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CE Requirements, Your License & the Renewal Process, Recent Inspections, and Immunizations

Tuesday, August 25, 2020   (0 Comments)
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PSHP – News You Can Use Concerning:  CE Requirements, Your

License & the Renewal Process, Recent Inspections, and Immunizations


ACPE-Continuing Education Requirements


For licensure and renewal in Pennsylvania include all licensed pharmacists in Pennsylvania must demonstrate that they have taken 30 credit hours of pharmacy continuing education during a two-year period.  Continuing education credits must be obtained from approved Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE) providers.


The two-year period ends on September 30 in even-numbered years. License renewal is available on-line and the State Board of Pharmacy sends out a reminder email usually in early July of a renewal year.


There are several “special” educational requirements that can be easily depicted by the Continuing education credits must be obtained from approved ACPE (Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education) providers.  Providers are required to include this number in official program announcements. The last two numbers in the UAN are the topic designator.  The last letter denotes applicable education for a P=Pharmacist, or a T=Technician.  


Opioid Addiction:

Of the 30 hours of CE credit required to renew, two of those hours must relate to pain management, the identification of addiction, and/or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. Identifying opioid addiction CE credits: Activities that meet this requirement will have one or more keywords like "pain", "addiction", and/or "opioids") in the title. Recently approved is the UAN designation with 08, specific to this Opioid Addiction.  Look for these last two numbers in the UAN for programs as we move into 2021. Example:  0761-9999-19-060-L08-P 


Patient Safety:

Two of the 30 required hours must also be in the ACPE topic designator "Patient Safety."  The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) defines patient safety as “The prevention of healthcare errors, and the elimination or mitigation of patient injury caused by healthcare errors (An unintended healthcare outcome caused by a defect in the delivery of care to a patient.) Healthcare errors may be errors of commission (doing the wrong thing), omission (not doing the right thing), or execution (doing the right thing incorrectly). Errors may be made by any member of the healthcare team in any healthcare setting. (definitions approved by the National Patient Safety Foundation® Board July 2003).”  A UAN with 05 as the topic designator is designated as a patient safety program and will count toward the two-hour renewal requirement. Example: 0761-9999-19-060-L05-P


Immunization Update:

Additionally, for those pharmacists who also have an immunization license, two of the 30 credit hours must be in this immunization area of practice.


Identifying immunization CE credits: a topic designator for immunizations was introduced on July 1, 2017. CE activities that meet this requirement and are accredited after this date will use 06 as the topic designator. Activities that meet this requirement and were accredited before July 1, 2017, will have words like "immunization" and/or "vaccine" in the activity title.      Example: 0761-9999-19-060-L06-P


Act 31 - Child Abuse Reporting Requirements:

Requirements for new licensees: All applicants for a new or initial PA pharmacist license are required to complete a 3-hour training program around child abuse recognition and reporting requirements.


Requirements for license renewals: Licensed PA pharmacists who need to renew their PA pharmacist license must also complete a 2-hour training program during each renewal period. 


All programs must be approved by the PA Department of Human Services and Department of State. These programs may be accredited for ACPE credit, but do not have to be accredited for ACPE credit in order to meet renewal requirements.  However, per PA Regulation these providers must transfer the final certificates to the appropriate licensing board.  Uploading a copy of the certificate by the licensee is not sufficient for course completion validation.  


Where to find approved programs:   Currently we know of five approved options for Child Abuse Training:

  1. University of Pittsburgh -
  2. Elite Healthcare -
  3. Net CE -
  4. Pharmacist Letter –
  5. Free CE – 


Pharmacy Technician Continuing Education

Currently, there are no registration or certification requirements for pharmacy technicians in Pennsylvania. However, watch for programs with the "T" at the end of the ACPE UAN (e.g. 0761-9999-19-060-H05-T).  Pharmacy technicians may, at their own option or through the encouragement of their employer, seek to become nationally certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).


*In past years, PSHP was unable to split out the “special” CE requirements for license renewal consideration.  We are delighted to report that moving forward all programming is being submitted with the “special” UAN coding to count toward those carve-out continuing educational requirements.    



PA-SBOP Pharmacist License Renewal Portal


The PA-SBOP has opened up the Pharmacist License Renewal Portal has opened effective.Those who have the required number and type of CEs should renew now, on time.Those that need the extra time to complete the CEs required will have until Dec. 29, 2020 and renew their license.


We are hopeful that the BOP will modify the CE requirement to apply for the full 2-year cycle for those that are able to renew their license on time, by Sept. 30, 2020.  Otherwise, licensed pharmacists will only have 21 months to complete the required 30 continuing education credits for the next licensing cycle, starting January 1, 2021.



PA-Board of Pharmacy Inspectors-related to COVID-19 Complaints


COVID-19 related news - the BOP Inspectors, who are the part of the Pa Dept. of Stare, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigations, have been responding to consumer complaints about the lack of Masks being worn behind the prescription counter by pharmacy staff.  Masks are mandatory for all pharmacy personnel per the CDC Guidelines and the PA Department of Health Executive Order.  Failure to comply is resulting in sanctions against the pharmacy, with citations specific to the “cleanliness and sanitary conditions” requirement.  Please ensure your entire staff (not just clean room personnel) is compliant as Inspectors are arriving unannounced.  Institutions with Public Access and Ambulatory Care Pharmacies on-site should pay close attention to this standard.



Student Immunization Capability


Finally, some GREAT NEWS -- the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy is in its final stages for setting regulations around and approving students to be able to immunize patients/customers, once didactic immunization educational requirements have been met.  We expect this announcement to be made shortly.



And we at PSHP welcome the newest member appointed to the SBOP, as the new Institutional representative, Dr. Christine Roussel.  We look forward to her contributions and working with us to advance institutional pharmacy and the profession overall.




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