The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) develops examination-based, professional certification programs. PTCB is responsible for the development and implementation of policies related to its certification programs, certifying qualified candidates who meet eligibility requirements. Each PTCB Certification program’s goal is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer greater patient care and service, and pharmacy technicians who are granted PTCB Certification(s) must demonstrate an ongoing professional commitment to the field of pharmacy.
Effective as of September 1, 2020, this Policy establishes the requirements that PTCB certificants must satisfy in order to maintain certification(s), and explains the related standards, guidelines, and procedures of PTCB Certification Programs. Inquiries or questions concerning this Policy, or the recertification process should be directed to PTCB.
B. Statement of Purposes.
PTCB Certification Programs support the ongoing professional development of PTCB certificants and maintain the integrity of the PTCB Certifications. Among other purposes, each certification program is intended to: require reasonable and appropriate continuing educational and professional activities; enhance the ongoing professional development and competence of certificants; encourage and recognize individualized learning opportunities; and, provide a standardized, objective, and straightforward process for obtaining and recording professional development activities. All certificants must complete the recertification process to maintain an active certification status.
C. Recertification Cycle.
The CPhT credential remains active for a period of approximately two (2) years, subject to applicable PTCB policy requirements. To maintain certification, CPhTs must complete the recertification process every two (2) years. The recertification cycle will begin on the date that certification or recertification is granted to a certificant. For administrative convenience, PTCB may assign a limited number of dates as expiration dates. At the end of the recertification cycle, the certification will expire unless it is renewed.
D. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education’s Definition of Continuing Pharmacy Education for the Profession of Pharmacy.
Continuing pharmacy education for the profession of pharmacy 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.
E. Required Continuing Education (CE) Hours.
Consistent with the terms of this Policy, certificants must satisfy the following requirements to maintain certification.
1. CPhT Continuing Education (CE) Requirements. During each two (2) year recertification cycle, CPhT Certificants must 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) hours may be earned by completing a relevant college course with a grade of “C” or better.
a. CE Completion Time Period. Certificants must complete all CE 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. CE hours can only be applied to the recertification cycle in which they are completed, and cannot be carried over and applied to future cycles.
2. Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician® (CSPT®) Continuing Education (CE) Requirements. CSPT certificants must be active PTCB CPhTs in good standing. CSPT must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of sterile compounding CE and submit the CSPT Competency Attestation Form during each one (1)-year recertification cycle.
a. CSPT Competency Attestation Form. The CSPT Attestation Competency Form is used to document that the necessary training, skill assessment, and competency assessment have been completed each year for a PTCB CSPT. The form must be completed by a qualified supervisor who has directly observed the training, skill assessment, and competency assessment of the CSPT certificant. A qualified supervisor must be in good standing with their current employer and all regulatory bodies (e.g., state board of pharmacy) that have jurisdiction over the supervisor’s work site and must have at least five (5) years of experience working directly with or supervising compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) production. This form is required annually to maintain CSPT Certification.
b. CE and Competency Attestation Form Completion Time Period. Certificants must complete all CE hours within the one (1)-year recertification cycle (on or before the expiration date). No CE hours completed before CSPT Certification is granted may be used to satisfy recertification requirements. CE hours can only be applied to the CSPT recertification cycle in which they are completed, and cannot be carried over and applied to future CSPT cycles.
3. Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT-Adv) Continuing Education (CE) Requirements. CPhT-Adv certificants must satisfy the CPhT CE requirements in section E.1 plus an additional five (5) hours of CE 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.
a. CE Completion Time Period. Certificants must complete all CE 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. CE hours can only be applied to the recertification cycle in which they were completed, and cannot be carried over and applied to future cycles.
F. Approved Continuing Education (CE) Activities.
Unless otherwise permitted by this Policy, in order to be accepted and approved by the PTCB Certification Program, all CE activities must pertain to the program-specific subject matter requirements outlined in section G.
1. Seminars, Workshops, and Conferences. Credit may be earned by attending seminars, workshops, conferences, or other educational programs that primarily contain subject matter aligned with the PTCB Certification Program’s Exam Content Outline, consistent with the terms of this Policy. These programs may include a live, web-based, or recorded presentation, teleconference, virtual meeting, panel discussion, or workshop.
•Documentation Required. Certificants must maintain a Certificate of Completion, Statement of Credit or Transcript issued by the program provider, that includes the: name of the participant; title and completion date of the program; program sponsor or provider name; and number of hours awarded.
2. College Courses. Credit may be earned for the successful completion of relevant academic coursework at a regionally accredited university, college, or community college during the current recertification cycle. Certificants will be granted (10) CE hours for a course (or courses) equal to (3) three academic credit hours, so long as the certificant receives a grade of “C” or better. Relevant coursework must contain subject matter contained within the PTCB Certification Program’s Exam Content Outline.
•Documentation Required. Certificants must maintain an official transcript, grade report, or verification form issued by the educational institution, which indicates a grade of “C” or better in the course.
3. 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.
•Documentation Required. Certificants must maintain a signed letter of participation and CE award from an authorized representative of the PTCB Certification Council.
G. Accepted Continuing Education (CE) Subject Matter.
1. Pharmacy Technician Subject Matter – To qualify, a CE activity must contain subject matter listed in PTCB’s PTCE® Content Outline. Accepted CEs are described in the following statements:
2. Sterile Compounding Subject Matter – To qualify, a CE activity must contain subject matter related to compounding sterile preparations.
H. General Recertification Requirements.
The processes and requirements for application submission and review are as follows.
1. Completed Application. Recertification is not automatic and candidates must complete and submit a recertification application before the certification expiration date.
2. Code of Conduct. Certificants must comply with the PTCB Code of Conduct, and related PTCB policies, to remain in good standing and maintain active certification status.
3. Recertification Processing Fee. Certificants must pay all fees related to the PTCB Certification Program for each recertification cycle by the certification expiration date to maintain certification and to remain in good standing with PTCB.
4. Application Submission Period. PTCB will establish a submission period prior to the certification expiration date, during which recertification applications will be accepted. Certificants should submit applications by the application deadline date, the first day of the expiration month. PTCB will still accept recertification applications up until the expiration date, but cannot guarantee that applications submitted after the application deadline date will be processed before the expiration date.
5. Application Methods. Certificants are responsible for reporting CE activities and the related credit hours to PTCB in the recertification application. Certificants must submit electronic applications online at www.ptcb.org. Paper applications are 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.
6. Continuing Education (CE) Records. Certificants must maintain their own records of CE hours earned and any additional required supporting documentation during each recertification cycle and are responsible for maintaining these records for at least one (1) year after the recertification cycle ends. Such records should be stored in a safe and secure manner. Records must include Certificates of Completion, Statement of Credits, and/or Competency Attestation Forms.
a. Online Records. Certificants may maintain a list of CE credits online in their account at www.ptcb.org. However, certificants also must maintain their own records documenting their CE activities.
b. Original Records. Certificants should not send original documents to PTCB. A copy of the original documentation will be required if the certificant is audited, submits a paper application, or if PTCB returns a recertification application to a certificant for correction, revision, or supplemental information.
7. Application Processing. Applications are processed by PTCB in the order in which they are received. Online applications are typically processed within fifteen (15) business days. Paper applications may take up to twenty (20) business days to process. PTCB reserves the sole and exclusive right to evaluate all recertification activities and programs on an individual basis, and to deny, modify, or reduce credits for those activities that fail to meet the terms of this Policy and other PTCB requirements.
8. Returned Applications. Applications that are incomplete, contain errors, do not meet policy 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 to PTCB certificants via email for correction and/or clarification. Certificants receiving a returned recertification application will be given 30 days from the receipt of the returned application from PTCB to make and submit requested corrections. PTCB will not accept CEs completed after the certification expiration date, during this return period.
9. Application Fee. Recertification fees will be determined by PTCB, and are subject to change. Current fee information can be found on the website www.ptcb.org. Additional fees may apply for reprocessing of applications returned for correction, returned checks, or refunds due to overpayment.
10. Granting Recertification. Once PTCB has approved a certificant for recertification, PTCB will update its verification database and a certificate will be available online at www.ptcb.org for candidates to download and print. Certificants may purchase a paper certificate printed on fine paper for an additional fee.
I. Mandatory Recertification Audits.
For each recertification cycle, PTCB will conduct audits utilizing data from the NABP CPE Monitor and/or request documentation at the time of recertification to verify compliance with this Policy. PTCB has the discretion to audit the recertification eligibility of a PTCB certificant at any time. Certificants selected for an audit must comply with all audit instructions and requirements and must upload or otherwise submit copies of the applicable documentation supporting all reported recertification activities for the current or most recent recertification cycle. The same requirements for application submission (see section G above) apply to certificants who are audited. Failure to satisfy or comply with audit requirements will result in denial of recertification, suspension, or revocation of certification, consistent with the terms of this Policy.
J. Failure to Satisfy Recertification Requirements.
Certificants who fail to satisfy the requirements of this Policy may be subject to the following.
1. Expired and Eligible for Reinstatement. Certificants who fail to satisfy the recertification requirements prior to the end of the recertification cycle are no longer certified and will be placed on a list of expired certificants. PTCB will send an expiration notice via email to the certificants included on this list immediately following the end of the recertification cycle. Expired certificants are eligible to reinstate within one (1) year of the certification expiration date, subject to the terms and requirements of Section J unless otherwise provided by this Policy or instructed by PTCB.
2. Expired and Ineligible for Reinstatement. Expired certificants who do not reinstate within one (1) year following the certification expiration date are no longer certified and will have all certification rights terminated. PTCB will send a reinstatement notice via email to expired and eligible for reinstatement certificants immediately following the end of the recertification cycle. Certificants remain subject to the terms and requirements of Section J unless otherwise provided by this Policy or instructed by PTCB.
3. Extension. PTCB does not grant extensions of the recertification cycle or certification expiration dates. Certificants are encouraged to apply for recertification early during the submission period.
4. Prohibited Use of Credential. A certificant whose certification has expired may not represent himself or herself as an active certificant or as certified by PTCB, and may not use any PTCB designation, credentials and/or certification marks until he or she receives notice from PTCB that his or her active certification status has been reinstated, consistent with the terms of this Policy.
K. Reinstatement Requirements.
Expired certificants are eligible to reinstate within one (1) year following the certification expiration date. Reinstatement candidates must complete all the application requirements presented for recertification candidates unless otherwise specified in this section.
1. Application Fee. Certificants requesting reinstatement must pay all fees related to reinstatement by the end of the one (1)-year reinstatement period. Reinstatement fees will be determined by PTCB, and are subject to change. The current Reinstatement Application fee can be found on our website www.ptcb.org. Additional fees may apply for reprocessing of applications returned for correction, returned checks, or refunds due to overpayment.
2. CPhT Continuing Education (CE) Requirements. CE requirements for reinstatement are explained in section E. Credit will be granted for participation in approved activities during the recertification cycle and during the one (1)-year reinstatement period. Expired certificants seeking reinstatement will need to complete all applicable recertification requirements contained in this Policy.
3. CSPT Continuing Education (CE) Requirements. CE requirements for reinstatement are explained in Section E. In addition, a CSPT must be an active PTCB CPhT in good standing to be eligible to reinstate. Credit will be granted for participation in approved activities during the recertification cycle and during the one (1)-year reinstatement period. Expired certificants seeking reinstatement will need to complete all applicable recertification requirements contained in this Policy.
4. Granting Reinstatement. Certificants who successfully reinstate their certification are restored to active status and can resume using their PTCB credentials and certification marks. Certificants who reinstate will be updated in the PTCB verification database and a certificate will be available online at www.ptcb.org to download and print. Reinstated certificants will be granted the remaining balance of their recertification cycle. Expired certificants previously selected for audit during their recertification period must comply with all audit instructions and requirements when submitting a reinstatement application.
5. Failure to Satisfy Reinstatement Requirements. Expired certificants who fail to satisfy the reinstatement requirements prior to the end of the one (1)-year reinstatement period and wish to regain PTCB certification must complete the process for initial certification again.
L. Voluntary Surrender of Certification.
A certificant may voluntarily surrender his or her certification under certain conditions.
1. Voluntary Surrender. A certificant in good standing may seek to voluntarily surrender his or her certification by submitting a written request to PTCB. PTCB will review the request and determine if the certificant is in good standing, and whether to grant or deny the request.
a. If the request is granted, the surrender is complete and the certificant will be removed from the active certification record. All fees and charges paid to PTCB will be forfeited upon surrender. A former certificant may not: represent himself or herself as certified by PTCB; use any PTCB credentials and certification marks; or, represent that he or she is otherwise affiliated with PTCB.
b. If PTCB determines that the requesting certificant is not in good standing, and denies the voluntary certification surrender request, the certificant will be required to accept and sign a written agreement with PTCB stating the requirements for the surrender.
2. Regaining Certification Following Voluntary Surrender. A certificant who voluntarily surrendered PTCB certification will be permitted to reapply for certification. The former certificant will be granted certification when he or she satisfies all current certification eligibility requirements and pays all required fees, as set forth in PTCB policies.