The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the nation’s leading certifying organization for pharmacy technicians, will soon offer online proctored exam delivery of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam® (PTCE®) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This test delivery option makes testing available for candidates seeking to earn their Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential during COVID-19. Online proctored exam delivery allows candidates to take an exam from their own computer under the virtual supervision of a live proctor using security features such as face-matching technology, ID verification, browser lockdown, and recordings.
PTCB expects to launch online delivery of the PTCE in May, and will soon follow with online delivery of the Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician® (CSPT®) Exam, Technician Product Verification Certificate (TPV) Exam, and Medication History Certificate Exam.
“Pharmacy technicians on the front lines during this national emergency need testing options so they can earn their certifications,” said William Schimmel, PTCB Executive Director and CEO. “Online proctoring is a way we can restore testing services for technicians who are eager to move forward with their credentials at a time when they are needed to care for patients.”
In addition, beginning April 16, PTCB will resume in-person test delivery on a limited basis at about 150 select testing center locations for pharmacy technicians as essential service providers. The centers will follow strict government guidelines for sanitation and social distancing, with limits on the number of individuals allowed in a center at one time. Almost all other PTCB test administration centers, totaling more than 1,250 across the US, have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19 since late March.
To further support technicians during COVID-19, PTCB has reduced credential exam fees for new applicants and for technician employers and educators who choose to pay their technicians’ fees. New applicants save more than 10% on credential fees, and organizations enrolled in PTCB’s Direct Billing program can save between 15% and 40% per applicant, including waived application fees for CSPT certification. Direct Billing is a simple way for organizations to pay for pharmacy technicians to earn or renew PTCB credentials.
Also, to support technicians seeking employment as well as employers hiring technicians, PTCB is offering free postings of open positions on PTCB’s Career Center to help employers hire the CPhTs they need to provide an increased level of patient care during the pandemic.
During this time, PTCB has launched a new Continuing Education (CE) directory where CPhTs can find free CE programs that are required for renewing their credentials. All CE programs listed are ACPE-accredited. Education providers can visit the online directory to submit their free CE programs to be considered for inclusion.
Many CPhTs are facing new challenges in their pharmacy workplaces due to COVID-19, and PTCB invites them to submit their stories online. PTCB may share their workplace stories on social media and the PTCB website to strengthen connections within the community at this difficult time.
“PTCB is committed to serving pharmacy technicians, employers, educators, and the pharmacy community during COVID-19 to support our nation’s pharmacy teams who are carrying out critical work,” said Schimmel. “All our actions at this time aim to advance medication safety and patient care. This continues to be our top priority during the crisis.”
Find information on PTCB exam delivery during COVID-19 at ptcb.org/testing-during-covid19.
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