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Press Release

Updated Training Curriculum Highlights Pharmacy Technicians' Role in Safe Medication Use

Five of the nation's leading pharmacy organizations have collaborated on an Internet training reference tool that highlights the contemporary roles for pharmacy technicians. The second edition of the Model Curriculum for Pharmacy Technician Training provides pharmacy technician educators with a prototype for training technicians in all practice environments and geographic locations. The curriculum, which is available exclusively at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' (ASHP) Web site,, will position technicians as key players in safe medication use.

The curriculum was developed to address the training and education needs of pharmacy technicians as pharmacy practice undergoes major transformations—especially as pharmacists begin to play a more active role in providing direct patient care. The revised reference was developed with the input of pharmacy technician educators representing all facets of pharmacy practice, including health-system and community practice, and expands on the first edition's guidance for training technicians for practice in independent and chain settings.  The resource, which can be downloaded at no charge, also provides:

  • A guide for structuring the curriculum of new technician training programs,
  • A checklist of quality components for comparison with the curricula of existing training programs,
  • A resource for instructing practicing technicians who lack skills in specific areas,
  • A list of job responsibilities and tasks that might be assumed by technicians, and
  • A task list describing work performed by technicians.

The curriculum features four key components, including goals and objectives, a curriculum map, descriptors for each of the instructional modules, and a tracking document to show in which instructional module(s) each of the curriculum's objectives are taught. The new Web-based edition allows users to download all or part of the curriculum.

The revision of the model curriculum represents an important shift in pharmacy's perception of the significant role technicians might play in addressing critical issues facing the profession, according to Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D., ASHP executive vice president and CEO. "A corps of well-trained pharmacy technicians is imperative as pharmacists are called on to increase their involvement in direct patient care," Manasse said.  "As pharmacy managers are called on to reengineer the work of technicians, we hope that they will look to this invaluable resource."

Led by ASHP, the model curriculum was developed collaboratively with the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council. The revisions were based in part on the "Report of the Pharmacy Technician Task Analysis Update," conducted in June 1999 by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medications. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.