Maintaining Certification

Maintenance of Certification

BPS requires all board-certified specialists to recertify every seven years. Recertification assures the public and the profession that certified practitioners undergo periodic evaluation. The purpose of recertification is to help ensure that the credential holder demonstrates a continued commitment to maintaining and further developing the competencies necessary for safe and effective practice in that specialty area. BPS defines continuing competence as the board certified pharmacist’s ability to maintain knowledge, skills, or abilities demonstrated at the time of initial certification throughout the time the board certified pharmacist maintains active board certification status.

Pathways to Maintaining Certification

Achieve passing score on a specialty certification examination and report 20 units of continuing professional development (CPD) by the end of the 7 year recertification cycle.

Complete at least 80 units of assessed continuing pharmacy education (CPE) from BPS-approved professional development programs and report 20 units of continuing professional development (CPD) by the end of the 7 year recertification cycle.

Annual Certification Maintenance Fee 

All BPS-certified pharmacists are required to register annually with BPS and pay a $125 USD annual certification maintenance fee. An invoice will be sent to each certificant via email in May of every year of the certification cycle including the first year. The $125 USD annual fee is not required in the last year of a certification cycle. Payment is due within 45 calendar days of that email notification. Pharmacists holding more than 1 BPS certification are assessed only one annual fee but are required to submit the $400 recertification fee with their recertification application for each specialty. 

Failure to pay the annual fee results in removal of the individual’s name from BPS’ official list of certified pharmacists. This list of BPS-certified specialists “in good standing” is published on the BPS website. Upon applying for recertification, all outstanding annual fees and a $5 USD penalty fee for each late payment will be due. Failure to pay the annual certification maintenance fees may result in suspension of the certification. 

Request for Extension

If a certified pharmacist fails to successfully complete the recertification process, extension of certification may be granted for a one-time only, one-year period, at the sole discretion of BPS, while the individual seeks to successfully complete the process. Click here for more details on submitting a request for extension.

Failure to Complete the Recertification Process

If a BPS certified specialist does not apply for recertification, the individual will be removed from the official roster of board certified specialists. Once a BPS-certified specialist has been deleted 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.

For full details regarding recertification, please refer to the BPS Recertification Guide.

Find Specialty Specific Requirements for Achieving Certification and Maintaining Certification

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What is Continuing Professional Development?

BPS defines continuing professional development (CPD) as a commitment to lifelong learning. Various pharmacy organizations worldwide have used the following definitions:

The Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE) defines CPD as:

“a self-directed, ongoing, systematic and outcomes-focused approach to lifelong learning that is applied into practice. It involves the process of active participation in formal and informal learning activities that assist individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and supporting achievement of their career goals.”

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) defines CPD as:

“the responsibility of individuals pharmacists for systematic maintenance, development and broadening of knowledge, skills and attitude to ensure continuing competence as a professional, throughout their careers.”

The CPD cycle includes several phases, beginning with an assessment of learning needs and goals (REFLECT). Then, outcomes-based learning objectives, priorities, and a timeline are generated (PLAN). Activities, resources, and various learning methodologies are identified and utilized to meet the learning objectives (LEARN). Finally, learning objective outcomes and impact are evaluated (EVALUATE), leading to reflection and the continuum begins again. A key to the CPD approach is connecting learning to practice (APPLY). Each stage of the CPD process should be recorded in a personal learning record or portfolio and reviewed periodically for progress.
The updated recertification framework will begin by applying to board-certified pharmacists who start a new recertification cycle in 2024. Pharmacists newly certified in 2023, or board-certified pharmacists completing a recertification cycle in 2023, will be the first cohort. The framework will then be applied each year until it is applicable to all board-certified pharmacists in 2030.

Year Certified or Recertified Certification Cycle Start Date (begin earning recertification units) Certification Cycle Expiration Date (deadline to complete recertification requirements) New CPD-Recertification Framework Effective Date
2016 January 1, 2017 December 31, 2023 January 1, 2024
2017 January 1, 2018 December 31, 2024 January 1, 2025
2018 January 1, 2019 December 31, 2025 January 1, 2026
2019 January 1, 2020 December 31, 2026 January 1, 2027
2020 January 1, 2021 December 31, 2027 January 1, 2028
2021 January 1, 2022 December 31, 2028 January 1, 2029
2022 January 1, 2023 December 31, 2029 January 1, 2030
2023 January 1, 2024 December 31, 2030 January 1, 2031

This table is based on the typical seven-year certification cycle. Certificants who are granted a one time, one year extension will not be subject to the updated recertification framework (including CPD) until they begin a new recertification cycle after completion of the extension year.

CPD activities must correlate to the content outline domains of the specialty in which the individual holds BPS certification. BPS will conduct random audits of CPD activities to ensure appropriateness and alignment with the relevant specialty content outline. BPS will begin recognizing seven categories of activities under the initial CPD pilot.

  1. Assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development program
  2. CPE and CPD portfolios
  3. Academic, Professional, and Interprofessional Study
  4. Teaching and Precepting Learners
  5. Scholarly Activities
  6. Workplace Activities
  7. Leadership and Professional Service
Activity CategoryActivity DescriptionExample Evidence for upload (not exhaustive)Units Awarded*
Assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programIf desired, you may complete an additional 20 units of assessed CPE via BPS-approved professional development programs to satisfy the 100-unit recertification requirement. The necessary plan, reflect, and evaluate components MUST be completed regardless.Verified by BPS
1 contact hour (0.1 CEU)
will be awarded 1 unit
Activity CategoryActivity DescriptionExample Evidence for upload (not exhaustive)Units Awarded*Annual MaximumMaximum per Recertification Cycle
Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) and CPD portfoliosEarn CPE from provider (e.g., state associations, workplace education, certificate training programs)Certificate(s) of completion1 contact hour (0.1 CEU) will be awarded 1 CPD unit1010
Earn CPE or CPD based on local, state, provincial, workplace or institutional requirements utilizing recognized processes and learning plans (e.g., Iowa, Canada, Australia)Portfolio, certificate(s) of completion1 portfolio will be awarded 10 units1010
Academic, Professional, and Interprofessional StudyComplete post-graduate academic or professional courses from an accredited institution (e.g., MPH, MHA)Academic transcript, proof of enrollment1 course will be awarded 5 units510
Attain or maintain active status for non-BPS certifications (e.g., AAHIVP, CDCES, CNSC, BC-ADM)Certification verification document or link1 certification will be awarded 5 units510
Complete continuing education accredited for other healthcare professionals (e.g., ACCME, ANCC, AAPA, APA, CDR, BOC, ADA CERP)Certificate of completion1 credit hour will be awarded 1 unit1010
Teaching and Precepting LearnersDevelop and present educational content (e.g., college/university course lecture, continuing education, preparation/recertification course)Syllabus, course description from catalog1 hour of teaching will be awarded 2 units1010
Serve as a preceptor for students, residents, or other healthcare professionalsConfirmation from college of pharmacy, evaluation from student10 hour of precepting will be awarded 1 unit210
Scholarly ActivitiesServe as an author in a peer-reviewed journal article or book chapterDocumentation of authorship from publisher, copy of chapter page1 article or chapter will be awarded 5 units510
Serve as an author for a published bookDocumentation of authorship from publisher1 book will be awarded 10 units1010
Serve as an investigator for a submitted federal, state or national organization project, regardless of funding outcome.Letter of attestation from organization official, communication from granting agency verifying submission1 grant will be awarded 5 units510
Serve as an investigator on an IRB approved research project.Documentation of project, listing of investigator from IRB1 unique capstone, thesis, or dissertation will be awarded 5 units510
Complete a capstone project, thesis, or dissertation as part of post-graduate academic degree programDocumentation of project, thesis or dissertation from degree granting institution1 completed project will be awarded 5 units510
Workplace ActivitiesLead in-service training or Grand RoundsProgram announcement or presentation title with author, letter of attestation from management10 hours of participation will be awarded 1 unit210
Implement performance, practice, or clinical quality improvement projectLetter of attestation from management10 hours of participation will be awarded 1 unit510
Serve on institutional review board, P&T, medication safety, medication therapy management committee, or another similar committee.Letter of attestation from management10 hours of participation will be awarded 1 unit210
Leadership and Professional ServiceServe on a committee, editorial board, review board, workgroup, task force, board of directors (for local, state, provincial, national, or international healthcare-related organization)Letter of attestation from leadership, publication listing individual and corresponding position or role10 hours of participation will be awarded 1 unit210
BPS Specialty Council memberVerified by BPS, if submitted8820
BPS Job analysis panelistVerified by BPS, if submitted2210
BPS Standard setting panelistVerified by BPS, if submitted2210
BPS Item writerVerified by BPS, if submitted2210
BPS AmbassadorVerified by BPS, if submitted2210
BPS Content Contributor (e.g., podcast guest, blogger)Verified by BPS, if submitted122

* BPS will award CPD units for recertification purposes ONLY. The necessary Reflect, Plan and Evaluate components MUST be completed for CPD units to be awarded for recertification. If a certificant wishes to claim CPD activities for licensure or employer requirements, please contact ACPE, the state board of pharmacy, or the employer for information on requirements.

CPD activities should be reported in MyBPS within six months of the activity completion date. Neither the certificant nor the organization providing the learning opportunity is required to gain BPS approval prior to participating in or reporting CPD activities. BPS will conduct random, statistically significant audits to ensure activity appropriateness and alignment with the relevant specialty content outline.

 **The following steps will only appear in your MyBPS profile once you are subject to CPD requirements (see above “Who?” and “When?”). Steps are subject to change as the database undergoes updates.

To document CPD activities, log in to MyBPS. In the “Recertification” section, under the “Action” column, click “Report Activity.” Click the orange “Add Activity Record” button. Read the attestation before clicking the checkbox of acknowledgement. From the “Activity Type” dropdown menu, select the CPD activity you wish to report. Follow the instructions on the subsequent page and complete the required fields, including the Evaluate box. Upload your evidence of completion in the “Supporting documents” field by clicking the green “Add files” button. Click “Save” when you are ready to proceed.

To document your Annual Reflection & Plan, log in to MyBPS. In the “Recertification” section, under the “Action” column, click “report Activity.” Click the orange “Add Activity Record” button. Read the attestation before clicking the checkbox of acknowledgement. From the “Activity Type dropdown menu, select “Annual Reflection & Plan Submission.” In the “Date,” field, select a date within the year for which this reflection and plan are applicable. Respond to the Reflect and Plan prompts. Click “Save” when you are ready to proceed.

From the confirmation screen stating, “Record has been added,” you may click “Add new activity” to report additional CPD activities or click “Return to transcript” to review all CPE and CPD completed for recertification so far. If you notice an error in CPD activities that you’d like to correct, click the “Edit” tab.” In the action column, click “Edit/Del.” To delete the record, click “Delete record” above the “Activity Type” drop down. This cannot be undone. If you wish to edit the record, make appropriate changes and click “Save” when finished. CPD activities completed the year prior cannot be edited or deleted (i.e., 2024 activities cannot be edited/deleted in 2025).

Frequently Asked Questions