Pharmacy Technician Certification Resources
Education Institute (CEI)
The Collaborative Education
Institute (CEI) is offering a pharmacy technician training series to prepare
technicians for the national certification exam. This online series can be
purchased as a full series (5 programs) or individually, depending on which
of the 5 modules are needed. Click
for details and registration information.
Technician Tidbits e-Newsletter
sends electronic Technician Tidbits newsletters to pharmacy
technician members approximately twice per month. Technician Tidbits
are concise, easy to read, ‘tidbits’ of information that may appear on the
Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Other important information for
pharmacy technicians will be included as well.
previous issues of the Technician Tidbits newsletter,
Questions about Pharmacy Technician Certification
Note: These are brief answers to the
most frequently asked questions. For more detailed information on the PTCB
exam, please click
Q: Do all Iowa
pharmacy technicians need to be certified?
Clarification regarding technician certification
timeline in Iowa
Q: What is the
Certification Board (PTCB)?
A: PTCB was established in
January 1995, by the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), the
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Illinois Council
of Hospital Pharmacists (ICHP), and the Michigan Pharmacists Association
(MPA) to create one consolidated voluntary national certification program
for pharmacy technicians. PTCB is a national certification program that
enables pharmacy techs to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer
safe and effective patient care and service. PTCB develops and implements
policies related to national certification for pharmacy technicians.
PTCB administers a nationally accredited certification examination for
pharmacy technicians which tests knowledge in all practice settings.
Q: What are the eligibility
requirements to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification
A: To be eligible to take the National Pharmacy
Technician Certification Examination, the candidate must have a high school
diploma or GED or foreign diploma, have never been convicted of a felony, have no denial, suspension, revocation, or restriction of registration or licensure,
consent order or other restriction by any State Board of Pharmacy, have no
admission of misconduct or violation of regulations of any State Board of
Pharmacy and must disclose any drug or pharmacy related convictions,
including misdemeanors to PTCB.
What is the cost for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination?
A: The application fee is
$129. This fee covers the costs of the
development and administration of the examination and the ongoing operation
of the certification program.
Q: How do I apply for the exam?
A: Information about the
exam can be found on the PTCB
A direct link to the application for the exam can be found
Q: When and where is the examination administered?
A: The exam is offered continuously throughout the year.
Applications are accepted every day, 24 hours a day, and approved exam
candidates are given ninety (90) days of eligibility in which they must
schedule an appointment for and take the exam. The PTCE is taken at Pearson
VUE Professional Centers located all over the
For a list of these sites
Q: What is the
content of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination?
A: 90 multiple choice
questions consisting of assisting the pharmacist in serving patients (66%),
maintaining medication and inventory control systems (22%), and
participating in the administration and management of pharmacy practice
(12%). Candidates have two hours to complete the exam.
Q: Where can I find resources for exam preparation?
A: The Iowa Pharmacy Association has created a
recommendation list of preparation materials including online programming
and print material. This “certification study material options” can be found
Q: What is the recognition of
A: Individuals who meet
all eligibility requirements and who successfully pass the National Pharmacy
Technician Certification Examination may use the initials "CPhT" after their
names. A certificate and wallet card will be sent to newly certified
pharmacy technicians approximately six to eight weeks after the examination.
Certification is valid for two years, at which point the CPhT must meet the
Q: What are the recertification
A: Renewal of
certification is required every two years. A total of 20 contact hours of
continuing education in pharmacy-related topics are required within the
two-year period. At least 1.0 contact hour shall be in the area of pharmacy
law. The re-certification fee is $40 if done online, and
if a paper application is submitted.
Q: Where can I obtain continuing
A: The Collaborative Education Institute & Iowa
Pharmacy Association offer
year, as well as
on-line continuing education
local pharmacy organizations
and other educational bodies offer continuing education for pharmacists and
Q: What is the
PTCB Universal Continuing Education Form?
A: Up to 10 contact hours
required for re-certification may be carried out in the practice site under
the supervision of the pharmacist(s) for whom the certified pharmacy
technician works. However, these credits may not be earned by working ten
hours at your regular duties. The pharmacy technician may participate in
continuing education (such as in-service training) that the supervising
pharmacist deems to be appropriate for the needs of the individual