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 

A candidate must hold an active PTCB CPhT Certification and fulfill one of the following eligibility pathways:

Pathway 1: Completion of a PTCB-Recognized Medication History Education/Training Program and at least 6 months of experience conducting medication histories and/or similar experiences of patient-focused communication.*

Pathway 2: At least 12 months of full-time employment with 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.   

Candidates are required to complete and upload the Supervisor Attestation Form for the PTCB Medication History Certificate Program at the time of application submission. 


Candidates are required to pass the Medication History Exam to earn the PTCB Medication History Certificate. The Medication History Exam is a computer-based exam with 70 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 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

A panel of subject-matter experts established a passing score for the Medication History 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 Medication History Exam is 300. The range of possible scores based on the exam content outline is 0 to 400.

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, 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.