Pharm tech certification: PTCB announces 2015 changes

November 10, 2014

Pharmacy technicians who want to recertify need to familiarize themselves with the new requirements being phased in over the next few years.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is following through on changes announced in 2013 concerning recertification requirements for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs). A recent announcement presented two program modifications that will be implemented in 2015.

CE objectives

Pharm techs interested in recertifying should be aware that any continuing education (CE) hours they earn will need to pertain specifically to CPhTs if they want to apply those units to their recertification. That means that each CE should have objectives written specifically for pharmacy technicians, in addition to any written for pharmacists. According to PTCB, many CE providers already do this, and others are planning to develop such units.

In-service hours

Pharmacy technicians should also be aware that the number of in-service hours that PTCB will accept is dropping from 10 to five, and will be phased out altogether in 2018. PTCB defines “in-service” as “certain projects or training earned at a CPhT’s workplace under a pharmacist’s supervision.”

The 2013 plan noted that the acceptable limit for CE hours derived from college or university coursework will drop from 15 to 10 in 2016, and it emphasized that any pharm tech wishing to recertify would have to complete an hour of CE focused on medication safety by 2014 and 20 hours of CE specific to pharmacy technicians by 2015.

PTCB’s recent statement noted that “[t]he revised CE requirements are meant to ensure that CPhTs are continually educated through programs specific to the knowledge required in today’s pharmacy settings,” reflecting the changes that will be seen in pharmacy technicians’ roles as the healthcare system evolves.

For more information on certification program changes and the revised requirements, go to www.ptcb.org.