Credentialing Guidelines and Requirements

A Candidate Guidebook

Medication History Assessment-Based Certificate Program

Medication History Certificate Program


PTCB Medication History certificate holders have demonstrated the necessary training, experience, and knowledge to be entrusted to collect an accurate medication history from patients in any health-care setting. 

Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for the Medication History Assessment-Based Certificate Program, an applicant must be an active PTCB CPhT in good standing and satisfy one of the following pathways:

  • Pathway 2: At least 1 year of experience conducting Medication Histories and/or similar experiences of patient-focused communication*.

 *Approximately 50% of time spent in work activities should involve patient-focused communication (e.g., intake of new patients/prescriptions, answering patient questions). The intention of the requirement is that pharmacy technicians with full-time work experience in community pharmacies and/or work experience in ambulatory/hospital roles focused on taking medication histories will meet the spirit of the requirement.                                       


Passing the Medication History Exam is required to earn the PTCB Medication History Certificate. The Medication History Exam is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. The Medication History Exam is a two-hour, multiple-choice, exam that contains 79 questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allotted for answering the exam questions and 10 minutes for a tutorial and post-exam survey.

Exam Content Outline

The Medication History Exam covers several knowledge areas organized into two domains, as shown in the following table.

Concepts/Terminology of Medication History (45%)
Definitions of key terms in the medication history process (e.g., medication allergy vs. medication intolerance, medication adherence)
Translation between patient-friendly terms and medical terminology
Adherence metrics and differences between primary and secondary nonadherence
Common vaccinations and vaccination schedules
Patient Safety and Quality Assurance Strategies (55%)
Types of prescription/medication errors (e.g., abnormal doses, incorrect quantity, incorrect strength, incorrect drug, incorrect route of administration, incorrect directions, wrong timing, missing dose, misinterpretation of drug concentration)
Potential impact of medication errors, including look-alike/sound-alike medications (e.g., ampicillin/amoxicillin)
Patient factors that influence the ability to report medication information accurately and adhere to prescribed dosing schedules
HIPAA and best practices to maintain patient confidentiality during patient conversations
Techniques or devices to assist with safe and consistent home medication use (e.g., pill boxes, medication calendars, medication alarms)
Procedures to verify patient identity, including appropriate identifiers and knowledge of limitations for different identifiers


Exam Passing Score

As the Medication History Exam is part of a new program, scoring will be delayed. Over the next 3-4 months, PTCB will conduct item and exam analysis and apply the same rigorous process for the Medication History Exam after enough candidates have tested to determine the passing score. PTCB is committed to maintaining the prestige of PTCB credentials and making sure they meet the highest standards in the field.

Coming Soon: Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician Credential

Earning your Medication History 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 (including TPV and/or Medication History), 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 as early as mid-2020.