Objective: To develop a process for defining an ideal technician role in pharmaceutical care and to communicate this process to technician educators and the pharmacy community. Background: A process for defining the technician role was developed as part of Dalhousie's Pharmaceutical Care Project in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In May 1995, technician-related work began with the staff from a community demonstration site. Through interviews, observation, surveys, and review of the literature, an optimal technician role was defined. Results: The technician role definition is composed of four components: technician tasks, work-flow priorities, levels of pharmacist supervision, and performance standards. Technician tasks must be identified by each dispensary to address site-specific concerns. Once a technician task list has been developed, consideration can be given to priorities, levels of pharmacist supervision, and performance standards. After the technician role has been defined, an implementation plan and training can be devised. This process for defining technician roles can be used in other dispensaries. Conclusions: Students in pharmacy-related educational programs may graduate to work in a dispensary without a defined technician role or with a technician role that requires further development. Therefore, a concerted effort should be made to equip pharmacy and technician students with the skills and resources needed to help create the necessary roles. In addition, consideration should also be given to discussion of technician role components during in-house training.