BPS is the Board of Pharmacy Specialties and they are responsible for creating the certification exams, setting the passing score (historical pass rates) and managing the application process. There are a couple of planned BCPS application changes for 2019 and beyond. This actually affects all who are planning to take a pharmacist board certification exam, like BCPS, BCGP, BCACP, BCCCP etc. My understanding is this will also impact those who are up for recertification.
You used to have to attest that you spend 50% of your time as a pharmacist doing clinical activities that fall under the content outline for each respective BPS exam. This was simply a check box. If you are looking for the content outlines to help you prepare, you can find them at the BPS website. Many exam takers I’ve spoke to (usually pharmacists that have been more in a dispensing role) have always been confused by this question and questioned if they actually do enough of the activities represented in the content outline 50% of the time. I am aware of no one who has actually been audited on this. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I could imagine the logistics of BPS trying to verify this were very difficult.
With that stated, the BCPS application changes (and all other certification exams) are intended to verify that you actually do those activities 50% of the time. The changes include:
- The candidate for any pharmacist board certification must spend at least 50% of their time doing clinical activities as noted in each respective certification content outline that the pharmacist is applying for AND they now must get an employer to sign off on this.
- In addition, the employer and the work experience doing 50% of the activities listed above, must have been done within the last 7 years.
If I was looking to prepare for BCPS or another board certification exam in 2019, I would definitely have my ducks in a row. I have to believe before any application is going to be accepted, they are going to want that employer attestation. If looking to apply in 2019, I would strongly encourage you not to sign up last minute, because if there is any hitch in getting your employer to sign off, you may miss the boat and have to wait for the next application period which is usually about 6 months. Hopefully this reminder will help keep you on task in your pursuit of pharmacist board certification!
If you are looking for study materials in 2018-2019, we’ve developed a list of resources for: