4-Mar-04 3:00 PM  CST

CCP Responds to Profession’s Input on Pharmacy Tech Education & Training Standards



In February 2003, ACPE widely distributed an invitation to comment, and over 100 comments were received. ACPE delivered a compilation of the submissions and a summary of the ten open hearings, held at national pharmacy meetings during 2003, to CCP at CCP’s regular quarterly meeting on February 24, 2004. CCP members and invited representatives from non-member groups, including the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association, and the Institute for the Advancement of Community Pharmacy reviewed and discussed the submitted comments at length.



CCP acknowledged that the appropriate utilization of supportive personnel has become a critical part of the delivery of quality pharmaceutical care in virtually all settings today.

The submitted comments generally reflected this conclusion, although there was lack of consensus on the best ways to train and utilize such supportive personnel in pharmacy currently and in the future. It was clear that there remains much variation in definitions of levels of supportive personnel, including technicians, and of their roles in different settings.


CCP concluded that there is a need for better understanding and consensus on what this type of pharmacy employee is expected to know and to do in a variety of settings. It was noted that the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board is about to embark on an update of the practice analysis for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhT). That process is designed to validate a comprehensive description of the work of CPhTs, including the functional areas and responsibilities in which they engage, and the knowledge required. Some excellent models of training programs are available currently for supportive personnel in pharmacy. Many of the submitted comments suggested that continued elevation of the abilities of technical personnel is vital to elevating the pharmacist’s ability to deliver pharmaceutical care most effectively and efficiently, and is dependent on the quality of education and training available to those individuals. CCP believes that additional dialogue is needed to explore whether the present systems of education and training could be improved.


CCP recommended that the pharmacy profession as a whole continue to engage in dialog about the roles and qualifications of technicians and other supportive personnel. It is important that this topic not be dropped, but rather escalated to the highest levels of the profession, in consultation with the public and others concerned with the efficient provision of high quality health care. Accordingly, CCP will request that the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners emphasize this issue in its current strategic planning process and conduct or commission further exploration and action on the topic. Members of CCP will remain available to assist in the credentialing-  related aspects of this process, including development of definitions.


In order to make the valuable information obtained through this exercise available to those interested in this topic, CCP will post background information, including the call for comments, and the full compilation of comments submitted in PDF format on its web site. This information may be accessed after March 8, 2004, by selecting “Pharmacy Technician Education Discussion Materials” on the CCP home page: www.pharmacycredentialing.org.




For additional information on this article, please contact:
C. Edwin Webb
(202) 756-2227
Source: NPTAnews/CCP Press Release  

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