Legal Requirements

Dear Pharmacy Technician Programs,

The California State Board of Pharmacy (board) requests that you provide prospective students with information regarding criminal history reviews prior to enrolling a student in a Pharmacy Technician training program.

Listed below are types of criminal convictions that may result in the denial of a Pharmacy Technician application. This list is not all-inclusive, but it does provide some of the most frequent violations the board reviews. Providing this information to prospective students PRIOR to enrollment may help an individual make an educated decision as to whether or not they may have difficulty obtaining a license, and thus a career, as a Pharmacy Technician.

License denials are frequently based on convictions for

  • Driving Under the Influence(drugs or alcohol)
  • Possession of illegal drugs, or prescription drugs without a prescription
  • Possession or sale of illegal drugs or prescriptions drugs
  • Theft (identify, fraud, etc.)
  • Multiple arrests

There is nothing in pharmacy law that requires the board to deny a license based on a specific conviction. That is, nothing is automatic. The board reviews each incident on a case-by-case basis. Likewise, a determination regarding an applicant’s approval for licensure cannot be made PRIOR to the submission of an application. The board believes that providing prospective students with this information will help them decide whether or not they are likely to obtain a Pharmacy Technician license prior to enrollment in a Pharmacy Technician training program.

Once the board determines that there may be a reason to deny a license, the board will consider evidence of rehabilitation (mitigation) using the following criteria (Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 1769)

  • The nature and severity of the crime
  • Total criminal record
  • The time that has elapsed since the commission of the act(s) or offense(s)
  • Whether the applicant has complied with all terms and conditions of parole, probation, restitution, or any other requirements or sanctions lawfully imposed against the applicant
  • Additional evidence, if any, submitted by the applicant

The board reviews all available evidence (arrest report, court documents, applicant’s explanation, etc.) and makes a determination based on the Board’s primary mandate – protection of the public. An applicant that provides arrest documents, court documents and a written explanation with his or her application will speed the review process. If those items are not included with an application, the board will generally send a letter to the applicant requesting the missing documents, which increases the review time.

Please share this information with your prospective and current students. It is important the Pharmacy Technician training programs are communicating all aspects of the licensure requirements to students about the ability to obtain licensure, so that students can make informed decisions.


California State Board of Pharmacy

California State Board of Pharmacy
1625 N Market Blvd, N 219
Sacramento, CA 95834
fax 916-574-8616

Important Notice Concerning Eligibility for Clinical Sites in the Pharmacy Technology Program

Mandatory Background Clearance/Conviction Information Mandatory Drug Screening Requirement for Students

Warning: All students registering for the any of the Pharmacy Technology coursework with the objective of completing the total program, must have a background check and drug screening.

Background checks are commonly completed on health care personnel, including students and volunteers. Current and prospective pharmacy technology students must at all times meet applicable employer security standards for placement in mandatory clinical rotations at selected sites. Every student registered for the Clinical Site Rotations in the program will be required to submit to a background and drug screening prior to beginning clinical rotations as part of their clinical requirements. To complete a background check the applicant must have a valid social security card.

A history of felony conviction(s) or any bar, exclusion or other ineligibility for federal program participation could render a student ineligible for clinical placement. If a student cannot obtain background and drug clearance, it will not be possible to place the student in the clinical areas, which is a required component of the program. In the event that a student cannot obtain a background and drug clearance, they cannot be placed.
Students who are found to be ineligible for clinical placement will be unable to complete mandatory clinical rotations.

The following information was provided by Kaiser of Northern California. These restrictions prevent a student from being at any of their facilities. Students who are restricted from one institution that the Pharmacy Technology program uses are restricted from attending clinical rotations, since we rotate students to different facilities throughout the program. Therefore, students who have any of the following convictions or a positive drug screening may not able to be in the Pharmacy Technology program due to clinical facilities restrictions.

A student with a background check that indicates any of the following felony and/or misdemeanor convictions within the last 7 years is not eligible for a clinical placement.

  • DUI
  • Shoplifting
  • Violent crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault, kidnapping, attempted murder, assault with deadly weapons.
  • Crimes involving theft, embezzlement, burglary, forgery, fraud, arson, identity theft.
  • Sex crimes including sexual molestation, and sex crimes against children, or any conviction for which a candidate is required to register as a sex offender with a state or federal agency.
  • Drug related crimes such as drug theft, sales, distribution, manufacturing and possession of controlled substances.
  • Multiple convictions (more than one conviction for same or different crime).
  • Name posted on any government sanctioned or debarred list
Kaiser Hospital Memorandum, 2007

A student with a background check that indicates any of the following felony and/or misdemeanor convictions within the last 7 years anywhere in the United States may not eligible for clinical placement.

Please note, if your background and drug screening is not clean, you may be contacted and advised that you can stay in the class but we will be unable to place you in an "externship" site. Without going to "externship" you are unable to pass the class.

Mandatory Drug Screening Requirement for Students

The Joint Commission requires that all staff members, students, instructors and volunteers meet standards relating to criminal background and freedom from drugs. Clinical agencies hold students to the same standards as they use for their employees. Therefore, in order to be placed in a clinical rotation, students will be required to clear a urine drug screen test.

Any student with a positive result may not be allowed to participate in clinical training at contracted facilities that require drug testing. Since all students rotate through these facilities and clinical is a required element of each semester in the program, students will may not be allowed to continue in the program. Refusal to participate in the drug-screen portion of the requirement shall be interpreted as the student's unwillingness to complete the checklist of requirements and therefore that student will not be allowed to participate in clinical courses and will be dismissed from the program.

CastleBranch, the vendor for the background and drug screenings, conducts International screenings via alternative identifiers. Students are to place all 0's in the application social security number field. The vendor will contact the applicant for a customized search which carries an additional vendor cost range of $50-450, dependent on the country. Applicants with the State Board of Pharmacy for a Pharmacy Technician license may use their social security OR individual tax ID number on the application and self-query.