On October 25, 2016 the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP) and the Board of Pharmacy Specialties® (BPS) jointly announced that an agreement had been reached, in principle, to move the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) credential under the BPS portfolio of pharmacist certifications.

As stated in that press release along with CCGP Chair, Pronica Janikowski, RPh, B.Sc.Phm., “Each organization is committed to advancing the care of patients through the process of certifying the specialty knowledge and skills of pharmacists; programs administered by both are accredited by NCCA. CCGP and BPS would like to grow and evolve geriatric pharmacy as a specialty to meet the needs of older adults, and further strengthen a master brand for the board certification of geriatric pharmacists.”

As this segment of our population grows, there will be a growing need for specialized knowledge in the optimal use of medications in geriatric patients. Furthermore, transition of the CGP credential will provide clarity for the profession, for employers and for other stakeholders around patient care credentials that document specialized knowledge of pharmacists.   It is gratifying in an age where it seems challenging for political parties, businesses and organizations to collaborate, that the leadership of both CCGP and BPS came together and reached agreement on an action that is good for the profession of pharmacy and for our patients.

Additional benefits of this decision include:

  • Advancing the care of patients through the BPS’s robust and well-established process of certifying the specialty knowledge and skills of pharmacists.
  • Growing and evolving geriatric pharmacy as a specialty to meet the therapeutics needs of older patients.
  • Reducing confusion around the board certification process for pharmacists
  • Increasing availability of dual-purposed recertification credits for those pharmacists who hold BPS credentials and the CGP designation.

There are still many details to be worked out, and 2017 will be a year of transition. The goal is full integration of the CGP credential by January 1, 2018. Once the geriatric pharmacist credential has been integrated into BPS, the designation will change to BCGP and BPS will provide all CGP certification holders with a new certificate.  The current professional development providers for CGP credential holders; the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists will remain in place. BPS is also pleased to welcome current members of the CCGP staff to the BPS team; their commitment to geriatric patient care and excellence in board certification will be a positive addition to our staff.

This important announcement is the result of extensive and productive communications between CCGP and BPS during the past year and unwavering dedication to our shared missions. We find it fitting that this historic announcement took place as BPS celebrates its 40th Anniversary and CCGP prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary. As American Pharmacists Month comes to a close, the theme of  “Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine” certainly rings true as BPS works to expand areas of board certification and enhance the BPS credential to the benefit of patients and the healthcare professions.

William E. Evans, Pharm.D.                                                    William Ellis

2016 BPS Chairman                                                               Executive Director, BPS

Chair in Pharmacogenomics

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital