Difference between ExCPT and PTCE exam

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Steve in Plano, Texas

73 months ago

Can someone explain the difference between the two for me?

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miracle198 in Neptune, New Jersey

62 months ago

This is a response posted in another thread...

The 2 exams are (almost)equivalent, contrary to some of the posts on this issue. Both PTCB and ICPT are ACCREDITED organizations and the passing of either test earns you the designation of a nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician.

The ExCPT (given by the ICPT) is a newer exam than the PTCB's exam. It is slightly less expensive ($105 vs PTCB's $129). It is a computer-based test, given at a testing center. In fact, the ICPT test, which has always been computer-based, was (probably) the motivating factor in the PTCB's test going computer-based in order to compete.

An interesting fact to note is that the PTCB exam pays royalties to ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), APhA (American Pharmaceutical Association), and NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) . The ICPT exam pays royalties to NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association) and NACDS (National Association of Chain Drug Stores). So the underlying difference seems to be institutional/hospital vs. chain/retail. Also, according to "reports" the PTCE seems to be geared more towards hospitals while the ExCPT appears to be directed towards retail.

The PTCB exam has been around much longer and is more established and therefore more widely recognized (hence the reason many on the forum don't know of the ExCPT). However, many states, as they are moving towards requiring national certification, are accepting certification through either exam. Eventually, both exams will be accepted for national certification by all states.

I live in NJ which does not (YET) require national certification. However the trend seems to be that states that have implemented the requirement in the last 5 years or so are writing into their statutes the requirement for certification through EITHER exam. In applying for jobs, I've seen that even hospitals will accept national certification through either exam.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

miracle198 in Neptune, New Jersey said: This is a response posted in another thread...

The 2 exams are (almost)equivalent, contrary to some of the posts on this issue. Both PTCB and ICPT are ACCREDITED organizations and the passing of either test earns you the designation of a nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician.

The ExCPT (given by the ICPT) is a newer exam than the PTCB's exam. It is slightly less expensive ($105 vs PTCB's $129). It is a computer-based test, given at a testing center. In fact, the ICPT test, which has always been computer-based, was (probably) the motivating factor in the PTCB's test going computer-based in order to compete.

An interesting fact to note is that the PTCB exam pays royalties to ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), APhA (American Pharmaceutical Association), and NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) . The ICPT exam pays royalties to NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association) and NACDS (National Association of Chain Drug Stores). So the underlying difference seems to be institutional/hospital vs. chain/retail. Also, according to "reports" the PTCE seems to be geared more towards hospitals while the ExCPT appears to be directed towards retail.

The PTCB exam has been around much longer and is more established and therefore more widely recognized (hence the reason many on the forum don't know of the ExCPT). However, many states, as they are moving towards requiring national certification, are accepting certification through either exam. Eventually, both exams will be accepted for national certification by all states.

Worth repeating, but on another post I will add some updates to this.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

[QUOTE shortened by Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS in Los Angeles, CA]

End of 2008 the courts deemed the equivalent.
ExCPT has much IV on it to deem it equivalent to PTCB, since Dec 2008.
There are states that accept either such as Oregon
There are states that accept only PTCB such as Texas.
There are states that are reviewing both.
There are states that accept only PTCB, but are considering and reviewing ExCPT such as Tx and Ca.
There are states that accept either that have employers that accept only one of the two. Usually it is PTCB, because of its has been around longer and is more established as the original author "miracle198 in Neptune, New Jersey " said.

Check your own state's board of pharmacy to find out if your state accepts ExCPT the new kid on the block , that is now more often accepted than 5 months ago.

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bezekesteven in Dayton, Ohio

39 months ago

i work in a hosptial and the ExCPT IS RECOGNIZED.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Downey, California

39 months ago

Federal court of law deemed both exams equivalent.
Oregon and other states do accept either exam for the certification of a technician. (ExCPT or PTCB)

Texas reviewed the two tests and chose to accept ONLY PTCB (2010).

California was or is in the process of reviewing the two exams and to my knowledge has not announced its findings at this time.
I am trying to find any thing on CA's findings if you have heard of it please postthe line and the findings. They were supposed to be posted in June 2011.

Ohio does NOT have a ruling in that state that the tech MUST use PTCB, only that the tech must be certified. To my knowledge the choice is left up to the employer as to how or which exam will be used. There is no one standard exam in that state. This is a result of Emily's Law of Ohio. "The law requires prospective and current pharmacy technicians in Ohio to pass a competency test as well as a criminal background check." Jan 2009 blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/01/emilys_law_enacted_by_gov_stri.html

Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS
CA Pharm Tech Educator/Program Director

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Downey, California

39 months ago

The request should have read:
"I am trying to find any thing on CA's findings if you have heard of it please post the link and the findings.'

Thanks,

Jeanetta

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

27 months ago

Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Downey, California said: The request should have read:
"I am trying to find any thing on CA's findings if you have heard of it please post the link and the findings.'

Thanks,

Jeanetta

Have you discovered anything re: California recognizing the ExCpt

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

Still PTCB in Ca as one way to qualify to become licensed in CA. CA now licenses Rx Techs and no longer registers them.
The following site will explain the three ways:
www.pharmacy.ca.gov/forms/tch_app_pkt.pdf
Hope this helps.
I do not know if there is a bill at this time to promote ExCPT in CA.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

Still one way to qualify in CA is to have a PTCB. No mention of ExCPt at this time. The following site will explain the three ways to qualify in Ca to become a licensed pharm tech as CA no longer registers:
www.pharmacy.ca.gov/forms/tch_app_pkt.pdf

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

27 months ago

yes I have this info already, but thank you for your reply. I'm just trying to decide whether to go to a cheap diploma mill for 12 weeks just for the benefit of external structure, or try to do it on my own. i don't think I can learn the hand on stuff at home tho...I am very intelligent with quite a bit of both retail and medical background, but I am just confused as to what to do. There is a lot of negative information and posting about pharmacy tech jobs.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

I understand. I hate the negataive stuff too. But everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is FREE America. :)
You need to know if you go to the school you are checking outif they will teach you hands on IV's or not. there should be a hood.
It is difficult to get a job in CA unless you are trained on the job with your PTCB or if you go to a school with a hands on externship, because that is your competition. So if you interview against someone with that experience at beginner's pay they will take the person who has exp with school before they take you without any exp and without any hands on. The retail pharmacies in CA generally like to train on their own and if they can get thier training of 240 hours accepted by the State board of pharmacy then that is who they train and hire.

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

You can try that route if you do not want to work in a hospital. Recall that the PTCB will ask you questions about hospital and IV's as well as retail.
The retail stores that train are Walgreens and CVS that I know of. But again the training MUST be accepted by teh state of CA for that to happen. This may have changed as I do not keep up with the retailers. 95 % of my students want to work in hospital and go on to become pharmacists. We have only a few retail externships.

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

27 months ago

I'm too old to to think about becoming a pharmacist :-/ but I prefer working in a hospital. Yes I have currently sent a questionnaire to the director of the "school" and asked them what, if any, hands on training do they provide. My main problem right now is that I just moved up to Redding which is fairly isolated in terms of training..I came up from San Diego to take care of my grandmother with dementia...but literally the day I arrived, she contracted an infection and was hospitalized for a month and then passed away. My old job and apt. in SD is gone, there are almost no jobs up here, but I'm pretty much out of $. I know I can pass the tests if I pay a couple hundred bucks for some course materials and test..but the hands-on is really what I'm after. So, I'm checking into a couple Bay Area options for classes one day a week...and keeping my fingers crossed, lol. My eventual plan is to head back down to SD and get hired at Kaiser. Kaiser only accepts the PTCB, or the CA license which also accepts the PTCB as we already talked about. I'm sure I'll figure it out, I just feel sort of stuck today. Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it.
and I don't really care about the negative stuff per se...it just makes me wonder if anyone enjoys this field :-)

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

I can assure you that indeed they do otherwise there would be no need for the many pharm tech text books being published and no sales. After all it is really the word of mouth from one tech to another of their work and fullfillment that keeps the schools going. If you thought it was just a TV or pennysaver or other ad it is not! Our students return because of word of mouth of how much they like their work. Not all students become pharmacists. But most go on in the med field of some sorts.
Stay on this path it will happen with your determination. Sorry for your loss. Jeanettas PTCB Study Group - google it no spaces. Join and send me emails or posts if you need any private replies.

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laffingdukk in Chico, California

27 months ago

Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California said: I can assure you that indeed they do otherwise there would be no need for the many pharm tech text books being published and no sales. After all it is really the word of mouth from one tech to another of their work and fullfillment that keeps the schools going. If you thought it was just a TV or pennysaver or other ad it is not! Our students return because of word of mouth of how much they like their work. Not all students become pharmacists. But most go on in the med field of some sorts.
Stay on this path it will happen with your determination. Sorry for your loss. Jeanettas PTCB Study Group - google it no spaces. Join and send me emails or posts if you need any private replies.

Thank you, and no I have never even paid attention to ads. I worked in Mental Health and Home Health for over 15 years,as well as Retail Mgmt, and I was a. always in charge of medications at each job and b. watched the pharmacists/pharmacy techs at their job and it looked like something I could do. As a matter of fact, I was just looking at a study guide to the drug classes/top 200 prescribed drugs, and I probably know over 75% of that already. And I did math before in Inorganic Chemistry (just beginning college level) and received an A, so I am sure I can brush up on that...So now that I'm at a crossroads I am looking into what I need to to from here. I am in the process of applying at the Dept of Rehab to see what they can offer me...as well as am applying online this minute for Walgreen's. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so the physicality of some of my previous health care jobs (e.g restraining and chasing teenagers) is just no longer an option. I will google your group. Thanks Jeanetta, Dina

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Jeanetta Mastron CPhT BS Chem in Signal Hill, California

27 months ago

Looking forward to seeing you on the group.
With your background and intelligence you will have no problem with the math or drug classifications etc.
I am sure you will do well, but again the hands on is 'key'.

There are tutorials on my site as well....use them in addition to the book you purchase and class lectures projects etc.

I should think with your background that you could 'teach' in vocational school what ever you did for a living in mental health or Home Health Care. you might apply at some of the voc schools or ROP programs for a teacher or teacher aide position.

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kathy morris in Kingman, Arizona

26 months ago

I can't get a job because of the icpt exam, the Az. board of pharmacy will not renew my license because they do not recognize this....what a waste of time to take the test and a waste of money. I can't get a job now because of the lies they told me that it would be good everywhere...So I hope it catches on, so other people wont be misled...what a scam.

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Advisor in Little Elm, Texas

26 months ago

Do not expect the ExCPT to become more popular than it is now. The PTCB has major improvements scheduled for their exam beginning next year. It will continue to be the standard national exam with more strict requirements coming in the future.

A job candidate who has passed both exams might have a very slight advantage. The amount would depend on the potential employer. However, the ExCPT is not a substitute for the PTCE.

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kathy morris in Kingman, Arizona

26 months ago

well you should of told me that when i took the test....very deceived and misled...

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john in Cresskill, New Jersey

26 months ago

There is other organization offers various certification in healthcare over 20 years. Graduates can get a work in every states.
www.joinNACT.Org

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James in Louisville, Kentucky

24 months ago

Be careful before you register for the ExPAT. I am in Louisville and there is not a testing center here. I had to pay for the ExCPT before I found out there is not a testing center here. I am going to have to drive 2 1/2 hours to the northern side of Cincinnati to take the exam. I am not very happy about this. The PTCE is offered in more locations and they acutally give you the locations before you have to register.

www.lasergrade.com is where you register for the ExCPT after you pay for it at the NHA webstie. See if you can find testing locations there first if location might be something that would affect your decision on ExCPT vs. PTCE.

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James in Louisville, Kentucky

24 months ago

Actually, the ExCPT does have other sites; however, they list PSI sites first and then third-party sites later. Make sure you click "page 2" to view all the sites near where you live.

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Jeanetta Mastron in Signal Hill, California

24 months ago

I found a site that you can enter your zip code and find a test site within the distance that YOU enter:

www.lasergrade.com/locate.shtml

I found about 20 sites within 50 mile radius from my work address.

Hope this helps someone...
Jeanetta

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Jeanetta Mastron in Signal Hill, California

24 months ago

Jeanetta Mastron in Signal Hill, California said: I found a site that you can enter your zip code and find a test site within the distance that YOU enter:

www.lasergrade.com/locate.shtml

I found about 20 sites within 50 mile radius from my work address.

Hope this helps someone...
Jeanetta

By the way I found the site by googling "Testing sites for ExCPT".
PLEASE check out the testing site to be sure that it indeed does proctor the ExCPT exam before you sign up for it.

PTCB is still accepted in more states. While some states have adopted the ExCPT it is not in place of PTCB altogether. In those states they usually accept one or the other. I know of NO state that accepts only ExCPT, but there are states that accept only PTCB. This may change over time. The Federal courts deemed them both equal to call the person who passes the respective exam a "nationally certified pharmacy technician" in the year of 2009. [could have been 2010 but I believe it was 2009].

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Jeanetta Mastron in Signal Hill, California

24 months ago

john in Cresskill, New Jersey said: There is other organization offers various certification in healthcare over 20 years. Graduates can get a work in every states.
www.joinNACT.Org

I found the following at that site which on the front page last updated 4-9-2012
"Welcome.
NACT is a non-governmental Association for National Certification. Our goals are to maintain high standards, and to continue to educate and promote awareness. The NACT was Established in 1992 to promote national standards in National Association of Certified Technicians for Phlebotomists, Clinical Research Assistant, Medical Laboratory Assistants, Medical Assistant, EKG Technician, Patient Care Technician, Lab Technician, and Health Care Instructor. The medical field is the country's fastest growing segment. Providing high standards through national certification is our goal. NACT was created for today's healthcare professionals to continue to elevate educational standards via certification."
On another tab or screen it says that they certify pharmacy technicians and that screen was last updated same day: www.joinnact.org/2578.html BUT it does not give any details.
There are ONLY two exam centers and both in NJ www.joinnact.org/2599.html last updated: Wed, 9/12/2012, 4:16 PM

I do NOT recommend this way for certification for pharmacy technicians unless you live in NJ and the state allows or requires it, because it is not the standard or written in the state laws as an accepted means of certification.

"Certified Healthcare Instructor (CHI)- No exam is required for CHI!!!!!. Certification is issued via "Experience" only.
1. Bachelor Degree in Health Science/Biology or Chemistry or Physics.
OR 1 Year of Experience in the Health care Industry and High School Diploma 2. No Exam Required

Hm......

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