Washington, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) announces four pharmacy specialty certifications will begin the transition to a continuous testing model for certification and recertification examinations: board-certified cardiology pharmacist (BCCP), board-certified nuclear pharmacist (BCNP), board-certified oncology pharmacist (BCOP), and board-certified psychiatric pharmacist (BCPP). Continuous testing will begin in April 2023 for BCCP, BCNP, and BCPP and in August 2023 for BCOP and be available to those examination candidates year-round. BPS aims to transition two to four specialty examinations per year to continuous testing between 2023 and 2027.
The shift, which was approved by the BPS Board of Directors, will replace the existing certification and recertification examination process which happens in two windows annually. Additionally, the board has approved a reduction in certification examination length within the continuous testing model from 175 items to 150 items. The administration time allotted for the 150-item examinations will be 3 hours and 45 minutes. These changes only apply to certification examinations moving to the continuous testing model. The length of the recertification examination at 100 items remains unchanged in this model. All BPS specialty examinations will continue to be offered each year while the transition takes place.
This new examination administration model reflects the continuous quality improvement BPS aims to offer candidates and certificants. Historically, BPS examinations were administered annually via paper and pencil on the first Saturday in October and then expanded to a computer-based testing window during the September-October timeframe in 2013. BPS has offered examinations in two testing windows, April-May and September-October, since 2017.
“The continuous testing transition represents an ongoing commitment to being responsive to candidate and certificant needs by increasing access to BPS examinations” stated BPS Executive Director, William M. Ellis, MS, RPh, ICE-CCP.
BPS will continue to communicate further details with candidates, certificants, and other stakeholders as pharmacy specialties shift to a continuous testing model for certification and recertification examinations in 2023 and onward.
About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning BPS Board-Certified Pharmacist Specialists as integral members of interprofessional healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. BPS currently recognizes more than 54,400 active pharmacist certifications across 14 specialties.