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PTCB to update PTCE blueprint


WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced the update of the pharmacy technician certification exam blueprint.

While much of the PTCE's content remains unchanged, the PTCB said the blueprint has been reorganized into nine domains, called "knowledge areas," each with a number of sub-domains. This organization gives the new blueprint a knowledge focus and conveys more information about the type and amount of content in the exam. The "knowledge areas" are:

  • Pharmacology for technicians;

  • Pharmacy law and regulations;

  • Sterile and nonsterile compounding;

  • Medication safety;

  • Pharmacy quality assurance;

  • Medication order entry and fill process;

  • Pharmacy inventory management;

  • Pharmacy billing and reimbursement; and

  • Pharmacy information systems usage and application.

The changes to the PTCE blueprint were prompted by results of a PTCB Job Analysis Study (completed in February) — in which more than 25,000 pharmacy technicians from every state and practice setting participated — identified the entry level knowledge and skills needed to perform tasks that are most important to protecting public health. From there, a panel of expert pharmacists and pharmacy technicians used the findings to develop the revised PTCE blueprint.

"Developing and maintaining an exam for pharmacy technicians that is psychometrically sound and meets standards for validity remains PTCB's greatest mission," PTCB executive director and CEO Everett McAllister said. "We remain committed to routinely evaluating the evolution of technician responsibilities to create a product that effectively measures knowledge across pharmacy practice settings."

It is anticipated that the PTCE will reflect the new blueprint starting in mid-2013. No changes will be made to the length of the exam, or the number or type of exam questions, the PTCB noted.

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