Pharmacy Technicians should be certified but an institutional requirement, especially one that cannot be obtained without the student spending (very literally) $20,000 is absurd.
ASHP certification expense (for the educational institution) is what translates to these ridiculous costs for the student. The expense for the accreditation is carried forward to the student who takes Title IV loans. They spend the next few decades of their life paying off these loans.
A few excerpts from recent articles:
June 21, 2013 - Missouri woman awarded $13 MILLION from Vatterott Colleges. She was told that as a Medical Assistant, she would earn between $15 and $17 an hour. She took out $20,000 in student loans to do so, and enrolled in the 60 week course. As it turns out she was mistakenly(?) enrolled in the Medical Office Assistant Program (which DOESN'T EXIST in the real world, there is no certification for it) and to complete the Medical Assistant Program, it would take another 30 weeks and $10,000. Although she only sued for $2 million, the jury awarded her $13 million.
May 13, 2013 - Massachusetts Attorney General launched an investigation into University of Phoenix, Kaplan, and Everest Colleges claiming their deceptive practices are leaving students saddled with debt. This announcement comes after the laswsuit into Sullivan & Cogliano Training Centers, Inc.
May 30th, 2012 - American Career Colleges faced a class action lawsuit alleging that the school accepted Federal Title IV loans that they didn't dispense, and hid that fact from students. i.e. Tuition was $18,300 and they accepted on the student's behalf $32,500 in student loans. In addition, they didn't meet Federal Loan requirements.
August 8, 2011 - Education Management Corporation was handed a subpoena from the Department of Justice and 4 states alleging through deceptive techniques they would have to return the $11 billion in student aid they collected in the previous 8 years.
They operate 105 schools under 5 names:
Brown Mackie College
See more at: http://therxtechexam.blogspot.com/2013/07/lawsuits-career-colleges-deceive.html
The fact is that these institutions have to recoup the cost of the accreditation they obtain. This meaningless accreditation (I call it meaningless as the PTCB requires zero prerequisite education) costs hundreds of millions of dollars for students attempting to obtain a vocational education. Meanwhile the for-profit institution issuing those (highly suspect) Title IV loans are bringing in a tremendous amount of money each year.
Three years ago I began examining this issue as I worked for an ASHP Pharmacy Technician approved program in Virginia. The admissions department would admit anyone that they could that would qualify for federal grants. It was then my job, as the instructor, to mold those students into premier Pharmacy Technicians. There was no entrance exam. There was no prerequisite for the program. Around 60% of the students read at a middle school level. I did all that I could for them, many of them succeeded and some of them just didn't have what it took, but the administration made sure they (eventually) made it through.
Are these the people you want working in your pharmacy?
Are these the students you would expect to have graduated from an ASHP program?
My rant ends here. As I've said, the PTCB does not currently require any prerequisite. All that you (and likely your employer) requires is a National Certification. www.RxTechExam.com can offer that. That is to say, @ RxTechExam.com a prospective student can obtain a quality education written by a technician with 14 years experience and a Pharm D. studying to teach at a doctoral level, for a reasonable price (about $250).
Thanks for listening. :)