Last updated on: May 16, 2022
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is an independent, non-governmental certification body that develops and administers board-certification examinations in recognized pharmacy practice specialties. BPS was created on January 5, 1976 by the American Pharmaceutical Association (now the American Pharmacists Association, APhA), and exists today as an autonomous division of APhA.
The BPS Board of Directors is composed of 12 voting members, including nine pharmacists, six of whom represent BPS specialty practices and three of whom are not board certified. The Board also includes two health care professionals other than pharmacists and one public member. The BPS Executive Director and one member of the APhA Board of Trustees are non-voting Board members, ex officio. For a current list of Board of Director members, click here.
BPS has established a Specialty Council for each recognized specialty. Specialty Councils work with the Board to develop and administer psychometrically-sound and legally defensible certification examinations, consistent with public policy regarding the credentialing of health care professionals. A Specialty Council is composed of seven pharmacists certified in the specialty area and two other pharmacists not certified in the specialty area. For a current list of Specialty Council members, click here.
The principal responsibilities of BPS include:
- To enhance public / consumer protection by developing effective certification programs for specialty practices in pharmacy.
- To grant recognition of appropriate pharmacy practice specialties based on criteria established by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.
- To establish standards for certification and recertification of pharmacist specialists in recognized pharmacy practice specialties.
- To grant eligible pharmacists certification and recertification in recognized pharmacy practice specialties.
- To serve as a coordinating agency and informational clearing house for organizations and pharmacists in recognized pharmacy specialties.
The primary purpose of specialization in any health care profession is to improve the quality-of-care individual patients receive, to promote positive treatment outcomes, and ultimately, to improve the patient’s quality of life. Specialties evolve in response to the development of new knowledge or technology that can affect patient care. The rapid, dramatic advancement of drug therapy in recent decades has created a clear need for pharmacy practitioners who specialize in specific kinds of treatment and aspects of care. Specialty certification is a responsible, progressive initiative from the profession to try to ensure the best possible patient care.
Board certification has allowed more pharmacists to participate in collaborative drug therapy management, which is a significant value to patients. Pharmacists certified in a specialty are frequently sought for professional consultations. As the contributions of pharmacists become more recognized, BPS anticipates greater recognition from public and private payers. Employers and patients can feel secure in knowing that a board-certified pharmacist has taken the initiative to seek advanced specialized training that sets them apart. Certification can also provide a personal reward for pharmacist specialists. Preparing for the certification examination offers an opportunity to increase advanced, specialized knowledge in a practice area. Specialty certification is a means of informing other professionals of an individual’s educational and practice accomplishments, setting the specialist apart from colleagues. It is one way to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills independent of, and in addition to a degree program, license, or residency.
BPS-certified pharmacist are recognized for specialized knowledge and skills by many government and regulatory agencies. The following are examples of specific benefits that may be realized by BPS-certified pharmacist specialists:
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission: specialists may be recognized as Authorized Nuclear Pharmacists.
- U.S. Department of Defense: specialists may receive bonus pay.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: specialists may serve at a higher pay step.
- U.S. Public Health Service: specialists may receive bonus pay.
- California, New Mexico, and North Carolina State Boards of Pharmacy: specialists may apply for advanced privileges.
- Increasing numbers of employers are recognizing BPS certified specialists with monetary rewards, promotions or hiring preferences.
This guide is intended to provide BPS certified pharmacists information on the recertification process. The elements of recertification include eligibility requirements, application procedures, recertification examination administration, professional development activities, extension requests, and delist process. This document is ONLY A GUIDE. The information, procedures, and fees detailed in this publication may be amended, revised, or otherwise altered at any time without advanced notice by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. The provision of this Guide does not confer any rights upon a candidate for recertification. The information contained in this Guide supersedes information contained in all previous editions of the BPS Recertification Guide.
Recertification assures the public and the profession that certified practitioners undergo periodic evaluation. Participating in continuing education opportunities or preparing for the recertification examination also offers the opportunity for certificants to stay up to date with current developments in the field. The Board of Pharmacy Specialties requires all board-certified specialists to recertify every seven years. If a BPS-certified specialist does not apply for recertification by the August deadline date of their recertification year, the individual is in jeopardy of being removed from the official roster of board-certified specialists. For example, if a certification cycle is valid until December 31, 2022, the recertification application is due August 3, 2022.
If a certified pharmacist fails to successfully complete the recertification process, a one-time extension may be granted for a one-year period, at the sole discretion of BPS while the individual seeks to successfully complete the process.
Once a BPS-certified specialist has been removed permanently from the roster, that individual may no longer use the designation or initials associated with that specialty (e.g., Board-Certified Nuclear Pharmacist, BCNP) nor display the BPS certificate. Reinstatement can be achieved only by the successful completion of the entire certification process.
Please note, each specialty area has its own approved continuing education programs and requirements designed to assess a practitioner’s knowledge in their particular subject area. To accommodate pharmacists who have achieved BPS certification in more than one specialty, professional development providers may approve selected continuing education programs for credit in more than one specialty. This may occur when program topics and content are applicable to content outlines of more than one BPS certification program, and the professional development provider is approved for those specialties.
Pharmacists certified by BPS may earn up to 42 credit hours of the required continuing education needed for recertification in these programs approved for two or more specialties and apply the credit to each specialty in which he/she is certified.
There is no overlap or dual purposing of continuing education programs between specialty areas unless noted by BPS and the provider.
Board-Certified Pharmacists will be required to maintain their certification over a seven-year period by completing one of the following professional development activities:
- Option One: Recertification Examination – Achieving a passing score on the 100-item recertification examination based on the Content Outline of the designated specialty.
- Option Two: Continuing Education – Earning the required number of hours of continuing education credit provided by a professional development program approved by BPS for the certification which is held. Each specialty has different requirements. Please see the individual website pages for more information.
A current, active license to practice pharmacy is required for recertification.
Recertification Eligibility Requirements and Content Outlines for each specialty can be found here:
- Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
- Cardiology Pharmacy
- Compounded Sterile Preparations Pharmacy
- Critical Care Pharmacy
- Emergency Medicine Pharmacy
- Geriatric Pharmacy
- Infectious Diseases Pharmacy
- Nuclear Pharmacy
- Nutrition Support Pharmacy
- Oncology Pharmacy
- Pediatric Pharmacy
- Psychiatric Pharmacy
- Solid Organ Transplantation Pharmacy
Please contact the following organizations for further information on approved CE programs.
American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
(913) 492-3311 • FAX (913) 492-0088
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)
(703) 739-1300 • FAX (703) 739-1321
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
(301) 664-8700 • FAX (301) 652-8278
College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP)
(402) 476-1677 • FAX (888) 551-7617
Hematology Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA)
Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA)
(901) 820-4434 • FAX (901) 767-0704
Purdue University College of Pharmacy
Robert Heine Pharmacy Building
(765) 494-1361 • FAX (765) 494-7880
Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM)
(847) 827-6869 • FAX (847) 827-6886
Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP)
Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
Compounded Sterile Preparations Pharmacy
Critical Care Pharmacy
Infectious Diseases Pharmacy
Nutrition Support Pharmacy
Please view the chart below to determine your year of recertification. Remember, your certification becomes active December 31st of the year in which you sit for the initial certification examination or recertify, (July 1st for those initially certified during a Spring test window) and is active for a full seven years.
Please note, those certified in the Spring or Fall cannot begin earning continuing education hours until January 1st of the next calendar year (i.e., If certified 7/31/2021, can begin earning CE by 01/01/2022).
|Initial Testing Year/|
Year Last Recertified
The candidate is responsible for submitting an application that is completely and accurately filled out. Incomplete and/or unpaid applications will not be processed. Candidates who wish to recertify by testing in the Spring 2022 examination window must submit their application by March 18, 2022 (see BPS Candidate’s Guide for a complete list of important deadlines).
BPS encourages candidates to submit their recertification application as early as January 1st. Certificants must submit their recertification application no later than the deadline of August 3, 2022. Those candidates wishing to test in the Fall 2022 examination window, or those using BPS-approved continuing education (CE) programs MUST submit their application by the August 3rd deadline. Applications can be submitted through your MyBPS account by clicking the “Recertify” link. Please note that the recertification application can be submitted prior to completion of the required CE hours. CE hours for recertification may continue to be earned through the end of the calendar year for credit towards recertification.
Providers of BPS approved continuing education programs report all CE hours for recertification directly to BPS except ACPE approved continuing education courses for BCNSP.
All recertification applicants will be notified via email of their eligibility within 20 business days of BPS’ receipt of their application and fee. Applicants may also check their MyBPS profile to confirm eligibility. Those candidates recertifying via examination will additionally be contacted via email to schedule their examination after their recertification application has been processed.
All Board-Certified Specialists are required to pay the BPS Annual Certification Maintenance fee of $125 USD each year for years one through six of their certification and a $400 recertification fee in year seven.
Pharmacists holding more than one BPS certification are assessed only one annual fee, and certificants are not required to pay the annual fee in their recertification year unless the certificant chooses not to recertify or has delisted from the certification during the certification’s recertification year.
All pending balances must be submitted prior to successful submission of the recertification application.
The recertification fee helps cover the costs of the development and administration of recertification processes and the ongoing operations of the Board and its Specialty Councils. All fees are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Board.
Application Fees are as follows:
- Recertification via examination is $400
- Recertification via continuing education is $400
- Application fee to retake the recertification examination is $200 (Please note, this opportunity is only available within one year of the last failed attempt)
Candidates have the option to take the recertification examination in the Spring and/or Fall examination windows of their recertification year. If a candidate fails to appear for an examination, candidate must resubmit a recertification application at full price. If a candidate does not pass by the Fall examination in their recertification year, they have the option to submit a one-time, one-year extension request, if they have not previously used an extension.
Payments are made by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). Currencies are withdrawn in U.S. dollars. Money orders are NOT accepted.
When a credit card transaction is declined you may submit an alternate credit card for processing. Please note, if you submit a payment and receive an “Error 12” message, this is due to submitting a different billing address from the one your financial institution has on file. Please contact your financial institution to confirm the correct billing address before reattempting the payment.
Candidates who fail to arrive at the Testing Center on the date and time of the scheduled examination will forfeit their examination fees and must re-register by contacting BPS. Examination fees may NOT be transferred to another test window. The recertification application fee is nonrefundable after December 31, of the recertification year.
Candidates who withdraw from the continuing education recertification application process before the application deadline (before August 3, 2022) will be charged a withdrawal administrative fee of $200 ($250 if the continuing education recertification application is submitted after the August 3, 2022 deadline). The recertification application fee is non-refundable after December 31, of the recertification year.
Candidates who plan to recertify using BPS approved continuing education programs MUST submit their recertification application by the deadline date of August 3, 2022 even if they have not completed their CE requirements. Conversely, please note that credits earned that exceed the recertification requirement will not be applied to your current accrual period and credits cannot be applied forward to a future new cycle prior to the accrual period start date.
The deadline to complete the required CE for recertification is December 31, 2022. If you believe you will not complete the CE requirement by the end of the year in which you are due to recertify, you may request an extension (see “Request for Extension” section).
BPS offers both a Spring and a Fall testing window for those candidates recertifying via examination. The Spring testing window will run between April 18, 2022 and May 15, 2022. The Fall window will run between September 5, 2022 and September 26, 2022. It is in the best interest of a certificant to take the opportunity to register for the Spring examination, in which case if a passing score is not achieved, there is still an opportunity to retest during the Fall examination window to successfully meet their recertification requirements within their recertification year.
Recertification candidates licensed outside of the United States and Canada should view the “Candidates Licensed Outside of the US and Canada” section for information on examination administration in their country. The BPS recertification examination will be administered via computer by Prometric, the BPS-approved testing administrator, through its affiliated test centers. Recertification candidates must schedule the date, time, and location of their examination within the scheduled test administration window. For a complete list of deadlines and important dates, please click here.
Through an arrangement with Prometric, BPS candidates can schedule their examinations at more than 275 test centers within the United States and more than 275 test centers outside of the U.S. Test center locations can be found on the Prometric website.
Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) is a limited option offered for the April – May 2022 and the September – October 2022 Examination Window as an extension of a BPS pilot program, with certain restrictions*. For more details on this offering, please review the Live Remote Proctoring appendix below.
Once a testing appointment is scheduled, the candidate will receive a confirmation email outlining the appointment details.
The candidate must bring a current, government-issued photo identification with signature to the test center. Acceptable forms of identification include driver’s licenses, passports, and government-issued identification cards. Unacceptable forms of identification include gym memberships, warehouse memberships, school identification cards, credit cards, and identification with signature only (no photo). The candidate’s name as it appears on the confirmation email must match the candidate’s name as it appears on the government-issued photo identification. If a candidate’s name does not match, the candidate is responsible for submitting a Name Change Request in their MyBPS profile. Candidates will be required to upload a PDF or JPG copy of government-issued identification showing their new name as part of that request. Name changes that occur after submission of the application must be requested and received no later than 30 days after the application deadline, in order to be updated in time for your examination appointment.
U.S. Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) Program
BPS has been approved as a vendor in the U.S. Army Credentialing Assistance Program. Soldiers can apply for funding support to sit for BPS Board certification through this program. The following rules, per the U.S. Army Credentialing Assistance Program should be noted:
- Recertification: For those Soldiers who wish to recertify via examination, this program covers the cost of the recertification examination administered by BPS, the annual certification maintenance fees, and recertification fees. Soldiers who wish to recertify via continuing education are responsible for obtaining and paying for those materials/credits themselves.
- Preparation materials are not covered because board certification is an independent assessment of knowledge and skills. In addition to BPS not providing preparation materials, BPS does not have any control over whether preparation material providers are part of the U.S. Army Credentialing Assistance Program.
- Extensions can only be requested by the Soldier and the approval must be granted by the Army CA Program.
- Withdrawal process- Soldiers must withdraw within their Army CA program account. BPS cannot withdraw the Soldier per Army CA Program policy.
- Per the MOA signed between BPS and the Department of the Army, Certificates of Completion are a required item to participate in Army CA. Score reports are made available with 60 days of the final examination date within an examination cycle. Per Army CA program requirements BPS will upload Certificates of Completion to the ArmyIgniteED Site for the Soldier within 10 days of the score report being made available.
- The Army CA Program is specific to the Army only. To view the other services COOL programs, visit www.cool.osd.mil.
- For more information, visit the Army COOL webpage and select Credentialing Assistance. There are related links that are updated monthly that cover process guides, full credential searches, Approved Vendor List, and other topics.
Click HERE to view The Soldiers Guide to Recertification infographic.
In order to help assure the greatest probability that certificants receive their preferred test center and date, BPS recommends registering as early as possible. Recertification candidates will have the option of a morning or afternoon administration. Please view the Candidate’s Guide or click here for a full list of deadlines.
*Domestic Candidates must submit their scheduling request at least four (4) business days prior to their preferred testing date during the scheduled test administration window. Non-U.S. candidates must submit their scheduling request at least ten (10) business days prior to their preferred testing date.
Candidates may contact Prometric through their website or on matters related to scheduling a testing appointment. Voicemail will accept certificant inquiries outside of normal U.S. business hours.
Once a testing appointment is scheduled, the candidate will receive a confirmation email outlining the appointment details.
Important Update: Effective May 16, 2022, the cancellation/rescheduling policy for BPS exams has changed. Candidates may cancel or reschedule a Certification or Recertification exam up to five (5) calendar days prior to the scheduled examination appointment. Cancel/Reschedule fees will be charged as follows:
- 30 or more days prior to appointment: $35 fee collected by Prometric at time of transaction.
- 29-5 days prior to appointment: $60 fee collected by Prometric at time of transaction.
- Less than 5 days prior to appointment: no cancel/reschedule allowed. Your full test fee will be retained by BPS.
BPS staff will not process change requests. Change requests can be submitted here.
NOTE: All dollar amounts expressed in this Candidate’s Guide are provided in U.S. dollars (USD).
|Examination Date||Appointment Must be Rescheduled/Cancelled By:|
|Monday||Saturday of the previous week|
|Tuesday||Sunday of the current week|
|Wednesday||Monday of the current week|
|Thursday||Tuesday of the current week|
|Friday||Wednesday of the current week|
|Saturday/Sunday||Thursday of the current week|
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties complies with the relevant provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a candidate has a disability and requires accommodations under this Act during the certification examination, they should select “Special Accommodations” as part of their application form and then submit the “ADA Accommodations”.
Spring candidates have the option of having their application deferred to the Fall examination cycle of the same year. Candidates who defer to the Fall examination cycle and do not test will forfeit all fees; no additional deferrals will be allowed. NOTE: BPS does not defer applications in the Fall application window.
Candidates who withdraw from the examination recertification process before and after the application deadline (March 18, 2022 or August 3, 2022) will be charged a withdrawal administrative fee of $200 ($250 if the examination has been scheduled). The recertification application fee is non-refundable after December 31, of the recertification year. Candidates who have withdrawn from the recertification process can maintain their credential and remain in good standing by immediately requesting an extension (see “Request for Extension” section).
BPS will review requests for emergency withdrawals and deferrals with decisions made on a case-by-case basis. Acceptable withdrawal and deferral requests, with appropriate documentation (e.g., physician’s letter, police report, etc.) will be considered under the following situations:
- Serious illness (either the candidate or an immediate family member)
- Death in the immediate family
- Disabling accident
- Court appearance
- Jury duty
- Unexpected military call-up
Registration fees for approved emergency deferrals requests outside of the calendar year, from Fall to Spring, are non-refundable. Supporting documentation must be submitted to BPS within seven (7) days after the examination date. Candidates whose withdrawal request is not approved by BPS will forfeit all testing fees. Applications cannot be deferred from the Fall examination cycle into the next calendar year.
Recertification candidates should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled testing appointment time. If a candidate arrives at the test center 30 minutes after their scheduled testing appointment time and is refused admission, then the candidate will forfeit their appointment. If an appointment is forfeited, there is no refund of the testing fee.
The candidate must present a valid government-issued photo identification with signature along with a printout of their testing appointment confirmation email. Candidates will be required to sign in and will be instructed on where to store personal items and where to keep identification. The candidate’s identity will be verified every time they enter or leave the testing room.
Once the candidate has been checked-in, they will be escorted by testing staff to a workstation. The candidate must remain at the workstation unless authorized to leave by test center staff. Candidates may not leave the room without test center staff permission. If the candidate leaves the testing room without permission prior to completing their examination, they will forfeit the testing appointment and there will be no refund of testing fees.
Test center staff will provide the candidate with an erasable note board and pen that may be replaced as needed during the test. The candidate may not remove the note boards or pens, and candidates are not allowed to use their own scratch paper or writing tools. Additionally, candidates will be provided with a calculator available on their computer screen for use during the examination. Testing room temperature can be unpredictable; therefore, BPS suggests that the candidate bring appropriate clothing with them (e.g., sweater, sweatshirt without hood) to help them adapt to a cooler or warmer climate in the examination room. Candidates may bring earplugs if they are sensitive to noise. If earplugs are brought, the earplugs will be subject to inspection by the testing center staff.
Checking-In on Examination Day via Live Remote Proctoring While LRP testing generally mirrors traditional in-center test processes, there are important disclosures to consider. For more details, please review the Live Remote Proctoring appendix below.
At this time, we are expanding the Personal Item Exception (PIE) policy to include Medical Masks and medical rubber gloves.
Candidates wearing surgical or medical masks:
- The candidate should briefly remove the mask so ID can be visually verified
- During this brief removal, the masks should be visually inspected at check-in to look for notes written inside. TCAs should not touch or handle the masks during inspection
- Candidates choosing to wear masks during testing need to keep the mask on for the duration of testing. If a candidate decides to remove the mask during their examination, they should be made to store it in their locker
- The mask should be removed for image capture (if required for the examination)
Candidates are also permitted to wear medical rubber gloves in the test room. The gloves should be briefly visually inspected per our security policies. Check the gloves for any notes concealed or written on them.
Prometric staff will provide candidates with instructions regarding items that may be securely stored during the exam and accessed during the scheduled, optional breaktime. Candidates are expressly prohibited from bringing the following items into the exam room:
- Cameras, cell phones or other mobile devices, optical readers, or other electronic devices that include the ability to photograph, photocopy, or otherwise copy test materials
- Notes, books, dictionaries, or language dictionaries
- Book bags or luggage
- iPods, MP3 players, headphones, or pagers
- Calculators, computers, PDAs, or other electronic devices with one or more memories
- Personal writing utensils (e.g., pencils, pens, and highlighters)
- Food and beverage (in the examination room)
- Hats, hoods, or other headgear, unless required for religious purposes
- Mechanical pens and pencils
All items are subject to inspection by the proctor. If Prometric test center personnel determine that a candidate has brought any prohibited items to the testing center, the candidate’s item may be demanded and held for an indefinite period of time by Prometric test center personnel. BPS and Prometric reserve the right to review the memory of any electronic device that may be in the candidate’s possession at the test center to determine whether any test materials have been photographed or otherwise copied.
If the review determines that any test materials are in the memory of any such device, BPS and Prometric reserve the right to delete materials and/or retain them for subsequent disciplinary action. Upon completion of the review and any applicable deletions, BPS and Prometric will return the device to the candidate but will not be responsible for the deletion of any materials that may result from the review, whether or not such materials are test materials.
By bringing any such device into the test center in contravention of BPS and Prometric policies, the candidate expressly waives any confidentiality or other similar rights with respect to the device, BPS and Prometric review of the memory of the device, and/or the deletion of any materials. BPS, Prometric, the examination center, and the test center staff are not liable for lost or damaged items brought to the examination center.
While LRP testing generally mirrors traditional in-center test processes, there are important disclosures to consider. For more details, please review the Live Remote Proctoring appendix below.
Prometric will attempt to contact candidates in the event of a test center closure due to inclement weather to reschedule their appointment. As test centers close, emails are issued to candidates impacted notifying them of the closures, and Prometric’s website is also updated with this information. However, because closures can occur at any time during inclement weather. The candidate is responsible for contacting Prometric to receive the most up-to-date information regarding whether a center is open or to reschedule the examination appointment. If a test center is officially closed, candidates will not be charged a rescheduling fee. If a test center is open and the candidate does not keep his or her appointment, the candidate forfeits all fees.
Four-option multiple-choice questions constitute the majority of examination items; however, some of the specialty examinations also use alternate item types such as multiple choice, multiple response, and items supplemented with images and videos.
If a candidate has issues with the computer during the examination session, the candidate should notify the proctor immediately and await further instruction. Most technical issues are resolved quickly with a simple refresh of the screen or by the proctor logging you back into the examination.
BPS specialty certification examinations are delivered via computer. While it is not the norm, internet technology issues can occasionally occur requiring the proctor to log you back into your examination. If this happens, inform the proctor that you have a computer issue.
If a technical issue lasts longer than 30 minutes and prevents you from continuing with the examination, you may choose to stop and reschedule to another day, or you may continue to wait for the resolution. Again, most technical issues are resolved quickly.
Candidates will be provided with a scientific calculator app available on their computer screen for use during the examination. A sample calculator is available on the BPS website.
Candidates will have the option to add comments to each examination item (question). The comments will be collected and shared in aggregate for review by BPS staff and the applicable BPS Specialty Council. Comments will not be used in the scoring of the examination.
Instructions will be provided to candidates on their computer screen. Only answers submitted via computer will be scored. Answers written on whiteboards will not be scored.
- This examination and the test questions contained herein are the exclusive property of BPS.
- This examination and the questions contained herein are protected by copyright law. No part of this examination may be copied or reproduced in part or in whole by any means whatsoever, including memorization.
- The theft or attempted theft of any examination materials is punishable as a felony.
- My participation in any irregularity occurring during this examination, such as giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid, as evidenced by observation or subsequent analysis, may result in termination of my participation, invalidation of the results of my examination or other appropriate action.
- Further discussion or disclosure of the contents of the examination orally, in writing or by any other means is prohibited.
The electronic signature on a candidate’s application indicates that they have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the statement of confidentiality and that they have read and understood the BPS Recertification Guide. Failure to comply can result in termination of the candidate’s participation, invalidation of the results of their examination or other appropriate action.
The examination day schedule is provided below.
- Examination (100 items): 2.5-hour testing period
- No scheduled breaks
Please note that there are no scheduled breaks for the recertification exam. The timer continues to count down if a certificant chooses to take an unscheduled break.
Candidates will receive their score reports electronically approximately 60 days following the close of the scheduled examination administration window by logging in to their MyBPS accounts.
If a recertification candidate fails to achieve a passing score on the examination during the Spring cycle, the candidate may retest in the Fall examination window. If the candidate fails to achieve a passing score during the Fall examination window, the candidate may request an extension, if they have not previously used one. Please see the “Request for Extension” section for more information. The fee for retaking the examination is $200. Candidates who wish to retake the examination will be asked to submit an abbreviated application form through their MyBPS account.
For full information on the BPS examination process, please refer to the BPS website or the BPS Candidate’s Guide.
BPS certification is oriented primarily toward pharmacists licensed and practicing in the U.S. All recertification candidates must submit a copy of their current, active, legal authorization to practice pharmacy in their country of origin or residence, along with their application form. If these documents are not in English, notarized English translations must be provided by the candidate, at the candidate’s expense.
Throughout BPS specialty recertification examinations, all measures from laboratory test results are expressed in traditional U.S. units. A conversion chart will NOT be offered as part of the examination. A reference table of normal lab values is NOT provided. Candidates should take this into consideration when preparing for the examination.
The Board is aware that examination questions dealing with procedures or regulatory issues in the U.S. are not necessarily pertinent to candidates who practice in foreign countries. However, all candidates are given the same examination and are held to the same standard of achievement, regardless of the country in which they practice and the regulations under which they practice.
Please note BPS certification does not confer the privilege to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or any other country.
Candidates seeking recertification who believe that they will not be able to sit for the recertification examination in their recertification year or who believe that they will not be able to complete all required CE by December 31 of the year in which they are to recertify may request an extension of their certification status. Please follow these steps to complete your request for an extension.
- Log-in to your MyBPS profile.
- Click on the “Recertify” link to be directed to the recertification application. Select the recertification route and submit the recertification application. BPS must first approve the recertification application before you can request an extension.
- Once the recertification application is approved, a “Request Extension” link will be available in your MyBPS profile.
- Complete the extension request form by uploading a written request (in PDF or JPG format).
- Provide specific reasons for not being able to sit for the examination or earning the total hours by the December 31st
- Outline a plan to meet all recertification requirements (either by earning the total hours of CE or passing the Spring and/or Fall recertification examination) by December 31, of your extension year, if approved.
- The Extension Request must be received by BPS by December 31, of your recertification year.
Please note, all requests for extensions submitted after the Fall examination registration window is closed are processed by selecting the continuing education route in the recertification application regardless of your intended plan for meeting the recertification requirements. The final recertification route that will be noted will be based on your outlined plan within your written extension request.
This request should be submitted via your MyBPS account after a recertification application has been submitted and approved by clicking the “Request Extension” link that appears after the recertification application is approved. Certificants must first complete a recertification application form and the $400 recertification fee plus any past fees including any $5 annual penalties. Please note, all fees for recertification applications with extension requests are non-refundable. As part of the extension request form, a candidate must submit and upload a written request (in PDF or JPG format), providing specific reasons for not being able to sit for the examination or to meet the December 31 deadline for CE, as well as outline a plan for meeting all recertification requirements by December 31 of the following year. The request must be received by BPS by December 31 of the year in which the candidate is to recertify.
BPS will only grant an extension one-time during the life of the certification.
If a candidate wishes to change their recertification route during their extension year, the candidate must contact BPS regarding this change request.
During the extension period, the individual’s certification remains active; however, this period will be treated as a one-year extension on a one-time only basis, assuming the candidate has not already been granted an extension. No additional extension will be granted beyond this one-year period. All recertification requirements must be completed by the end of the one-year extension or that individual’s certification will lapse, and their name will be removed from the official roster of BPS-certified pharmacist specialists. Once removed permanently from the roster, reinstatement can be achieved only by the successful completion of the entire certification process. The only way to reinstate certification is to re-apply for initial certification which includes meeting all eligibility requirements, paying all fees, and passing the initial certification examination.
When recertification is accomplished through a continuing professional development program for any specialty, all hours creditable to a specific seven-year recertification period must be earned within that accrual period (plus an additional year, if granted an extension). Credit hours may not be carried over from one seven-year period to the next.
Candidates should note that there are expiration dates associated with earning BPS recertification credit. BPS will only award recertification credit for modules based on the completion and submission date of the post-test assessment.
If a certificant is recertifying via examination, they must pass the examination in either the Spring or Fall window in their extension year. Please note, if you have indicated that you are requesting the extension to take the examination in either the Spring or Fall window in the extension year, the original authorization will be cancelled to allow for authorization to take the examination in either the Spring or Fall window of the extension year.
If a candidate is granted an extension and successfully recertifies, the new seven-year certification cycle will begin after the completion of the extension year.
You may request to renounce your certification by contacting email@example.com for official instructions on how to officially complete the process to be delisted from a BPS certification and to avoid future communication regarding your certification.
BPS is committed to protecting confidential or proprietary information related to applicants and certification holders, as well as the examination development, maintenance and administration process. BPS will not disclose any confidential applicant/certification holder’s information outside of the course of BPS business unless authorized in writing by the individual or as required by law.
If necessary, for BPS’s ordinary course of business, and subject to appropriate contractual confidentiality protections, BPS may share certain personal information about applicants and certificants with third parties who use such personal information to provide core services to BPS or to assist BPS and individuals with the maintenance of those individuals’ certifications.
Individual examination results are considered confidential. Examination scores are released only to the individual candidate, unless a signed release is provided in advance. Results are not released by phone, fax or email. All personal information submitted by applicants and certification holders with their application, is considered confidential.
An individual’s application status is considered confidential. We do not disclose information regarding whether an individual has applied for certification or has taken the examination. Current certification status is published and verifiable as noted in the Credential Verification section.
The names of currently certified individuals are not considered confidential and may be published by BPS. Published information may include name, city, state, country, certification(s) held and certification status.
Personal information retained within the applicant/certification holder database and/or applicant/certification holder files will be kept confidential. This includes information and any documentation regarding a disability and the need for accommodation in testing. With the applicant’s/certification holder’s written permission, BPS shares non-personal information with third parties. This information is not considered confidential and may include name, city, state, country, certification(s) held and certification status.
BPS retains examination results (scores), summary reports from exam administrations and active applicant data indefinitely. Submitted paper documentation is retained for one (1) year. After one (1) year, BPS will shred those documents. A candidate should retain his or her own copies of all documentation sent to BPS.
BPS endorses the principle of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all certification specialty programs and prohibits discrimination against its applicants, candidates, certified persons, staff, and volunteers. Certification is offered to all eligible persons regardless of age, gender, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or disability, or any other category protected by U.S. federal or state law. BPS ensures fair and equitable treatment of all candidates throughout all phases of the certification process. All BPS decisions related to certification (including granting, suspending and withdrawing) are made impartially and free from non‐discriminatory judgements.
The BPS management and its employees, volunteers and contractors understand the importance of impartiality and the consideration of any potential conflicts of interest in carrying out its certification activities. BPS shall manage conflicts of interest and ensure the objectivity of its certification activities. BPS shall act impartially in relation to its applicants, candidates, and certified persons.
Decisions on certification programs shall be made in accordance with established policies and procedures. Policies and procedures affecting applicants, candidates, and certified persons shall be made public and shall fairly and accurately convey information about the certification program. Certification of individuals is based on objective evidence obtained by BPS through a fair, valid and reliable assessment process which is not influenced by other interests or parties. BPS is committed to identifying and assessing risks in all related certification activities which may result in a conflict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.
The BPS management and its employees, volunteers and contractors understand the importance of impartiality and the consideration of any potential conﬂict of interests in carrying out its certiﬁcation activities. BPS shall manage conﬂict of interest and ensure the objectivity of its certiﬁcation activities. BPS shall act impartially in relation to its applicants, candidates, and certiﬁed persons. Decisions on certification programs shall be made in accordance with established policies and procedures. Policies and procedures affecting applicants, candidates, and certified persons shall be made public and shall fairly and accurately convey information about the certification program. Certiﬁcation of individuals is based on objective evidence obtained by BPS through a fair, valid and reliable assessment process which is not inﬂuenced by other interests or parties. BPS is committed to identifying and assessing risks in all related certiﬁcation activities which may result in a conﬂict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.
The BPS certification mark and logo are the property of Board of Pharmacy Specialties®. Permission to use the certification logo or mark is granted to certified persons at the discretion of the BPS, for permissible uses only. A candidate who passes the examination will receive a certificate with a raised seal suitable for framing and will have the right to claim the mark of a Board-Certified Pharmacy Specialist.
Use of the BPS logos or mark is limited to those persons who have been granted the BPS designation and who satisfy all maintenance and recertification requirements established by the BPS. Use of the certification mark or logo by individuals who have not been granted and have not maintained the BPS certification is expressly prohibited.
To use letters in one’s title, individuals must: (1) meet and continue to meet BPS certification and recertification standards; and (2) demonstrate the requisite experience requirements. Successful individuals are authorized to use the following certification marks or designations in communications and marketing materials, once they have earned the specific designation: BCACP®, BCCP®, BCSCP®, BCCCP™, BCEMP®, BCGP®, BCIDP®, BCNP®, BCNSP®, BCOP®, BCPPS®, BCPS®, BCPP®, and BCTXP®.
BPS has partnered with Prometric to provide live remote proctored (LRP) testing on a limited basis. To be eligible, candidates must be approved to test in the Spring 2022 or the Fall 2022 examination window and reside in the U.S., Canada, or Australia.
Prometric will employ reasonable efforts to provide for adequate remote proctors to meet demand for the BPS examinations; however, BPS cannot guarantee availability of an examination session at a specific time within the designated examination window.
While LRP testing generally mirrors traditional in-center test processes, there are important disclosures to consider before deciding to schedule an LRP examination:
- Please review the ProProctorUser Guide in preparation for your examination.
- Ensure a testing location that is indoors (walled), well lit, with a closed door and free from background noise and disruptions. Your workstation and surrounding area must be free of pens (mechanical pencils are strictly prohibited), paper, electronic devices, etc. No content that could potentially provide an unfair advantage during your examination, including anything posted on walls or within your immediate area, is allowed during your session.
- Ensure that no third party (i.e., person or pet) is present in the room or enters the room for the duration of the examination. If this occurs, your examination will be terminated and/or your results invalidated.
- Computer View: Candidate’s computer must clearly be shown and fully inspected during the check in process. If this cannot be accomplished with an external web-camera for desktops or mirror for laptops, File a CPR.
You must consent to the collection and processing of your personal data (including valid photo ID, video images of your person, workspace, and/or room in your home or office), and biometrics (i.e. facial recognition technology), as required by BPS.
You must remove your eyeglasses for close visual inspection (i.e., rotating 360 degrees). These inspections will take a few seconds and will be done at check-in (and again upon return from breaks) before you begin or resume testing to ensure you do not violate any security protocol.
Jewelry outside of wedding and engagement rings is prohibited. Please do not wear other jewelry during testing. Hair accessories, ties and bowties are subject to video inspection. Use of ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, tie clips, cuff links and other accessories are prohibited during testing, and you will be asked to remove these items. Violation(s) of this protocol may result in the termination of your examination and notification to BPS.
- PRIOR to launching your examination, you must download and install the ProProctor Application and perform a computer system check. It is highly recommended that you use your personal computer for LRP testing.
- An original, valid (unexpired), government issued photo and signature bearing ID is required to take an examination. You will be required to show your workspace and surrounding area using your webcam.
- You will be required to raise your pants legs above your ankles, empty and turn all pockets inside-out and raise shirt sleeves above your wrists prior to every entry into the virtual test center.
- If you are wearing eyeglasses, you will be required to remove them for 360-degree visual inspection to ensure they do not contain any recording device(s). Large jewelry items must be removed from your person prior to and throughout the duration of the examination.
- If you have long hair that covers your ears, you will be asked to pull your hair back to ensure nothing is affixed or embedded in your ear(s).
Requests for special accommodations will be reviewed by BPS staff on a case-by-case basis and addressed as per existing BPS policy.
Please note that leaving the camera view while the examination is in progress, except for an approved break (please see policy on Unscheduled Breaks) is strictly prohibited. Changing location while testing, turning off lighting or audio, speaking to or receiving aid from other individuals is also strictly prohibited.
Unauthorized personal items must not be accessible while testing. Such items include, but are not limited to outerwear, hats, food, drinks, purses, bags or briefcases, notebooks, watches, cell phones, electronic devices, calculators, mechanical pens and pencils, or wearable technology.
Candidates are not permitted to access any personal items or electronic devices at any time during the examination, even while on break. If observed with these items, the exam will be terminated, and the candidate will not be allowed to reschedule in the same window.
Eating, drinking, smoking, and chewing gum are prohibited during the examination.
Written notes, published materials, or other testing aids are prohibited.
Light clothing items removed for comfort such as sweaters, suit jackets, scarves, etc., must be hung on the examinee’s chair, not placed in laps or on the workstation desktop. Outerwear such as heavy coats, parkas, raincoats, etc., is not permitted in the testing area.
The remote proctoring application, computer-based test delivery system, tutorial, examination content, and surveys are the published, confidential, and proprietary materials or intellectual property of Prometric and/or BPS.
Communicating, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting any part of an examination, in any form or by any means (e.g. verbal, electronic, written, etc.) for any purpose is strictly prohibited. ANY reproduction or disclosure will result in immediate notification to BPS and potential filing of administrative, civil, and/or criminal charges against you and anyone directing or conspiring with you.
Candidates outside of the U.S., Canada, or Australia are not eligible for the LRP testing pilot at this time. Violation of this policy (i.e., candidates outside of the U.S., Canada, or Australia testing using LRP) will subject test results to invalidation or other appropriate action.
The policy on the use of scratch paper (i.e., dry erase board) for in-center testing is described in another section. Please note that the testing engine used by Prometric contains an online calculator for use during the testing session. The use of a separate calculator is strictly prohibited.
The policy on the use of scratch paper for LRP candidates is described below:
- Two pieces of blank, candidate supplied, scratch paper (must be 8”x10” sheet of white paper) will be permitted by Prometric at the time of LRP test administration.
- Candidates must show the blank paper (front and back) to the proctor during check-in.
- Candidates are required to show Proctor both sides of scratch paper, then tear sheets into multiple pieces and discard them, before leaving exam.
- Mechanical pens and pencils are prohibited.
A candidate is not allowed to leave camera view without first notifying and being acknowledged by the Proctor. Failure to inform the Proctor prior to taking a break or failure to return on time, will result in an inability to complete the exam. Upon return, a full security scan will be conducted prior to resuming exam.
- Scheduled break-Certification Exams Only: One 30-minute scheduled break is allowed after section 1. Candidate may resume exam and start section 2 at any time during break. However, a proctor should be notified by the candidate.
- Unscheduled break– All Exams: One 10-minute optional unscheduled break is permitted, and a proctor should be notified.
- In both scheduled and unscheduled breaks, the candidate should notify the proctor and wait for confirmation before leaving the examination area, otherwise the examination may be terminated.
Unscheduled Departure from Camera View/Testing Area: If a candidate leaves the testing area during exam at any time without first notifying Proctor, the Proctor will note the time of departure and terminate the exam immediately.
As a condition of selecting LRP, candidates must have access to reliable high-speed internet service and computer equipment and acknowledge that neither Prometric nor BPS bears responsibility for any candidate’s computer malfunctions, internet service issues, or power outages, should any arise. In the unlikely event that an LRP examination is interrupted for more than 10 minutes (including, but not limited to, extended power outage, loss of internet connection), the examination session will be terminated, and a report filed with BPS. If the candidate is disconnected or disrupted, for whatever reason, after three occurrences, the examination will be terminated. To maintain the security of sensitive examination content, candidates will not be permitted to re-test in the current examination window. However, each case will be reviewed, and after review, candidates may be granted an opportunity to register to retake an examination in a future testing window.