Psychiatric Pharmacy

The BPS Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP) program is a credential for pharmacists who have met the eligibility criteria below and who in their unique practice provide person-centered care that ensures the safe, appropriate, evidence-based, and cost-effective use of medications in the treatment of persons with mental illness.

The purpose of the BCPP program is to validate that the pharmacist has the advanced knowledge and experience to optimize outcomes and recovery for patients with mental illness by:

  • Designing, implementing, monitoring, and modifying treatment plans for patients.
  • Educating patients, health care professionals, and other stakeholders.
  • Providing leadership in the health system and public policy to improve the health of persons with mental illness.

BPS Psychiatric Pharmacy Brochure

Eligibility Requirements (all practice eligibility requirements must be met prior to the candidate sitting for the examination)

The minimum requirements for this specialty certification are:

  • Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a program outside the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in the jurisdiction.
  • Current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  • Completion of four (4) years of practice (post-pharmacist licensure) with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities as defined by the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline. (2017) **Practice experience should be from within the past seven years prior to the application date.
    OR
  • Completion of a PGY1 residency* plus two (2) additional years of practice (post-pharmacist licensure) with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities as defined by the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline. (2017) **Practice experience should be from within the past seven years prior to the application date.
    OR
  • Completion of a specialty (PGY2) residency* in psychiatric pharmacy, and
  • Achieving a passing score on the Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination.

*Effective January 1, 2013, only residency programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and completed by the applicant within the past 7 years, or new residency programs granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP are creditable for this purpose.

Examination Content – Fall 2017

(Refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline for details.)

  • Domain 1: Person-Centered Care (55% of examination)
  • Domain 2: Translation of Evidence into Practice and Education (30% of the examination)
  • Domain 3: Healthcare Policy, Advocacy, and Practice Management (15% of the examination)

Examination Content – Spring 2017

(Refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline for details.)

  • Domain 1: Patient Management (62% of the examination)
  • Domain 2: Information Management (25% of the examination)
  • Domain 3: Health Policy and Practice Management (13% of the examination)

Recertification

Recertification of Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists® (BCPP) requires an assessment of a practitioner’s knowledge and skills through one of two methods: 

  • Achieving a passing score on the 100-item multiple choice recertification examination, based on the content outline of the certification examination;
    OR
  • Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit** provided by a professional development program approved by BPS. The BPS-approved professional development program for Psychiatric Pharmacy is currently offered by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP). Please review the special note below. Contact CPNP for specific information about their program offerings that will qualify for BCPP recertification credit.

A current, active license to practice pharmacy is required for recertification.

** Special Notes:

  • BCPPs recertifying via continuing education are required to complete the Review Course a minimum of once during their 7-year recertification cycle.
  • BCPPs recertifying via continuing education can use the Review Course a maximum of twice for recertification credit during their 7-year recertification cycle.
  • The Review Course is revised and released every other year on the event year (2012, 2014…). Given this revision cycle, individuals cannot repeat the current edition of the Review Course for BCPP Recertification or ACPE credit.

Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists® are also required to pay the BPS Annual Certification Maintenance fee of $125 each year for years one through six and a $400 recertification fee in year seven.

Individuals with more than one BPS certification will only be assessed one BPS Annual Certification Maintenance Fee each year.