An essential and exceptional element of the BPS certification process is its dependence on an expanded peer group for both specialty recognition and exam content. Once a specialty area has been recognized, a Specialty Council of content experts works with the BPS and its highly qualified psychometric consultants to develop a bank of test items.
Each BPS Specialty Council is composed of six pharmacists practicing in the specialty area along with three outside pharmacists. In addition, BPS routinely solicits questions from practitioners working in the field, ensuring a democratic examination with real-life relevance.
Certification examinations, consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions, are administered annually at designated sites throughout the USA and other countries. To ensure that knowledge and skills are maintained at the specialty level, each BPS pharmacist must recertify every seven years.
BPS also recognizes focused practice areas within the core specialties. The term, “added qualifications,” represents an enhanced level of training and experience within a practice area. Candidates for added qualifications submit a structured portfolio, which is assessed by the Specialty Council in accordance with published standards.
BPS continually evaluates and updates its certification and recertification processes. Approximately every five years, a new role delineation study is conducted for each specialty, with examinations modified accordingly.