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American Society of Health System Pharmacists Update 3/20/2020


ONLY for Accredited Pharmacy Tech (PHT) Programs, this will not apply to other PHT programs in the State if they are not accredited with ASHP/ACPE

March 20, 2020


ASHP is committed to supporting you in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is regularly communicating updates on this crisis.  We have opened access to our evidence-based online resources and tools on, making them widely available to all pharmacists and healthcare professionals, and our COVID-19 Resource Center is updated frequently.  ASHP has also launched a new COVID-19 Community on Connect, which serves as a forum for any healthcare providers to ask questions, share experiences, post resources, and more.  Thank you for all you are doing for your patients and your community


We hope that you are all safe and well as we enter another week of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The situation is fluid and we are trying to move with it as it evolves.  I have conversed with many program directors during this timeframe and each individual seems to be encountering different challenges.

Since I sent out the memo last week, I have received a variety of questions regarding the substitution of experiential hours by the use of simulation hours on a case-by-case basis.  Many of the externship sites have stopped taking students and alternatives are few in facilitating this part of the program’s key element and standards completion.   If your school is still open, and you would like to be considered to offer the simulation of externship in your simulation lab, only during this time, follow these guidelines.  The simulation hours and tasks to be completed will need to be the amount of hours that were to be completed at the site in the type of pharmacy that the student was to be taking on the rotation.  The same key elements must be evaluated as if they are at their externship rotation.  I would like to discuss each of the scenarios and plans with the program director if a program would like to undertake this process for their program.

There will be webinars for virtual question and answer sessions set up for next week and will occur throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep all programs updated on any changes regarding procedures during this time.

This is a hard time and we will all get through it.  Stay well and stay safe!

Please contact me if you have any questions at

Lisa S. Lifshin, B.S. Pharm.

Senior Director, Technician Education, and Training and Residency Services

Accreditation Services Office


March 13, 2020 

ASHP, the ASHP Accreditation Services Division and ACPE are monitoring the current COVID-19 pandemic and managing, to the extent possible, disruptions to pharmacy technician education and training and accreditation activities.  Our primary goal is to minimize work disruptions while respecting public health guidance and the potentially harmful and disruptive effects of COVID-19 illness of healthcare systems, staff, pharmacy technician students, pharmacies, and patients.  Below is a list of questions (Q) and Answers (A) addressing some common inquiries related to COVID-19.  These responses represent current guidance and change as the pandemic widens domestically; is effectively managed through public health interventions and emerging therapeutics and vaccines, or is declared over.  Exceptions to this published guidance, and any program-unique request, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q:  My college is closing, how can I conduct my program?

A:  Didactic coursework may be offered virtually (online).  Program directors may provide simulation products to students to take home and prepare compounds and simulated prescriptions at home with a Skype or other form of virtual assessment by the program director or other instructor during the COVID-19 pandemic.  If possible, externship rotations may continue as usual.

Q:   Externship sites are no longer allowing students to come for their rotations, what should I do?

1)During the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% completion of externship hours will be accepted for completion of the experience.  This will be 75% for one rotation if the student is graduating from an Entry-level program and for the Advanced Level programs, students will need to complete 100 % of the first rotation and at least 50% of the second rotation.

Q:   If my college offers both an Entry-level program and an Advanced Level program, can students graduate from an Entry-level program even if they have signed up for an Advanced program if they have completed all of the requirements for an Entry-level program?

A:    Yes.  The student may be awarded the Entry Level certificate of graduation and come back to complete the program for Advanced level graduation after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Q:    My student went on Spring Break and is now quarantined and they will miss 14 days of school.

A:     Go by the college’s policy and your policy regarding leave of absence and the student must still successfully complete and pass the key elements and standards for graduation for the program.

Q:    My college is staying open and I have a full lab.  My externship sites are not allowing students to complete their rotations.  Can I extend my simulation hours and provide externship activities in my lab?

A:     This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Q:     I have a site survey coming up, will it still happen?

A:     Site surveys occurring before April 13th will be conducted virtually, we will assess what will happen for programs that are scheduled for after that date.

Updates will be emailed to program directors as they happen.  If you have any additional questions, please contact the Accreditation Offices Staff (  and 301-664-8835) or myself ( and 301-664-8720).