As the 2018 exam season is winding down, participants for 2019 pharmacist board certification exams need to know some new information. This will help make sure you are prepared to take and pass the exam. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t update you on some information to help you get ready for 2019. Board certification will continue to be an important aspect of your resume/CV. Like it or not, many clinical job opportunities prefer you have a certification and some are even starting to require it.
For those seeking 2019 pharmacist board certification, the MAJOR change you need to be aware of is employer attestation. Here’s the language from the BPS Website:
“All applicants intending to demonstrate eligibility for any BPS certification examination with practice experience must provide an attestation from their employer that verifies this experience accurately represents 50% of time spent in some or all of the activities defined by the applicable certification content outline. In addition, this practice experience must have occurred within the seven years immediately preceding the application.”
This requirement used to be a candidate attestation and signature. My guess is that this became burdensome for BPS to audit and so they have transitioned to making you get your employer to sign off that you are doing these activities in your pharmacy practice.
Application – When to Apply
The application period for 2019 will open in January. I would strongly encourage early application when the window opens. This will allow you the best opportunity to pick when you would like to take your 2019 pharmacist board certification exam. This is critical if you have personal or professional plans in April/May as this is when the testing window most often falls. The application window for fall participants usually opens in the early/middle summer sometime, so stay tuned to the BPS website. At this time, there are still only two open testing periods (spring and fall). This remains unchanged for 2019 board certification exam participants.
Retaking an Exam in 2019?
For those that failed in 2018, and you still want to retake, I strongly encourage those pharmacists to get right back on the horse. You are incentivized financially to do so as the reapplication process is half of the cost of the initial application ($300 vs. $600).
I know many pharmacists have reached out to me in the past and many more will continue to do so because failure rates are high for these exams. Do not feel alone if you have failed your exam. They are difficult. Historically, approximately 1/3 will fail their initial certification exam. The BCGP pass rate was ridiculously low in the spring of 2018 and I will anxiously be awaiting to see if those results improve with the fall results. Results are usually released approximately a couple of months following closing of the testing window. I’d like to see this change, but understand that it might take BPS a little while to get their ducks in a row.
Top 5 Pharmacist Board Certifications
Historically, the top five most popular pharmacist board certifications have been:
- BCPS (overwhelmingly most popular)
I don’t really see much changing there for 2019.
Eligibility criteria for these exams has evolved over the years. For many of the exams, you need a residency and/or a certain amount of experience before you are eligible. Before applying, I would strongly encourage that you check. Go here, and pick the board certification that you are looking for to get more details. The content outline is also really important to review. I would make sure you do that before designing a study plan. I do have a free download for BCPS exam participants if interested in a sample study schedule. For those looking for study guide information see the bottom of this post.
Preparing for Your Exam?
I will have 2019 study material updates ready to go in October 2018! If you have already purchased the 6 month or 1 year All Access Pass, you should be good as long as you are not past the expiration date. If you are looking for prep materials, the All Access Pass is the best value for your money! They include practice exams, recorded lectures, and our statistics study guide.
- BCPS All Access – 6 months or 1 year access
- BCGP All Access – 6 months or 1 year access
- BCACP All Access – 6 months or 1 year access
- For other exams, we don’t have specific study material at this time, but stats plays a significant role on all pharmacist board certification exams. Our statistics study guide has been one of our most popular items. It is included with the All Access Pass if you are taking BCPS, BCGP, or BCACP.
Hopefully this is a helpful update for those of you seeking 2019 pharmacist board certification! Good luck on passing your exam!