Certification is a voluntary process by which a non-governmental agency (like PTCB) recognizes an individual who has met qualifications specified by that organization. This formal recognition is granted to provide public evidence that the individual has attained the necessary level of knowledge, skill, and/or experience in a well-defined area.
Certification usually requires an initial assessment and periodic reassessments of the individual’s knowledge, skills and/or experience - such as through PTCB's Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and the completion of pharmacy technician-specific continuing education programs.
State Registration Processes
Registration is the process of enrolling or renewing on a list of pharmacy technicians. Registration is intended to help safeguard the public through interstate and intrastate tracking of the technician workforce and preventing individuals with documented problems from serving as pharmacy technicians. As of April 2016, 34 states and the District of Columbia register pharmacy technicians.
Licensure is the process by which an agency of government (state or federal) gives an individual permission to engage in a given occupation upon recognizing that the applicant has attained the minimum competency necessary to ensure that the public health, safety, and welfare will be reasonably well protected. Within the pharmacy profession, pharmacists are licensed by state boards of pharmacy. As of April 2016, 11 states license pharmacy technicians.
Why is this important?
In some states, it may be necessary to maintain active PTCB certification, in addition to registering with the state board of pharmacy. Technicians should contact the Board of Pharmacy in the state they work to determine which requirements apply to them.