15-Dec-07 3:00 PM  CST

New CE Standards

The Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education, ACPE, has adopted new standards for differentiating continuing pharmacy education (CPE) programs for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Effective January 1, 2008, all new ACPE-accredited CPE programs will include a designator of either "P" for pharmacists or "T" for technicians as part of the program's Universal Program Number (UPN). Programs that are accredited for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will have two separate UPNs, one with a "P" designator and one with a "T" designator.

Numerous State Boards of Pharmacy are now requiring that technicians complete ACPE-accredited programs to maintain their registration or licensure and several, as in South Carolina, have already adopted requirements mandating Technician-Specific ACPE programs.

According to Scott Meyers, a member of PTCB's Board of Directors, it is unlikely that PTCB will require Technician-Specific ACPE programs, although it is possible that they may require CPE programs be ACPE-accredited at some point in the future.

The caveat, however, is that PTCB regulations state that CPE programs must be applicable for the practice of pharmacy technicians. Programs that contain or focus on pharmacist-specific responsibilities, such as patient counseling, can be rejected for recertification purposes.

Technicians should conclude that completing non-ACPE accredited programs, or ACPE-accredited programs with only a "P" designator contains a risk of rejection by either your State Board of Pharmacy and/or PTCB, whereas completing ACPE-accredited programs with a "T" designator should be safely accepted by any regulatory agency.

The National Pharmacy Technician Association, NPTA, was among the first organizations to adopt ACPE-accreditation status for pharmacy technician CPE programs, and ACPE's new standards indicate that NPTA was simply a forerunner.

STAT Educational Services, which is the organizational division that accredits CPE programs for NPTA and Today's Technician™ magazine, is the largest provider of technician-specific CPE programs and will continue to provide print-based, web-based and live CPE offerings exclusively for pharmacy technicians.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Mike Johnston
(888) 247-8700
Source: Today's Technician Volume 8 Issue 5  

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