Continuing Education For Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy is a rapidly changing field. Staying current on new drugs, dosage forms, laws, and regulations is important. Accept the idea of continuing education (CE) as a way of life. CE may include reading pharmacy journals and newsletters or attending workshops and professional meetings. You may need to take formal coursework or attend CE programs every year to maintain your pharmacy technician certification and keep current on the latest trends.
CE Requirements For PTCB
Recertification candidates must complete 20 hours of Continuing Education (CE). For recertification candidates, one of the 20 hours must be pharmacy law. Ten of the 20 hours may be earned by completing in-service projects. In-service projects are special work assignments that are not part of a pharmacy technician’s routine work duties and responsibilities. Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) may make arrangements with their supervising pharmacist for in-service projects. Fifteen of the 20 hours may be earned by completing a relevant college course with a grade of “C” or better.
All CEs submitted with a recertification application must have a completion date that falls between the most recent certification date and the current expiration date. Reinstatement candidates can also complete CEs in the one-year period following the certification expiration date.
Certified technicians receive notification of the need for recertification approximately 60 days before their certification lapses.
Examples of Acceptable CEs
There are many CE providers, some of which offer free online CEs. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited programs are recommended, but not required. Acceptable CEs include pharmacy-related subject matter only. Some examples might be:
- Pharmacy law
- Medication distribution
- Inventory control systems
Pharmacy technicians should retain documentation of participation for each activity in which they engage. Most CE providers provide participants with a certificate of participation. Acceptable documentation of participation in a college course may be either a transcript or a grade report. For in-service projects or other CEs for which a certificate of participation is not available, the supervising pharmacist or instructor must complete the Universal CE form.
The PTCB can audit CPhTs’ records of CE participation at any time. PTCB therefore recommends that CPhTs maintain CE documentation for at least one year beyond their certification expiration date.
In many states, technicians are required to attend seminars to keep their knowledge and skills current for continuing certifications and/or licensure.
Health care professionals are obligated to stay current in their profession. This includes continuing education in their respective fields as well as keeping up with the latest updates relevant to pharmacy technicians. Remember the importance of keeping up on your education and plan to make it happen every two years.
PTCB. (n.d.). Continuing Education. Retrieved August 6, 2012, from www.PTCB.org.