Pharm Tech Certification Board Finishes Beta Version of Compounded Sterile Prep Test


A new test will pave the way for a certification in compounded sterile preparation for pharmacy technicians.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has completed the beta version of the PTCB Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT) Program. This is a key step in developing an exam for CSPT candidates that is considered 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,” said PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, RPh, in a statement. “It is the culmination of a long-term initiative to develop a program for PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) who perform pharmaceutical sterile compounding."

The PTCB CSPT Exam Development Committee, comprised of pharmacists and PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technicians, developed two 90-question forms for the beta version of the exam.

Committee Chair Allen L. Horne, BSPharm, said that getting involved in the development of the CSPT program grew out his dedication to advancing patient safety. "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," he said in a statement.

Analysis of the CSPT beta exam was conducted by internal and external consultants and included three parts: item analysis, end of exam survey analysis, and time analysis.

Psychometric methods are used to guarantee the fairness and validity of the examination procedure, said PTCB’s Associate Director of Psychometrics Dawn Zhao, PhD. "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," she said.

The CPhTs who participated in the beta exam, had varying levels of experience pharmacy technicians: 14% had 4 years' or less experience, 40% had 5 to 9 years' experience, and 45% had 10 or more years' experience, according to PTCB.

Levi Boren, PhD, Director of Certification for PTCB, said the results of the post-exam survey strengthened PTCB's confidence in the exam. "What was most telling – and exciting – was that 96% of the examinees said they would recommend the CSPT program to other pharmacy technicians," said Boren.

Official launch of the CSPT certification program will begin in December.

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