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CPhT Updates

Important Updates to the
PTCB CPhT Program in 2020

Two important changes to the PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program go into effect on January 1, 2020. The first change is an updated education/training eligibility requirement for PTCB CPhT applicants replacing the current high school completion requirement. The second change is an updated Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination® (PTCE®) Content Outline.

Education/Training Eligibility Requirement

Beginning January 1, 2020, completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program OR equivalent work experience will be required of all new CPhT applicants. Programs recognized by PTCB require curriculums to include specific knowledge identified in PTCB’s most recent job analysis. Program directors must attest that the required knowledge is included in their program’s curriculum. Program director attestations, together with independent audits, will ensure compliance with PTCB requirements and the quality of recognized programs. The required knowledge is listed on the 2020 CPhT Knowledge Reference document.   

To be considered eligible for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) under this new requirement, a candidate must attest to one of the following:
1. Completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program.
OR
2. Equivalent work experience as a pharmacy technician (min. 500 hours). This alternative path will serve experienced pharmacy technicians who were not in a position to attend a PTCB-recognized program in the past.

PTCB accepts all ASHP/ACPE and ABHES-accredited education/training programs as recognized for the CPhT Program. These accredited programs do not need to apply for PTCB recognition because their status as a recognized program is automatic. A non-accredited education/training program that later earns ASHP/ACPE or ABHES accreditation will automatically become PTCB-recognized for the CPhT Program due to the program’s accredited status.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) Content Outline

In 2020, PTCB will release an updated PTCE based on a recently completed Job Analysis study. The current PTCE content outline is organized into nine knowledge domains while the updated content outline is organized into four knowledge domains. The updated PTCE will focus on critical knowledge that applies across practice settings.

To aid in understanding the content changes, PTCB has created a crosswalk document to identify where knowledge listed under the current content outline is organized within the updated PTCE. Some content was removed from the PTCE because it will be addressed either by the education/training requirement or in another PTCB Certification Program.

Approximately every 5 years, PTCB conducts a Job Analysis Study. This study is based on a first-hand survey of the current roles and tasks performed by pharmacy technicians in every practice setting across the US. The results of the survey are then used to construct a new blueprint, or content outline, for the PTCE. PTCB’s most recent Job Analysis Study was completed in October 2016, with more than 40,000 pharmacy technicians from across the US participating in the survey. PTCB’s Certification Council reviewed the 2016 Job Analysis Study and approved the updated content outline for the PTCE. The length of the PTCE (90 items across 1 hour and 50 minutes) and the type of questions (multiple choice) will not change.

More information on these updates can be found in our press release.

If you have questions about these updates, please visit our Help Center and search ‘2020’.