If your pharmacy or healthcare organization needs to hire pharmacy technicians, you should complete thorough employment background checks on every candidate under consideration.
Were you aware that a Texas pharmacy technician was arrested for stealing prescription narcotics from the mail?
Pharmacy technician background checks protect the patients you serve, your employees, and your organization against potential harm and liability.
Derived from our experience conducting background checks for healthcare organizations across the U.S., we’ve created this guide as a resource when you are hiring pharmacy technicians.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Pharmacy Technician Background Check?
A background check for pharmacy technicians shows whether the applicants are qualified to perform the tasks of their jobs.
This type of background check also reveals whether an applicant has any red flags in their past that should preclude you from hiring them, including drug thefts, drug abuse, or fraud.
Why Is it Important to Conduct Background Checks on Pharmacy Technicians?
Pharmacy technicians are frequently employed in retail pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals to provide clinical and administrative services.
A pharmacy technician might perform the following tasks as a routine part of their job:
- Complete paperwork
- Fill prescriptions
- Locate, dispense, pack, and label prescriptions for patients
- Track inventory
- Interact with patients
- Process insurance claims
- Take payments
Since they have significant access to prescription drugs and confidential patient records, in-depth pharmacy technician background checks are critical for reducing your liability risks and protecting the safety of your patients.
What Does a Background Check for Pharmacy Technicians Include?
Most pharmacies and healthcare organizations ask for the following searches:
- Identity verification
- County criminal records search
- Education verification
- Employment verification
- Identity verification
- Lab-based drug screen
- License verification
- National sex offender registry search
- OIG check
- SAM check
Here’s what might appear on some of these background searches.
Criminal Records Search
Asking for a pre-employment criminal history check can reveal whether a candidate has any disqualifying criminal convictions or pending criminal matters.
If a pharmacy technician candidate has a pending criminal case or conviction, the following information will appear:
- Case number
- Type of charge
- Severity of the charge (felony or misdemeanor)
- Offense date
- Disposition date
- Some sentencing information if available
If you operate in a state that allows people to expunge certain types of criminal convictions, any expunged or otherwise sealed convictions won’t be reported.
While pharmacy technicians aren’t required to be certified in some states, many healthcare organizations and pharmacists prefer to delegate tasks to certified techs.
If you are hiring certified pharmacy technicians, you might ask for a professional license and certification check.
The following information will be revealed on a professional license verification for a pharmacy technician:
- Certification number
- Issuance date
- Certification status
- Expiration date
Verifying a candidate’s past employment can reveal their work history and show whether they have been honest on their application or resume.
Employment verification reveals the following details about a candidate’s past jobs:
- Each employer’s name and address
- Dates of employment at each former job
- Job titles/positions
Verifying the claims your pharmacy technician candidates have made about their education can help to confirm they are qualified and trustworthy.
Education verification shows the following information about an applicant’s educational record:
- Each school attended
- Dates of attendance
- Whether they just attended, or graduated and earned a diploma, certificate, or degree
Many pharmacies and other healthcare organizations ask for Office of Inspector General (OIG) searches.
These checks search the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) for an applicant’s name.
The LEIE database is updated each month, and it lists individuals and entities that are prohibited from employment with organizations that contract with Medicare or Medicaid.
If you contract with Medicare, it might also be a good idea to request a System of Awards Management (SAM) check.
A SAM check reveals whether an applicant has been suspended or debarred from contracting with Medicare.
Lab-Based Drug Screen
Most healthcare organizations condition employment offers for pharmacy technicians on passing pre-employment drug tests.
A pre-employment drug screen reports whether a candidate has recently used any of the following substances:
- THC (marijuana)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
What Disqualifies You From Working as a Pharmacy Technician?
Multiple red flags can disqualify a candidate for a job as a pharmacy technician.
A few of the most common reasons why a pharmacy technician might be disqualified are described below.
1. Having a Disqualifying Criminal Conviction
While having a conviction won’t necessarily keep an applicant from working as a pharmacy technician, certain convictions might be considered to be disqualifying and result in a denial of employment.
Pharmacy technicians have extensive access to prescription drugs and patient records. As a result, applicants who have the following types of convictions might be turned down for jobs as pharmacy technicians:
- Certain drug convictions
- Drug thefts
- Identity thefts
- Violent crimes
2. Appearing in the LEIE Database
Individuals who are listed in the LEIE database are forbidden from working for organizations that contract with the federal Medicare or Medicaid programs.
If a candidate is listed in the LEIE database, they will likely be denied employment as a pharmacy technician.
3. Being Dishonest About Past Employment
Some pharmacy technician applicants fudge their work histories by lying about employment dates or leaving out employers where they had issues.
If an employer asks for employment verification, they will see that the applicant has lied about their employment record and will likely turn them down for the position.
4. Being Dishonest About Education
Some applicants for pharmacy technician jobs lie about their educational backgrounds to try to appear more qualified.
When an employer asks for education verification, they will see when an applicant has lied about their educational history and will likely deny employment.
5. Positive Pre-Employment Drug Screen
Pharmacy technicians work with prescription drugs as a part of their jobs.
For this reason, most healthcare organizations extend conditional job offers to pharmacy technicians based on their ability to pass pre-employment drug screens.
If a pharmacy technician candidate fails a pre-employment drug screen and returns a positive result, their job offer will likely be withdrawn.
6. Issues With Certification
Many healthcare organizations prefer to hire certified pharmacy technicians.
When an employer requests professional license verification, they will see if an applicant’s certification is expired or otherwise invalid. In that case, the pharmacy technician might be denied employment.
How to Get a Pharmacy Technician Background Check
To get a pharmacy technician background check, you can either try a do-it-yourself approach or work with a reputable background check provider.
If you attempt to conduct the check yourself, you can send requests for information to the applicant’s former schools, past employers, and several state agencies.
Trying to conduct a background check by yourself can take several weeks. You might also receive inaccurate, outdated, and incomplete information that also might not comply with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
It is best to work with a reliable background check company like iprospectcheck.
We have extensive access to reliable and current background information databases, and we use cutting-edge research methodologies to quickly return FCRA-compliant, comprehensive, accurate background check reports to our clients.
Pharmacy Technician Background Check Laws
No laws specifically apply to pharmacy technician background checks.
However, you need to know two federal laws that apply to all employment background checks.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FCRA is a major privacy law that protects consumer data that is collected, held, and reported by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs).
Employment background check providers are considered to be CRAs and are covered by the FCRA.
The FCRA also applies to employers who request background checks and use the information they receive to make hiring decisions.
If an employer receives a background check that includes problematic information that makes them want to deny an applicant for a job, the employer must go through the adverse action steps before they can make a final adverse hiring decision.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
Title VII prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on the protected statuses of applicants and employees and is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC has issued guidance about what employers should do when a background check reveals criminal history information.
If you learn that an applicant has a criminal record, you must individually assess the conviction as it relates to the tasks of the job for which you are hiring before you decide not to hire the applicant based on their criminal history.
How Far Back Does a Pharmacy Technician Background Check Go?
How far back a pharmacy technician background check can go is controlled by the FCRA and state law.
The FCRA includes a seven-year time restriction for background checks requested by employers offering positions paying less than $75,000 per year for the following information:
- Arrests that didn’t lead to convictions except for pending criminal matters
- Civil lawsuits
- Civil judgments
While the seven-year time limitation only applies to positions paying salaries of less than $75,000, most pharmacy technician jobs pay under the threshold and so will be subject to the reporting restriction under the FCRA.
The seven-year restriction under the FCRA doesn’t apply to other crucial background data, however.
A background check for a pharmacy technician can report convictions, pending criminal cases, employment history, educational history, certification information, and others from any time.
How Long Does a Pharmacy Technician Background Check Take?
How long it might take you to complete a pharmacy technician background check will depend on how you conduct it.
If you attempt a do-it-yourself approach by sending numerous information requests to schools, state agencies, and employers, your background check could take a few weeks.
If you instead partner with iprospectcheck, the process will be much faster.
Because of our resources and research methods, we often return background check reports to our clients within a few hours.
iprospectcheck: your Partner for Pharmacy Technician Background Checks
Pharmacies and other healthcare organizations that hire pharmacy technicians must conduct thorough background checks to protect their patients and staff against harm.
If you fail to conduct in-depth pharmacy technician background checks, you could be exposed to substantial liability and potential losses.
To learn more about the background screening solutions and clinical services we offer or to receive a free quote, contact us today: (888) 509-1979
DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.