An updated Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is slated to be introduced by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) on Nov. 1.


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PTCB revamps pharmacy tech certification exam

August 29th, 2013

WASHINGTON – An updated Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is slated to be introduced by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) on Nov. 1.

PTCB said Thursday that updates to the PTCE stemmed from its latest Job Analysis Study, which involved 25,712 pharmacy technicians from every state and practice setting.

The board noted that it conducts the study on a regular basis to assess the evolution of pharmacy technician roles and, based on the latest data, the requirements of the job were analyzed to update the exam.

According to PTCB, the updated exam measures the knowledge that pharmacy technicians need to effectively support pharmacists and advance patient safety in today's pharmacy environment.

For example, the updated test more strongly emphasizes such knowledge areas as medication safety and pharmacy information systems. In addition, the board said extensive work went into reorganizing the test and creating more specific knowledge groupings, or domains, each with subdomains. The updated exam has nine domains, instead of three, with revised proportions of emphasis. The length of the test and number of questions (90 multiple choice) hasn't been changed.

Candidates who apply for PTCB certification before Nov. 1 will take the current PTCE, and those who apply on or after Nov. 1 will receive the updated exam.

"The PTCE is the foundation of PTCB's certification program. We continually strive to ensure the PTCE is current and accurately tests the knowledge required in all sectors of pharmacy practice," Everett McAllister, executive director and chief executive officer of PTCB, said in a statement. "The updated PTCE is psychometrically sound and reflects the results of our latest study across all practice settings, including community, hospital and federal."

The exam is delivered at 237 Pearson Professional Centers nationwide and military test centers. PTCB's national certification program serves the more than 274,000 active certified pharmacy technicians (CPhTs) nationwide.

In late February, PTCB announced plans to raise its standards for national certification and recertification. Aimed at advancing pharmacy technician qualifications, the changes — due to be phased in over seven years — include mandatory background checks and accredited education requirements, as well as changes in acceptable continuing education programs for recertification.

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