PTCB calls for input on pharm tech certification changes

April 15, 2013

Policies and procedures for implementation of changes to pharm tech certification will be released later this year

Up Front

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is asking members of the pharmacy community for best practices as it starts to implement changes to its certification program that will begin in 2014 and continue through 2020.

PTCB is collecting feedback on the new requirements for 90 days at its website, www.ptcb.org. The board plans to release its policies and procedures concerning implementation later this year.

The program changes will require new pharmacy technician candidates who want PTCB certification to undergo a criminal background check by 2014 and to complete an ASHP-accredited pharmacy technician education program by 2020. For recertification by PTCB, certified pharmacy technicians will have to complete 1 hour of medication safety continuing education (CE) by 2014 and 20 hours of pharmacy technician-specific CE by 2015.

In addition, for recertification, the number of CE hours gained through college or university coursework will be reduced from 15 to 10 by 2016. For those earning CE through in-service courses, the number of CE hours will be reduced from 10 to 5 in 2015 and from 5 to none in 2018.

“It is important that pharmacy technicians be educated through quality, standardized CE programs,” noted a statement about the PTCB program changes published online. “In-service CEs will be phased out to eliminate inconsistencies.”

According to Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, PTCB’s executive director and CEO, the new certification requirements are necessary to meet the demands of the evolving healthcare system.

“We have made bold decisions on what will be required for candidates to become certified pharmacy technicians. Our Board of Governors is sharply focused on ensuring that the PTCB Program prepares CPhTs for the integral roles they play in supporting pharmacists in all practice settings,” McAllister said in a prepared statement.

PTCB’s certification requirements have not undergone much change since the organization was founded in 1995.