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ASHP/ACPE Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission

A Collaboration between the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

The Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC) is a collaboration between ASHP and ACPE and serves both boards of directors as the accrediting review committee for pharmacy technician education and training programs. Since 1982, ASHP has served the role of accreditor of such programs and was advised through the work of its Commission on Credentialing.

Since its inception in 1932, ACPE has accredited professional degree programs in pharmacy and plays an important role in assuring the quality of pharmacy education. ASHP has accredited pharmacy technician programs since 1982, serving as the only pharmacy profession programmatic accreditor for technician education and training programs. In 2013, ASHP had 258 programs in the accreditation process. The need for standardized, quality, accredited training of technicians continues to be recognized by employers and pharmacists in all pharmacy settings. Many had suggested that ACPE should be involved in accrediting technician education and training programs, given their role in accrediting Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs. This collaboration brings together ACPE's expertise along with ASHP's strength of accrediting pharmacy technician education and training programs to form PTAC and a joint approval process to move the profession forward in addressing pharmacy technician accreditation. The collaboration is a win-win for both technician programs and for those who will benefit from the work of pharmacy technicians. It is believed that ACPE's involvement in the process will help bring wider acceptance and demand for accredited training across pharmacy and the health care continuum.

What Role Does ASHP Have with the New Commission?

ASHP schedules accreditation surveys, and prepares information for the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission. Accreditation fees are to be paid to ASHP to run the operations related to accreditation for PTAC. Any inquiries about the pharmacy technician accreditation process are to be sent to ASHP Accreditation Services at asd@ashp.org. Additionally, since ASHP is part of the collaboration, the ASHP Board of Directors approves accreditation actions through PTAC instead of the Commission on Credentialing.

What Role Does ACPE Have with the New Commission?

ACPE collaborates with ASHP on the appointment of PTAC members, and both organizations provide staff support and a board liaison for PTAC. ACPE along with ASHP develops a nominating committee to make recommendations for Commission appointments; provides communications about PTAC to various stakeholder groups; and provides education to state boards of pharmacy, regulatory bodies or other groups about the value of accreditation in assuring quality pharmacy technician education and training. Like ASHP, the ACPE Board of Directors approves any recommendations made by PTAC.

How Many Commissioners Are on PTAC?

PTAC consists of nine voting members and three non-voting members. Members are considered from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who bring experience and perspectives from a wide variety of pharmacy practice areas (e.g., community, health-system, long term care), pharmacy technician educators from a variety of settings, pharmacists involved in the regulation of the profession, and a public member. In addition, there are three non-voting members: a secretary staff member from ASHP or ACPE, as well as board liaisons from ASHP and ACPE.

How Will Commissioners Be Identified to Become Members of PTAC?

A nominating committee is made up of three ASHP and three ACPE appointees. The nominating committee puts forth a slate of candidates for appointment to PTAC, and the individuals must be approved by both the ASHP and ACPE Board of Directors. The nominating committee will seek candidates through a call for names to the general pharmacy community with specific requests to member organizations that are relevant stakeholders (e.g., Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) organizations), and relevant pharmacy technician communities (e.g., Pharmacy Technician Educators Council, and other pharmacy technician organizations).

What Is the Length of Appointment to PTAC?

Full terms are three years. Initially, some Commissioners are asked to have shortened terms of office, to ensure a manageable roll over of appointees each year.

What Are the Requirements to Be Considered as a Commissioner for PTAC?

Each Commissioner, with the exception of public members, must have expertise and experience in quality assurance of pharmacy technician education and training and/or the contemporary education, training or practice of pharmacy technicians. The ASHP and ACPE Boards ensure that the composition of PTAC reflects a commitment to diversity and geographic representation. All prospective Commissioners are required to complete a disclosure form for any potential conflicts before they are recommended for appointment or review any programs.

What Functions Does PTAC Have?

All recommendations of PTAC related to the following functions are to be approved by both the ASHP and ACPE Board of Directors. The PTAC is responsible for the following:

  • Review applications for accreditation of pharmacy technician education and training programs;
  • Evaluate pharmacy technician education and training programs for recommendations on accreditation status;
  • Make recommendations regarding standards, policies and procedures and other matters related to PTAC activities and accreditation services;
  • Assist in strategic planning in matters related to pharmacy technician education and training accreditation;
  • Identify potential activities and collaborative opportunities;
  • Solicit and receive input and advice from other stakeholders to obtain a broad perspective to help assure the quality, validity and improvement of ASHP/ACPE Accreditation Standards, activities and services.

What Responsibilities Do Commissioners Have?

  • Prepare for and participate in PTAC meetings;
  • Ensure effective planning and implementation of the PTAC functions;
  • Participate in on site surveys.

How Often Does PTAC Meet?

PTAC meets twice a year, generally in late April or early May and October. Actions from the PTAC meetings are reviewed for approval at the June and January, respectively, ASHP and ACPE Board of Directors meetings. Infrequently, additional meetings (in person or on the telephone) of PTAC may be convened when needed to conduct business.

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