PTCB Announces Changes to Technician Certification Program

JANUARY 11, 2018
Ryan Marotta, Associate Editor
In light of broader conversations about the evolving pharmacy technician profession, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) today announced 2 significant changes to its certification program.

The first change is an updated Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) content outline due to go into effect on January 1, 2020, which PTCB had initially previewed at its Pharmacy Technician Stakeholder Consensus Conference in February 2017.

Notably, the new outline  consolidates the number of topics covered on the exam from 9 to 4: medications, federal requirements, patient safety and quality assurance, and order entry and processing.

“By focusing the PTCE on critical knowledge that applies across practice settings, PTCB is being consistent with the current utilization of the CPhT as an entry-level credential and the data from the latest job analysis,” said PTCB Director of Certification Levi Boren, PhD, in a press release. “These modifications to the PTCE content outline are part of a suite of changes that include the updated education/training requirement and new certification programs that PTCB is developing.”

The PTCB also announced that, beginning in 2020, all candidates seeking certification will be required to completed of an approved training program or equivalent work experience.

“We estimate that up to 30% of the current pharmacy technician workforce is not nationally certified, and the vast majority of those technicians have not had the opportunity to attend a formal education or training program,” stated PTCB Executive Director and CEO William Schimmel. “The work experience eligibility path exists to ensure that experienced technicians are able to pursue national certification with PTCB. With the updated requirement, the bar is set for all candidates and there are 2 paths to reach it.”

Following the announcement, PTCB launched an open survey through which members of the pharmacy community can comment on the updated training requirement. The survey will close in 90 days, after which the PTCB Certification Council will meet to review and discuss the submitted comments.