PTCB launches two new initiatives

Tech certification board seeks advocates through Employer Partnership Program and feedback in CREST Initiative.

The  (PTCB) announced last week the launch of two programs intended to spur more participation and coordination with the pharmacy profession.

Through the , national chain, community, and health-system pharmacies can encourage pharmacy technicians to obtain certification. With the , PTCB requested feedback from the pharmacy profession on recommended changes to the certification program.

The —which stands for consumer awareness, resources, education, state policy, and testing—began in 2011 with a summit comprising pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, educators, employers, and state boards of pharmacy as well as a survey completed by more than 12,000 individuals. The summit, as well as a survey, led to recommendations including the creation of specialty pharmacy technician exams and additional requirements for PTCB certification, such as minimum practical experience, criminal background checks, and an accredited education program.

Megan Sheahan, PharmD, PTCB Director of Professional Affairs, said in a news release that these changes could affect “hundreds of thousands of pharmacy technicians nationwide,” noting that “eligibility requirements have remained largely unchanged since the organization’s founding in 1995.” She added, “We encourage all members of the health care team to participate in this survey.”

The survey will remain open through March 31, and can be completed . All responses are anonymous.

Employers enrolled as Advocate Partners in the  receive benefits including free individual verification of a pharmacy technician’s certification status, monthly newsletters, recognition on the PTCB website, and discounts on the PTCB exam.

“The tools provided by this new program will help employers facilitate the professional development of their employees and support workplace safety initiatives through PTCB certification,” said Sheahan in a PTCB news release. PTCB cited research indicating that certification helps employers by allowing pharmacists to focus on direct patient care activities and that employers who support certification report reduced turnover and training times and costs.