The Board of Pharmacy Specialties® was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association. Today BPS is the premier post-licensure certification agency worldwide that operates across the pharmacy profession to provide specialty certification of pharmacists. Most importantly, BPS is above partisan interests and establishes independent, objective standards that are applied in a psychometrically sound, legally defensible process.
The principal responsibilities of BPS include:
- To grant recognition of appropriate pharmacy practice specialties based on criteria established by BPS;
- To establish standards for certification and recertification of pharmacists in recognized pharmacy practice specialties;
- To grant qualified pharmacists certification and recertification in recognized pharmacy practice specialties;
- To serve as a coordinating agency and information clearinghouse for organizations and pharmacists in recognized pharmacy practice specialties; and
- To enhance public/consumer protection by developing effective certification programs for specialty practices in pharmacy.
The distinction between certification and certificate training is remarkable. Some certificates may indicate participation in a targeted educational program but do not assess a practitioner’s competence. BPS certification is a voluntary process by which a pharmacist’s education, experience, knowledge and skills in a particular practice area are confirmed as well beyond what is required for licensure.
The success of any healthcare team depends on the knowledge and experience of each of its members, which is why specialization has become increasingly important in all aspects of medical practice. In pharmacy, BPS board certification is considered the gold standard when it comes to determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels.
Through the rigorous examination standards mandated by the Board, the BPS Board Certified Pharmacist is uniquely trained and educated to meet the continually expanding expectations of other healthcare team members and specialized needs of the patients they care for.