Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) is important to maintaining competency and improving the professional skills that make pharmacy technicians capable members of the pharmacy team. Now, through CPE Monitor, NABP, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and ACPE providers are working together to provide you an easy way of keeping track of your inventory of CPE credit.
CPE Monitor allows you to electronically keep track of CPE credits from ACPE-accredited providers. To view and track these credits, you must first set up an NABP e-Profile, obtain your NABP e-Profile ID, and register for CPE Monitor. You may do so by clicking on the "Log in to Your e-Profile to Access CPE Monitor" link below. ACPE-accredited providers will ask for your e-Profile ID and your date of birth in order to properly record your CPE credits through the system.
When you click on the link above you will be brought to a secure web page. A secure or encrypted website address begins with HTTPS rather than HTTP, and often includes an icon in the browser such as a padlock.
You will receive a unique ID after setting up your e-Profile with NABP and registering for CPE Monitor. ACPE-accredited providers have transitioned their systems to CPE Monitor, which means that you will need to provide your NABP e-Profile ID and date of birth when you register for CPE or submit a request for credit. Transmission of CPE data is a three-step process:
- The provider receives the CPE claim and transmits it to ACPE.
- ACPE transmits the data to NABP.
- NABP displays this information in the CPE Monitor section of your e-Profile.
Please note that providers have up to 60 days from the date of your activity to submit CPE claim data to ACPE. However, some providers have deadlines that are less than 60 days (eg, 30 days) due to the fact that they require more time to process a CPE activity claim and transmit it to ACPE. If you do not submit your credit to the CPE provider by the provider’s submission deadline, the provider will be unable to submit your claim to ACPE for transmission to your e-Profile. Check with the individual providers for their submission deadlines. Always submit CPE activity claims as soon as possible upon completion of a CPE activity.
In addition, boards of pharmacy now have the option of requesting reports on their licensees. With this capability, some boards may eventually eliminate the need for you to send paper copies of CPE statements of credit to the boards for activities from ACPE-accredited providers. Check with your board(s) to learn the preferred process for submitting proof of CPE credits and always be sure to update your license with the new expiration date.
In Phase 2 of the CPE Monitor initiative, CPE Monitor will add a function to track CPE from providers not accredited by ACPE in addition to CPE from ACPE-accredited providers. Until Phase 2 is completed, pharmacists and technicians will need to submit proof of non-ACPE accredited CPE directly to the board of pharmacy when required to do so.
Requirements for practicing as a pharmacy technician vary from state to state, but according to NABP’s 2014 Survey of Pharmacy Law, the majority of jurisdictions license, register, or certify technicians, and at least two states are currently working on legislation for doing so.
As technician training grows and technicians increase their presence in the pharmacy, regulation of their practice will become more standardized. The NABP Task Force on Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs recommended that, by 2015, state boards of pharmacy require all certified pharmacy technicians to complete an accredited education and training program.
Currently, over one-third of jurisdictions have continuing education requirements that technicians must meet in order to maintain their license, certification, or registration, and with CPE Monitor, pharmacy technicians will be equipped to track and monitor their status.
Maintaining a centralized inventory of your CPE credit is an efficient way to ensure that you have met requirements.
Requirements for each state vary – contact the board of pharmacy for information on your state’s CPE requirements.
PTCB develops, maintains, promotes, and administers a nationally accredited certification and recertification program for pharmacy technicians. The goal of PTCB's certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer greater patient care and service.
Individuals who meet all eligibility requirements and who successfully pass PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).
There are two parts to being a CPhT. First, pharmacy technicians must sit for and pass the national PTCE. Once a pharmacy technician has passed the exam, he or she may use the designation of CPhT. Second, to continue to hold certification, a CPhT is required to obtain 20 hours of pharmacy technician-specific continuing education, and one hour of medication safety (equivalent to patient safety) continuing education within two years of original certification or previous recertification.
In the future, CPE credits may flow from CPE Monitor to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). For now, technicians certified through PTCB will need to report their CPE to PTCB when seeking recertification from PTCB.
The PTCE is available year round at over 200 Pearson Professional Centers nationwide. See PTCB’s website for more information.
NABP provides guidance on topics of interest to the state boards of pharmacy through the use of single-issue task forces. When an issue arises that requires special expertise or a commitment of time and funds, a task force is appointed to explore and address an explicit charge. Often, these issues address topics from resolutions that are approved by NABP membership at the Annual Meeting. Resolutions formally state the membership’s stance on important issues in pharmacy practice or regulation.
A list of task force reports and resolutions related to pharmacy technicians follows:
- Resolution No. 106-7-10 Continued Efforts to Standardize Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs
- Resolution No. 105-5-09 Board of Pharmacy Approval of Pharmacy Technician Educational and Training Programs
- Resolution No. 104-4-08 Task Force on Standardized Pharmacy Technician Education and Training
Task Force Reports
- 2009-2010 Report of the Task Force on Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs
- 2008-2009 Report of the Task Force on Standardized Pharmacy Technician Education and Training
Many ACPE-accredited providers of continuing education offer continuing education activities that include pharmacy technicians as participants because continuing education is now a requirement for renewal of certification, licensure, or registration in some states.