Andrea A. Iannucci, PharmD, BCOP
It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2018. 2017 was an eventful and productive year for BPS! We expanded our BPS staff by adding an Associate Executive Director and put together a great psychometric team, with three in-house staff, in effort to continue to optimize and advance our growing number of BPS certification programs. The Geriatrics Specialty certification (CGP) was successfully integrated with the other BPS specialties and 2 additional specialty councils in Cardiology and Infectious Diseases have been deployed and are in the process of constructing their first certification exams. Additionally, we have partnered with a new examination administrator, Prometric, who will work with BPS to offer all eleven BPS specialty examinations around the world.
Although we are just at the edge of 2018, it is looking to be an equally exciting and productive year for BPS. With the inaugural certification examinations in cardiology and infectious diseases slated to be administered in Fall of 2018, BPS continues to pursue expansion of our specialty certification programs. A decision is expected to be made on the petition for Sterile Compounding in the next few months. With high demand for compounded sterile products (CSP’s), the large number of facilities and pharmacists who practice in this specialty area and the ever-increasing regulatory focus on CSP’s, BPS believes the timing is ideal to be able to offer a validated certification program in this important area of pharmacy practice. Behind sterile compounding, BPS has assembled a task force of pharmacy leaders in Emergency Medicine, to evaluate the possibility of recognizing Emergency Medicine Pharmacy Practice as an upcoming BPS specialty program. Also on the horizon is consideration of a specialty certification in Solid Organ Transplantation. The addition of these 3 specialty programs could bring the number of pharmacy specialty programs supported by BPS to 14!
With the expansion of our in-house psychometric and examination development team, BPS plans to continue to improve the quality of our specialty examinations. We will be working on updating and cataloging our databases of exam items and ensuring that each item is accurately categorized and referenced. We will also work with our new examination database to continue develop dynamic item types and pursue the use of innovative technology to improve the overall examination process.
Through the work of our International Advisory Committee (IAC), BPS continues to partner with international schools of pharmacy and pharmacy organizations around the world to promote and optimize the process of specialty certification for our international colleagues. The IAC, along with BPS Director of Professional Affairs, Brian Lawson, has been engaged in discussions with pharmacy groups from Australia, Canada, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Singapore, amongst other countries, to better understand the value of specialty pharmacy certification as well the role of BPS in helping meet the interests and needs of pharmacists around the globe.
As the incoming BPS Chair, I am very excited to be involved with BPS as the organization continues to evolve and refine its role as the premier certification provider in pharmacy. Happy 2018 and warm wishes for a happy, healthy and productive year.