel of subject-matter experts established a passing score for the Point-of-Care Testing 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 Point-of-Care Testing Exam is 300. The range of possible scores is 0 to 400.

Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician Credential

Earning your Point-of-Care Testing Certificate takes you one step closer to becoming a PTCB Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT-Adv). Active PTCB CPhTs who have completed at least four of the certificate programs, or three certificate programs and the Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT) Certification, and 3 years of work experience will be eligible to earn a CPhT-Adv credential.