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Education, Training Standards for Technicians to Be Discussed

Kate Traynor

The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) this week announced its intention to discuss with stakeholders in the pharmacy profession the development of national standards and an accreditation process for pharmacy technician education and training programs.

ACPE made the announcement in response to a request from ASHP and fellow member organizations of the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy (CCP), which had emphasized the need for a professionwide discussion of technician education and training.

This need and related issues are described in a white paper (PDF) published in the Jan. 1, 2003, issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy and endorsed by all 12 CCP member organizations, including ACPE, which drafted the document.

The white paper explains that ASHP, which began accrediting training programs for technicians two decades ago, recognizes that the implications of having a well-educated, well-trained, and well-utilized pharmacy technician work force have broadened since 1982. ACPE, the white paper continues, "could be an appropriate organization to lead the process of developing uniform national standards for technician education and training."

In its announcement, ACPE stated that it will hold a series of open hearings in 2003, starting in March at the American Pharmaceutical Association's annual meeting. Should the need for national standards on technician education and training be confirmed, ACPE estimated that it will take several years to develop and implement the standards.