It takes a village to assemble a superb pharmacy staff. Just like with any team, a successful pharmacy staff learns how to work with each other. At its best, a robust pharmacy staff is a well-oiled machine, becoming greater than the sum of its parts. 

But as with anything good, there’s a catch. That’s where continuing education (CE) modules come in. Few terms strike as much dread as CEs, and for good reason: some see them as tedious and unnecessary. Deep down, however, we all know that it plays a vital role in the industry, especially for your pharmacy techs.  

Even so, the process is indeed tedious, but you can always sweeten the deal for your techs. 

Here’s what you can do to encourage your pharmacy staff to complete their Continuing Education training. 

What are CEs? 

Let’s start with the basics. 

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) defines Continuing Education as a “structured educational activity designed or intended to support the continuing development of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians to maintain and enhance their competence.” 

In other words, Continuing Education checks that you and your pharmacy staff are up to snuff. The industry is constantly evolving and it is essential to be ahead of the curve as much as possible. 

CEs do just that — ensure your pharmacy and staff squarely fit in today’s day and age. 

Benefits of Compensating for CEs 

Compensating your staff for the license renewal process lifts a weight off their shoulders. It ensures them that they don’t have to pay to keep their job. Naturally, easing any financial burdens will increase worker morale, which is an essential part of managing a successful pharmacy team. 

As a result, higher worker morale prolongs your staff’s tenure in your pharmacy. Employee turnover is a notable aspect of pharmacy management. Minimize turnover by showing your tech they’re welcome and needed in your pharmacy. 

How to Incentivize Staff

As we have established, renewing tech and pharmacist licenses takes time. They also cost a pretty penny, which may discourage some techs from taking the CE journey. 

Sweeten the deal by offering to pay your techs any and all renewing fees. Whether this is in the form of reimbursement or paying for the fees upfront, make sure your finances do not impact your staff’s renewal journey. 

Pharmacy work is a job at the end of the day, so make sure you make renewal a sound business investment — for both your staff and your pharmacy. 

Why CEs Are Important

CEs are Necessary 

Simply put, your techs need to complete a minimum number of CE hours to renew their license. Look at it like eating your vegetables before dessert: get the hard part over with and it’s smooth sailing from then on. 

Your more experienced techs likely know the drill by now. Renewing their license every two years is the tech equivalent of going to the dentist's office: it’s hardly ever fun but it’s necessary (at least both your pharmacy and this hypothetical dentist's office have lollipops).

The Industry is Always Changing 

The term “necessary evil” is only half right when talking about CEs — and it’s not the “evil” part. 

As the previously mentioned definition suggests, CEs ensure that the current crop of pharmacists and technicians can effectively work in the modern age of pharmacy. 

There’s always something to do in your pharmacy — some prescription that needs filling or vaccine that needs administering. Likewise, there is always something to learn. That’s what CEs are all about: to make sure your and your staff’s pharmacy journey is never stagnant and always moving forward. 

For Pharmacists 

Though this article mainly focuses on continuing education for pharmacy technicians, CEs play an equally important role for pharmacists. Though the reasoning behind why CEs are important for pharmacists is the same for technicians, there are subtle but significant differences.

Stay Up to Date 

As mentioned earlier, CEs ensure that your pharmacy staff remain current and privy to new industry regulations. Likewise, they ensure pharmacists have the proper information to update their pharmacy’s workflow. 

Completing CEs see to it that pharmacists adjust to new law and regulation changes. Pharmacists can oversee how their staff are acclimating to new developments and make any necessary adjustments. 

New Drugs and Indications

With innovations come possible growing pains. A new drug can flip your pharmacy’s workflow on its head with new prices, insurance copays and drug indications. CEs give pharmacists the tools necessary to make any new transition as seamless as possible. 

In short, CEs help keep your ear to the ground with industry developments. But it goes one step further — it gives you room to fully understand the new pharmacy landscape. 

New medications and indications — and learning the ins and outs of them — make your pharmacy more able to handle new problems.

To learn more about how you can adjust to whatever comes your way in your pharmacy, visit our blog, “How to Expect the Unexpected in Pharmacy Workflow” 

New Opportunities

CEs are all about staying ahead of the curve, and one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to know which new services to provide. 

For now, that means how you can expand your vaccination inventory, grow your clinical services, and how to further leverage your pharmacy technology. 

You can also learn more about how to care for your patients beyond standard pharmacy work. Motivational interviewing is a vital tool in strengthening your patient relationships, as well as their overall health. 

Overall, CEs help you and your staff provide more modern and innovative care, even beyond amber vials and syringes. 


The key to running a successful business — and pharmacy — is to stay with the times. Not only is that the case with CEs, but it’s also a legal requirement. 

But renewing your license and taking the required amount of CE hours don’t have to feel like pulling teeth. Whether you’re a pharmacist or technician, CEs offer ample information to modernize and enhance your pharmacy’s workflow. 

If you have to do something, you might as well make the most of it. Let CEs grow and amplify your staff’s workflow and trajectory. 

To ensure a smooth renewal process, visit your state board of pharmacy’s website to learn more about specific CE requirements. 

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