ASHP, ACPE Release Revised National Standards for Pharmacy Technician Accreditation


Newly revised standards support quality education, and training for the technician workforce, according to the organizations.

BETHESDA, Md.— ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) released today revised national standards that will serve as a guide for the development of ASHP/ACPE accredited pharmacy technician education and training programs.

The Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs serve as the criteria for the evaluation of new and established pharmacy technician (PT) training programs, and will help to ensure that PTs possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for their critical role on the healthcare team. The revised standards place additional emphasis on the educational outcomes expected of students, and the methods used by training programs to assess competency. The revised standards define competencies that differentiate entry-level and advanced training. They also address the structural, and process-related elements needed for programs to implement evidence-based outcome measures that document achievement of the requirements.

The revised standards will become effective for new programs on January 1, 2019. Existing accredited PT programs will be required to incorporate the new standards into their programs by January 1, 2020, and to notify the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC) regarding their intention to train students at the entry level, advanced level, or both.

The number of standards has increased from 6 to 15, and each standard highlights the key elements that must be met to demonstrate compliance. The key elements model those in pharmacist education and training programs, and place emphasis on collaboration with pharmacists, and other healthcare staff. Minimum hour requirements for programs also were revised to reflect the education, and training needs for entry-level and advanced-level competencies.

The ASHP's 45,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and PTs. The organization represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings.

The ACPE is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy, and providers of continuing pharmacy education. It accredits pharmacy technician education and training programs n collaboration with ASHP.

A number of environmental factors, including changes in state laws allowing for expanded roles, responsibilities, and authority for PTs, prompted the reassessment of the national standards for PT education and training programs, which were last revised in 2015. A broad range of stakeholders interested in or affected by pharmacy technician education and training offered input on the revisions. ASHP and ACPE also considered the recommendations of the 2017 Pharmacy Technician Stakeholder Consensus Conference, recent blueprints, and task analyses of nationally accredited bodies certifying PTs, and the experience gained by the PTAC in its review of training programs.

Supplemental materials—a guidance document and model curriculum—are being revised to align with the new standards. The guidance document also will be updated to provide examples and explanations of the standards and key elements. The model curriculum will serve as a guide for new programs as they develop their course offerings and provide direction for established programs that are reviewing their curriculum. The supplemental materials will be released in early 2019.


ASHP, ACPE Release Revised Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Technician Education and Training [news release]. Bethesda, MD: July 11, 2018; ASHP.

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