National Pharmacy Technician Certification

July 31, 2016
National Pharmacy Technician

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam

About the PTCB Exam:
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam is a nationally accredited certification exam for pharmacy technicians offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Individuals who pass the exam are given the designation CPhT (certified pharmacy technician). A certificate and a wallet card are sent to newly certified pharmacy technicians approximately six to eight weeks after taking the exam. Once you are certified, your certification is valid for two years.

In order to take the exam, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements specified by the PTCB. These requirements are:

  • Candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g., a GED or foreign diploma).
  • No felony conviction.
  • No drug or pharmacy related convictions, including misdemeanors. These violations must be disclosed to PTCB.
  • No denial, suspension, revocation, or restriction of registration or licensure, consent order or other restriction by any State Board of Pharmacy. No admission of misconduct or violation of regulations of any State Board of Pharmacy.

Exam Composition:

The PTCE is a computerized exam composed of 90 multiple choice questions. Ten of the 90 questions are pre-test questions that are randomly placed throughout the exam. These questions will not count towards your final score. The remaining 80 questions will test pharmacy technicians’ knowledge and skill base under three function areas:

  1. Assisting the Pharmacist in Serving Patients (66% of exam): This area covers materials such as assisting the pharmacist, receiving and processing a prescription, compounding, data collection, communication with patients and third-party payers, performing drug administration functions, etc.
  2. Maintaining Medication and Inventory Control Systems (22% of exam): This area covers materials such as pharmaceuticals and medical supply identification, pharmaceutical and medical supply inventory, record-keeping, quality control, etc.
  3. Participating in the Administration and Management of Pharmacy Practice (12% of exam): This area covers materials such as compliance with federal regulations and professional standards, safety practices within the pharmacy, quality assurance activities and reporting, use and maintenance of automated and point-of-care dispensing technology, billing and accounting, etc.
Location and Testing Information:

The PTCE is offered at Pearson VUE Professional Centers located across the United States. US military personnel overseas may also take the exam at DANTES sites. The exam is offered continuously throughout the year. Applications are accepted 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Once a candidate’s application to take the exam is approved, he or she will have 90 days to schedule an appointment and take the exam.

The exam lasts for two hours and includes a short tutorial at the beginning and an exit survey at the end of the exam. The final score of the exam will be based on the total number of questions answered correctly. It is to your advantage to answer every question on the exam.

Upon completion of the exam, test takers can view their results immediately. Test takers will receive a pass-fail notice on the computer and a print out of their exam results. Successful candidates will receive their certificates in the mail within a few weeks of the test date.

Candidates who fail the exam can retake the exam up to three times.

More information on retaking the exam is available on the PTCB web site: click here.To apply to take the PTCE. What to Bring:

Exam candidates must bring valid, government-issued photo ID. Valid forms of ID include: passport, government-issued driver's license, government-issued driving learner's permit, non-driver's identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or U.S. Armed Forces identification. All other personal belongings will be stored in lockers provided at the testing site until completion of the exam. Upon checking in, candidates will be provided with an erasable board to serve as scratch paper. Handheld calculators and an onscreen calculator are also available to assist test takers.

Exam Costs:
The fee to apply for and take the PTCB exam is $129.
Source: www.pharmacytechnician.org
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