January 29, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB®) has launched the PTCB Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician™ (CSPT™) Program. The CSPT™ Program is the first new certification program PTCB has offered since the organization was founded in 1995 with the introduction of its Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program. Compounded sterile preparation is the process of preparing medications in a sterile environment to prevent contamination.
“The PTCB CSPT Program is a key step toward fulfilling PTCB’s mission to advance medication safety,” said William Schimmel, PTCB Executive Director and CEO. “The Program offers a CPhT the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skill as a specialized technician, and his or her commitment to medication safety by meeting the program’s high standards. Employers who choose to employ CSPTs show they value excellence and the highest level of training and preparation.”
To be eligible to apply, a technician must be a PTCB CPhT in good standing, and must have completed either: a PTCB-recognized sterile compounding education/training program and 1 year of continuous full-time compounded sterile preparation work experience; or 3 years of continuous full-time compounded sterile preparation work experience.
To earn CSPT Certification, eligible CPhTs are required to: 1) pass the CSPT™ Exam, a 2-hour, 75-question exam; and 2) submit Competency Attestation documentation from a qualified supervisor. PTCB provides CSPT Exam preparation resources in its Candidate Guidebook on the PTCB website, including a content outline of the CSPT Exam, a list of medications that may appear on the exam, and reference materials. The exam covers hazardous and non-hazardous Compounded Sterile Products (CSPs) in the four domains of: Medications and Components (17%); Facilities and Equipment (22%); Sterile Compounding Procedures (53%); and Handling, Packaging, Storage, and Disposal (8%).
“The candidate’s successful completion of the CSPT Exam ensures his or her knowledge and understanding of sterile compounding techniques and procedures,” said CSPT Exam Development Committee Chair Allen L. Horne, BS Pharm, RPh, an Oncology Pharmacy Specialist at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, SC. “Technicians who earn the CSPT Certification add another layer of safety within the sterile compounding area of the pharmacy, thereby advancing patient care.”
A candidate seeking CSPT Certification must have a qualified supervisor submit an Attestation Form to PTCB to document the candidate’s completion of required training, and certain skill and competency assessments in such areas as aseptic technique, equipment cleaning, and use of personal protective equipment.
“Ensuring that individuals working inside clean rooms are well trained is critical to achieving safety in sterile compounding,” said Glen J. Gard, CPhT, Pharmacy Compliance Manager at Option Care in Bannockburn, IL, and a technician member of the CSPT Exam Development Committee. “By earning the CSPT credential, a technician demonstrates they are committed to providing patients with the best care possible.”
To maintain the CSPT credential, a CSPT must recertify annually, a process requiring completion of 5 continuing education (CE) hours in sterile compounding and submission of a supervisor’s Attestation Form each year. PTCB charges a $50 non-refundable CSPT application fee and a $149 CSPT Exam fee for initial testing and retakes.
PTCB CPhTs who apply by February 28, 2018 will receive a $50 discount. PTCB launched the CSPT Program on December 6 and is experiencing a high level of interest from employers and CPhTs.