Recertification by Examination

Important Information for Candidates Recertifying by Examination

For candidates with certification beginning January 1, 2023 or earlier, they are required to achieve a passing score on the recertification examination administered by BPS within their recertification year.

For candidates with certification beginning January 1, 2024 or later, they are required to achieve a passing score on the recertification examination administered by BPS within their recertification year and self-report 20 completed units of continuing professional development (CPD) in MyBPS. For more information on CPD, review the FAQ. To maintain an active certification in good standing, a minimum of two units of BPS-approved, assessed CPE or self-reported CPD must be reported each year.

Test Dates and Locations

BPS holds specialty certification and recertification examinations both windowed testing format and continuous testing format examinations. Examinations offered in the windowed testing format are available in two windows per year, either in April/May or August/September. For examinations offered in the continuous testing format, a candidate has the opportunity to register throughout the year and take a certification or recertification examination at any point in the year.

Candidates within the continuous testing model must sit by October 31 in order to successfully meet the recertification requirements to receive an examination score by December 31.

Candidates opting to sit for the recertification examination may sit at any of the domestic and international locations BPS will be offering the certification examination. For a complete listing, please click here.

Examination Format and Content

All BPS exams will be in a computer-based format. The examination items are from the current year’s specialty certification. Four-option multiple-choice questions constitute the majority of examination items; however, most of the specialty examinations also use alternate item types such as multiple response, drag and drop, and hotspot. It is to the candidate’s advantage to answer every question on the examination, since the final score is based on the total number of questions answered correctly. There is no penalty for selecting an incorrect choice.

A recertification examination does not attempt to test all of a candidate’s knowledge in the specialized practice area. The examination samples the knowledge and skills required to perform the tasks in each of the major areas of responsibility of the specialty as defined through a job analysis. Mastery of the knowledge and skills involved in this defined scope of specialized practice is necessary for board certification, regardless of the particular activities in which an applicant is involved.

BPS provides a list of the domains, tasks, and knowledge statements specific to each specialty practice area to prospective candidates. This content outline is developed through a nationwide study of the work pharmacists perform in academic, community and institutional settings and also notes the percentage of items per domain. All BPS specialty certification examinations reflect current, best practices at the time they are constructed — approximately six months prior to administration.

New regulations, drugs and therapies are incorporated annually into the exam content. Official United States Adopted Name (USAN) generic names are used for all drug products, when possible.

All exams will be proctored by representatives from an independent third-party test administrator. No one is permitted in the testing room during the examination except for the candidates and BPS-authorized representatives.

Important Details

All non-test materials such as books, cell phones, PDAs, pagers, papers, cameras, recorders, purses, hats and jackets must be stored in areas designated for that purpose.