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National Technician Certification Exam Gains NABP's Support

Kate Traynor

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) recently decided that the best way to ensure pharmacy technician competency is to fully support the national certification exam sponsored by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

NABP’s decision to back the PTCB exam grew out of a resolution, made during a May 2000 NABP board meeting, that called for the development of a national competency assessment program for pharmacy technicians. After the resolution was passed, NABP explored two options—use of the PTCB exam and creation of a competency assessment tool.

Ultimately, NABP decided against designing a new competency test and chose instead to become actively involved in PTCB’s test development process. Effective Jan. 1, 2002, NABP joined ASHP and the three other pharmacy organizations whose appointees serve on the PTCB board of directors. NABP’s executive director will chair the PTCB certification council, the group of pharmacy experts that develops PTCB’s certification examination.

In addition to taking an active role in the examination process, NABP will incorporate the certification program in its "Model State Pharmacy Act and Model Rules." NABP will also encourage states to adopt PTCB certification as a recognized competency assessment process for pharmacy technicians.

Another important new development at PTCB is the creation of the PTCB Stakeholder Policy Council. The 12-member council of pharmacy professionals will devise policies to direct PTCB and serve as an advisory body to the organization’s board of directors.