Ambulatory Care Pharmacy addresses the provision of integrated, accessible healthcare services of ambulatory patients transitioning from the hospital to home or another care facility. Currently there are more than 3,250 BPS Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacists.
The BPS Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist® (BCACP):
- Has the advanced knowledge and expertise to focus on the special needs of patients who may have concurrent illnesses taking multiple medications, and who often administer these drugs themselves or with the assistance of a caregiver at home.
- Provides long term direct patient care, developing sustained partnerships with ambulatory patients and practicing in the context of family and community
- Integrates care of acute illnesses and exacerbations in the context of chronic conditions
- Educates and engages patients in health promotion and wellness
- Helps to manage patients in between provider visits, checking vitals, monitoring compliance, refilling prescriptions and educating patients on the importance of taking their medications as directed
To become a BPS Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist®, a pharmacist must:
- Graduate 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 that jurisdiction; and
- Maintain an active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction; and
- Complete four (4) years of post-licensure practice experience with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in ambulatory care pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Specialty Content Outline; or
- Complete a PGY1 residency accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or new residency programs granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP plus one additional year of post-licensure practice with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in ambulatory care pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Specialty Content Outline; or
- Complete an ASHP-accredited PGY2 residency in Ambulatory Care Pharmacy; and
- Achieve a passing score on the BPS Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Certification Examination.
Recertification is required every seven (7) years and can be accomplished by:
- Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit provided by the professional development programs offered by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and/or the joint program offered by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA); or
- Achieving a passing score on the BPS Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Recertification Examination.
No more than 50 hours will be accepted by BPS during the first three years of the certification cycle. Further, Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Courses offered by either of the approved providers may only be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year recertification cycle.
Becoming BPS board certified enables pharmacists to:
- Provide more comprehensive and complex patient care
- Be prepared to step into pharmacy’s evolving position on the multidisciplinary treatment team
- Experience increased recognition by other healthcare professionals, employers, patients and insurers
- Improve their standing in a competitive employment market
Board certification through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties® is the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels. Through the rigorous examination standards mandated by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties®, the BPS board certified pharmacist is uniquely trained and educated to meet the continually expanding expectations of other healthcare team members and the specialized needs of the patients they care for.