While requirements for practicing pharmacy technicians vary by state, being certified will definitely improve your chances of landing a job.
Many to most employers prefer pharmacy technicians to have the CPhT credential because it means they meet standards or have the qualifications to perform successfully in a pharmacy setting. Plus there is a real push, i.e. by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, to make it a requirement for pharmacy technicians in the U.S. to become certified.
One of the country’s primary organizations that grants certification to pharmacy technicians is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Just recently—on January 31, 2015—the PTCB celebrated its 20th anniversary!
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Celebrates Twentieth Anniversaryhttp://t.co/BKs052hXg4
— CompleteRx (@CompleteRx) February 4, 2015
In addition to administering pharmacy tech certifications and re-certifications, the PTCB provides career resources, volunteer opportunities, honors successful pharmacy technicians through such means as its CPhT of the Year awards, and more.
Let’s take a look at some of what the PTCB has achieved in its 20 years as well as some of its future plans.
Some of the PTCB’s accomplishments in the last 20 years include:
• Granting over 550,000 pharmacy technician certifications (including 30,358 last year alone).
• Updating its testing procedure to be able to offer it year-round and via a computer-based system (i.e. at over 350 Pearson VUE centers across the country)
• The PTCB became accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in 2006.
• In 2012, the PTCB began its Educator Program (which according to ptcb.org, has over 850 pharmacy technician schools/institutions enrolled) and its Employer Program to foster a quality, certified pharmacy tech workforce.
• In 2013, the PTCB updated its certification requirements and exam to reflect advancing qualifications of pharmacy technicians.
“As pharmacists become responsible for more direct patient care in such venues as pharmacy-based immunization programs and retail pharmacy clinics, CPhTs [certified pharmacy technicians] are assuming new and expanded roles in medication safety, immunization assistance, supply chain management, financial assistance, medication therapy management, transitioning patient care, inventory control, and other areas.” ~ Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
PTCB’s Future Plans
The PTCB—which is governed by the American Pharmacists Association, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, the Michigan Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy—remains dedicated to seeing that all working pharmacy technicians be qualified and to encourage those CPhTs who want to, can advance their careers.
For example, the PTCB “will continue to advocate one national standard for certification of pharmacy technicians,” and by 2020, “will implement further changes to strengthen its requirements, including requiring each new candidate for certification to complete an ASHP/Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education-accredited education program,” states a PTCB press release from February 2, 2015. The PTCB is also working to create an “advanced certification program” for those pharmacy technicians who wish to expand their roles and skill-sets.
PTCB press release, February 2, 2015; http://www.ptcb.org/about-ptcb/news-room/news-landing/2015/02/02/ptcb-celebrates-twentieth-anniversary