Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a nationally recognized certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) for pharmacy technicians. The PTCE is designed to test candidates’ knowledge and skills in various areas of pharmacy practice, including pharmacy law and regulations, medication safety, medication order entry and processing, medication inventory management, and pharmacology. Here is everything you need to know about the PTCE:
To be eligible to take the PTCE, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, have completed a pharmacy technician training program, or have equivalent work experience in a pharmacy setting. The PTCB also requires candidates to have a clean criminal record and agree to adhere to the PTCB’s code of conduct.
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. The exam is divided into four content areas:
Medications (40% of the exam): This section covers topics such as medication safety, pharmacology, and drug classifications.
Federal Requirements (12.5% of the exam): This section covers federal laws and regulations related to pharmacy practice, such as the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations.
Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25% of the exam): This section covers topics such as medication order entry and processing, medication inventory management, and medication error prevention.
Order Entry and Processing (21.25% of the exam): This section covers the processes involved in medication order entry, processing, and distribution.
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that is administered at Pearson VUE test centers throughout the United States. The exam is timed and candidates have 2 hours to complete the 90 questions. The exam is scored on a scale of 1,000, with a passing score of 650 or higher.
The PTCB offers a variety of resources to help candidates prepare for the PTCE. These resources include:
Official PTCE Practice Exam: The PTCB offers an official practice exam that simulates the format and content of the actual PTCE.
PTCE Candidate Guidebook: The PTCB provides a candidate guidebook that outlines the exam content and provides tips for exam preparation.
Continuing Education Programs: The PTCB offers a variety of continuing education programs for pharmacy technicians, many of which are designed to help candidates prepare for the PTCE.
Exam Preparation Courses: Many community colleges and vocational schools offer exam preparation courses for the PTCE.
Study Guides and Books: There are many study guides and books available that are designed specifically for PTCE preparation.
The cost of the PTCE is $149. This fee includes one exam attempt and the issuance of one certification upon passing the exam. Additional exam attempts and certification renewals may require additional fees.
To register for the PTCE, candidates must create an account on the PTCB website and submit their application, along with the application fee. Once the application is approved, candidates will receive an authorization to schedule their exam.
The PTCE is scored on a scale of 1,000, with a passing score of 650 or higher. Candidates will receive their exam score immediately after completing the exam. Candidates who do not pass the exam on their first attempt can retake the exam up to three times within one year of their first attempt.
Pharmacy technicians who have passed the PTCE can verify their certification status on the PTCB website. The PTCB also provides certification verification to employers and state boards of pharmacy upon request.
The PTCE certification is valid for 2 years. To renew their certification, pharmacy technicians must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) during their 2-year certification period. At least 1 hour of CE must be in pharmacy law and at least 1 hour must be in patient safety. The PTCB provides a list of approved CE providers and programs.
The PTCB provides special accommodations for candidates who require them due to a disability or medical condition. Candidates must submit a request for accommodations, along with supporting documentation, at the time of their application.
PTCB Code of Conduct: The PTCB requires all candidates and certified pharmacy technicians to adhere to its code of conduct. The code of conduct includes ethical and professional standards that all pharmacy technicians must follo
Other Pharmacy Technician Certifications
In addition to the PTCE, there are other pharmacy technician certifications available, including the Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) offered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). It is important to research the different certifications available and choose the one that best meets your needs and career goals.