PTCB Certification Eligibility Requirements To Change Next Year

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Students who complete a PTCB-recognized education/training program will be eligible to apply for, and earn, their CPhT credential starting in 2020.

Officials with PTCB, the nation’s leading certifying organization for pharmacy technicians, this week announced that starting in 2020, they will change their eligibility requirements for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program and update the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). PTCB will offer 2 eligibility pathways for technicians submitting certification applications beginning January 1, 2020. One will be completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program, and the other will be equivalent work experience.

Announced in January 2018, these changes are based on data PTCB collected via Job Task Analysis survey responses from more than 40,000 pharmacy technicians and comments from the pharmacy community, including technician employers and educators, state and national pharmacy associations, and state boards of pharmacy.

In preparation for 2020, PTCB has launched an application process for education/training programs to become PTCB-recognized by attesting that their curriculum meets specified knowledge requirements. The process requires directors of education/training programs not accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists/Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ASHP/ACPE) and/or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) to submit attestation.

Programs that are ASHP/ACPE and ABHES-accredited are recognized as fulfilling PTCB’s curriculum requirements and are not required to attest. More than 600 programs have become recognized to date.

Students who complete a PTCB-recognized education/training program will be eligible to apply for, and earn, their CPhT credential starting in 2020. As an alternative, PTCB will offer a second eligibility pathway based on work experience for technicians who have completed 500 work hours and attest to fulfilling specified knowledge requirements.

Beginning January 1, 2020, PTCE content will be organized into 4 knowledge areas rather than the current 9, and will focus only on essential knowledge that applies across practice settings. Consistent with industry best practices and accreditation standards, PTCB periodically conducts a Job Task Analysis study approximately every 5 years as the foundation for its national certification program.

“The data from PTCB’s study in 2016 informed the updates to be made in 2020, and reflect technician responsibilities in current pharmacy practice,” said Levi Boren, PhD, PTCB Senior Director of Certification Programs. PTCB also received more than 500 individual comments during a 90-day comment period on implementation of the education/training eligibility pathway. “PTCB listens to the pharmacy community. Our comment period allowed us to collect valuable feedback,” Boren added.

More information is available on PTCB’s website, including the listing of PTCB-recognized education/training programs, program recognition attestation form, and updated PTCE content blueprint.

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