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PTCB Announces Success of New Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician™ (CSPT™) Beta Exam

November 14, 2017

Washington, DC – The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) announced today it has successfully completed the PTCB Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician™ (CSPT™) Program beta exam, which was conducted between September 1-30. The beta exam is a critical step in developing an exam for CSPT™ candidates that is psychometrically sound and meets industry standards for validity.

“The CSPT™ Program will be the first new certification program PTCB has launched since its inception more than 20 years ago. It is the culmination of a long-term initiative to develop a program for PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) who perform pharmaceutical sterile compounding,” explained PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, RPh, MPA.

The PTCB CSPT™ Exam Development Committee, comprised of pharmacists and PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) with a breadth of expertise in sterile compounding, were responsible for the development of two 90-question forms for the CSPT™ beta exam.

“Getting involved in the development of the CSPT program grew out of my dedication to advancing patient safety” explained CSPT™ Exam Development Committee Chair Allen L. Horne, BS Pharm, RPh, an Oncology Pharmacy Specialist at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, SC. “The members of our committee, along with PTCB staff, have worked for many months to create a program that provides a meaningful certification that reflects the pharmacy technician’s important role on the health care team.”

Analysis of the CSPT beta exam was conducted by internal and external consultants. The analysis included three parts: (1) item analysis; (2) end of exam survey analysis; and (3) time analysis.

“Psychometric methods are used to ensure the fairness and validity of the examination process,” PTCB Associate Director of Psychometrics Dawn Zhao, PhD, explained.  “A psychometrically sound examination gives candidates taking the exam reassurance that they are being tested on content that is both appropriate and relevant for the credential they are seeking. Based on our analysis, we concluded that the CSPT exam is psychometrically sound.”

The PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) who participated in the CSPT™ beta exam had varying levels of experience as CPhTs: 14% had 4 years' or less experience, 40% had 5 to 9 years’ experience, and 45% had 10 or more years’ experience.

PTCB Director of Certification Levi Boren, PhD, said the results of the post-exam survey reinforced PTCB’s confidence in the CSPT™ exam: “What was most telling – and exciting – was that 96% of the examinees said they would recommend the CSPT™ program to other pharmacy technicians.”

The CSPT™ certification program will officially launch in December. “PTCB’s standards are rigorous, and we are confident that those PTCB CPhTs who earn the CSPT™ will stand out as highly qualified to meet today’s expectations in sterile compounding safety,” McAllister said.