Background Check Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Background checks are always an important step in the hiring process—but they can be especially vital when hiring a pharmacy technician. Pharmacies carry a legal obligation not to hire any technician with a history of drug-related felony convictions, and your business could be held liable if you hire without doing your due diligence. Depending on the state, there may even be laws explicitly requiring background checks for pharmacy technicians.

Thankfully, a thorough background check by an experienced background screening company can ensure your candidate isn’t hiding a history of criminal convictions. Background screenings can also verify that your candidate has the necessary professional licensing to serve as a pharmacy technician in your state and screen for other red flags, such as a fabricated employment history.

When your customers trust you with their health and wellbeing, it pays to make informed, careful hiring decisions. Here are a few of the ways a background check can help you hire with confidence—and protect your pharmacy from legal noncompliance.

Employment requirements for pharmacy technicians

There are a number of specific qualifications an applicant must have in order to be eligible for employment as a pharmacy technician. In many states, pharmacy technicians are required to hold a professional license in order to be legally employed.

While the specific licensing requirements vary depending on location, it’s important that your applicant has the necessary licensure to work as a pharmacy tech in your state. Employing an unlicensed technician could expose your pharmacy to legal liability—and hurt the professional reputation of your business.

In addition, federal law requires that all employees with access to controlled substances must have no previous felony convictions involving controlled substances. In addition, pharmacies may not hire any employee to a position with access to controlled substances if they’ve previously had an application for registration with the DEA denied or revoked “for cause”—meaning that the registration was denied, revoked, or surrendered in lieu of criminal charges due to the wrongful handling of a controlled substance.

Taken together, these requirements make a background screening almost mandatory for pharmacy technicians. Hiring a technician who lacks the proper licensure or who has a criminal history involving controlled substances could expose your pharmacy to charges of criminal negligence.

Background screenings for pharmacy techs

The exact nature of the background checks you choose to run on your applicants may vary depending on your particular needs and situation, but all of the following checks are useful (and, in some cases, necessary) when conducting a pre-employment background screening for a pharmacy tech position.

SSN trace

An SSN trace is a database search that tracks the history of an applicant’s social security number. SSN traces are a useful first step in any background check because they return a complete history of all of an applicant’s previous addresses, as well as any other names the applicant may have used in the past.

Using the information provided by an SSN trace, a background screening company can run more thorough checks in all counties where the applicant has resided.

Criminal background checks

Thoroughly screening an applicant for past criminal convictions is especially important for employees who will have access to controlled substances. Under federal law, it’s illegal to hire a pharmacy technician with a past felony conviction involving controlled substances, so it’s vitally important to ensure your candidate isn’t hiding a criminal history.

Using the results provided by an SSN trace, an experienced background screening company can conduct a search of criminal records in all counties where the applicant has resided. These searches will return relevant information on any past criminal convictions, including the nature of the offense (or offenses), charges filed, file numbers, file dates, depositions, and sentences.

A more thorough screening may also include a national criminal database search, which draws information from databases compiled from U.S. court records. These searches include files from county courts, statewide criminal databases, and national sex offender and correctional databases, and can help to catch past convictions in counties where your applicant was not a permanent resident.

Professional license verification

Many states require that pharmacy technicians hold a professional license—this licensing is typically applied for and obtained through particular states’ boards of pharmacy. A professional license verification can be especially useful when hiring a pharmacy technician because it ensures that your applicant isn’t lying about holding the necessary licensure.

During a professional license verification, your background screening company will contact the relevant board of pharmacy or other licensing agency to verify that your applicant holds the professional licensing required for the position.

Education verification

As part of a comprehensive background check, education verification helps to ensure that your applicant has the educational background they claim to have. During this process, a background screening company will verify that the applicant’s degrees are from legitimate, accredited institutions and that their dates of attendance, degrees earned, areas of study, and graduation dates match up with the information provided in their application.

Employment verification

Unfortunately, many job applicants aren’t entirely honest on their applications about their previous employment history, experience, and qualifications. Employment verification ensures that an applicant’s employment history matches up with their resume by confirming employment, employment dates, and positions held.

National sex offender registry search

As an employer, one of your responsibilities is to ensure a safe environment, both for your employees and for your customers. A national sex offender registry search consults the most up-to-date lists of registered sex offenders in the U.S. to verify that your applicant has no previous history of criminal sexual conduct.

Let us help you hire the right technician

A comprehensive pre-employment background screening can help your pharmacy mitigate risk by hiring a candidate who’s honest, qualified, licensed, and free of a criminal history.

EagleScreen has the experience to provide thorough, reliable, and legally compliant screening solutions—including complete criminal background checks, professional license verification, education and employment verification, and national sex offender registry searches. Our customizable packages also allow you to pursue the screening solutions you need for a particular candidate, without wasting time or expense on screenings you don’t want or need.

If you’d like to know more about how EagleScreen can help you screen your applicants for a pharmacy tech position, contact us today.

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