Consistent with industry best practices and accreditation standards, PTCB conducts a regular Job Analysis Study as the foundation for its national certification program. Beginning in August 2011 and concluding in January 2012, PTCB, aided by ACT, Inc., completed the most recent Job Analysis Study of the pharmacy technician occupation. The study was designed to collect data on the tasks, knowledge, and skills of pharmacy technicians in every state and practice setting. The purpose of the study was to analyze the requirements of the occupation and to use the resulting information to develop a new test blueprint (test content outline) for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
PTCB and ACT staff worked closely with a panel of pharmacy Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) throughout the study. The study was divided into three phases:
Phase 1: Involved the development of two survey instruments: 1) a task survey used by pharmacy technicians to report the frequency and importance of tasks they perform; 2) a linking survey used by SMEs to identify what knowledge and skills are needed to perform the tasks.
Phase 2: Involved the distribution, collection, and analysis of the surveys. A total of 25,712 pharmacy technicians responded to the task survey, including pharmacy technicians from every state and practice setting (e.g., community, hospital, military).
Phase 3: Involved the SME panel developing the PTCE blueprint from the survey data. Knowledge and skills associated with the most important and frequently performed tasks received the most weight in the blueprint. The panel-recommended blueprint was then presented to the PTCB Certification Council and Board of Governors for final approval.