PTCB certification-s are issued by the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board), this is the national organization that creates the board exam which you will sit for after training.
There are two parts to PTCB certification-s and to being a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
1. Pharmacy technicians must sit for and pass the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE). Once a pharmacy technician has passed the exam, he or she may use the designation of CPhT.
2. To continue to hold certification, a CPhT is required to obtain twenty hours of continuing education for recertification within two years of original certification or previous recertification.
Some important points to note regarding PTCB certification-s are found below. Detailed information can be found by following the link that is posted at the end of the page.
• Exam schedules - PTCB certification-s exam is given 3 times a year in MARCH, JULY & NOVEMBER.
• Application fee – $120
• Continuing education – Must complete 20 hrs every 2 years before license renewal, make sure to keep a record of completed ce (continuing education) credits for each year.
• Eligibility – Candidate must have a HS diploma or GED and never have been convicted of a felony, however, there may be certain cases where the PTCB may make an exception, contact them for more information. (follow the link at the end of the page)
• Exam format – 140 multiple-choice questions. Fifteen of the 140
questions are pre-test questions and will not count toward your final score, however, there is no way to know which questions are pre-test questions and therefore you should answer every single question within the allotted time if you can.Questions may cover all aspects of pharmacy and if you recall I mentioned on the checklist that good pharmacy tech courses should cover most aspects of pharmacy.
• Reexamination – The PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination) may be taken by eligible candidates as many times as needed to earn a passing score. A new application including appropriate documentation and $120 in fees must be submitted each time to the PES (Professional Examination Service). This is an agency that conducts testing on behalf of the PTCB.
• Passing score – if you receive a score of 650 or greater than you’ve passed the exam.
Once you pass the exam the board will issue a license in your name and you will then be able to use the credentials “Cpht” (Certified Pharmacy Technician), it is these credentials that employers want to see when they make their hiring decisions.
A point to note is that not all states require a pharmacy technician to be certified in order to work in a pharmacy BUT regardless of the state’s requirement most employers may only hire pharmacy technicians that are certified or are in the process of becoming certified or are in training to become certified.
Because uncertified techs may become a liability if they are not experienced and may not possess the necessary pharmaceutical knowledge in order to function efficiently within the pharmacy team which could give rise to lawsuits towards the company if for example, the wrong medication gets dispensed to patients or due to some other medication errors of which the uncertified tech is a cause of.
So, certification is essential and sooner or later states that do not have PTCB certification-s requirement will adopt them.
Also, if you’re certified you may very well start at a higher salary than someone that isn’t.
The PTCB has created a candidates guidebook to certification that can be downloaded for free from their site by clicking on the link below. This guide will cover the above points in detail and will also have contact info for the PTCB.
Make sure you review this guide, it will give you a complete picture on the process of PTCB certification-s. For more info you may contact them directly via their website found below by clicking the link.
Here’s the link (Note:You'll need adobe acrobat reader to view the PDF file, if you don't have reader installed please download it HERE.
PTCB Certification-s Info
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