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PTCB reorganizes pharmacy tech certification exam
June 6th, 2012
WASHINGTON – The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has updated the blueprint for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), reorganizing the test's content into nine knowledge areas.
PTCB said Wednesday that changes to the exam stemmed from a job analysis completed in February. The study, 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.
A panel of expert pharmacists and pharmacy technicians then used the findings to develop the revised PTCE blueprint. The exam's updated content areas are are Pharmacology for Technicians, Pharmacy Law and Regulations, Sterile and Non-Sterile 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.
"Developing and maintaining an exam for pharmacy technicians that is psychometrically sound and meets standards for validity remains PTCB's greatest mission," Everett McAllister, executive director and chief executive officer of PTCB, said in a statement. "We remain committed to routinely evaluating the evolution of technician responsibilities to create a product that effectively measures knowledge across pharmacy practice settings."
PTCB noted that much work has gone into reorganizing the blueprint and creating more specific knowledge domains, even though a lot of the exam content is unchanged. For example, the new blueprint groups content into the nine "knowledge area" domains, and each has a number of subdomains. Such organization sharpens the knowledge focus of the blueprint plus conveys more information about the type and amount of content in the exam, according to PTCB.
The PTCE is delivered at more than 220 Pearson Professional Centers nationwide and DANTES military test centers.
A date for implementing the new blueprint hasn't been set, but it's expected the PTCE will reflect the new blueprint starting in mid-2013, PTCB said, adding that no changes will be made to the length of the exam or to the number or type of exam questions.