Developing a Pharmacy Technician Training Program

The following information was shared by the Steering Committee.

The development of an in-house pharmacy technician training program can be a key strategy in creating a reliable pipeline of pharmacy technician candidates. When external recruitment efforts cannot sustain hiring needs, “growing your own” is a viable option to strengthen the candidate pool.

In developing such a program, consideration must be given to:

  • Creating a business case that leverages financial outcomes (e.g. cost avoidance) as well as best practice standards for training/education
  • Program accreditation, and designing a program with this in mind if accreditation is the goal
  • Curriculum development, and whether to outsource content creation/maintenance to an external vendor or develop in-house
  • Partnership opportunities with local community colleges or technical schools
  • Partnership with local and state workforce development boards for recruitment, funding, etc.
  • Measurable outcomes that can be tracked over time to justify resource needs and demonstrate program success

Of note, data is a powerful tool in this effort. Justifying an in-house pharmacy technician training program will require partnering with your HR, data analytics, and finance teams to quantify turnover and vacancy rate, training time, and the financial impact of each.

This article discusses development and implementation of such a program at length.

Pharmacy technicians, supporting our past, shaping our future: Implementing an ASHP-ACPE–accredited pharmacy technician training program in an academic medical center

Assessment of pharmacy technician learning preferences and implications for training

Developing a Pharmacy Technician Career Ladder

Investing in meaningful career growth of pharmacy technicians is critical for long-term retention. A career ladder provides pharmacy technicians with an ongoing avenue to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities within their current role, promoting mastery and long-term career satisfaction.

The existence of a career ladder can also be a helpful tool for recruitment. A formal career ladder demonstrates your organization’s commitment to professional development. Such a commitment can go a long way in attracting candidates.

Stakeholders from HR and compensation/benefits should be included early in the planning stages. First, these individuals may be able to lend their experience with creating career ladders in other departments. They may be able to provide examples of meaningful achievements and differentiation between levels. Second, this group will be best suited to anticipate and plan for any legal or employee relations considerations.

Resources that discuss development and implementation of pharmacy technician career ladders at length:

Implementation of a Pharmacy Technician Career Ladder

Systemization of a pharmacy technician career ladder in a multi-hospital system