Psychiatric Pharmacy

Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification (BCPP)

Target Population:Pharmacists who have met the eligibility criteria and who design, implement, monitor, and modify pharmacotherapeutic treatments for persons with mental health challenges.

Program Purpose: To validate that the psychiatric pharmacist has the advanced knowledge, skills, and experience to optimize safety and outcomes for persons with mental health challenges.

Currently there are more than 1,500 BPS Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists.

Psychiatric Pharmacy Council Members

The purpose of the BPS Specialty Councils is to develop standards and eligibility requirements for board certification, develop examinations and passing standards for certification, and review and approve professional development programs for recertification of board-certified pharmacist. Specialty council members are at the heart of the peer-reviewed and peer-developed nature of BPS Board Certification.

Kelly Gable, [Chair]PharmD, BCPP

Gable is a Professor and the Director of Well-being and Resilience at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy. She received her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and PharmD from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. She completed a specialty residency in Psychiatric Pharmacy at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. She is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). She currently practices as a behavioral health consultant at a Federally Qualified Health Center in St. Louis, Missouri, with focus areas that include treatment of substance use, mood, anxiety, personality, and psychosis-related disorders. She routinely provides trainings in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Informed Care, and harm reduction.

Emma Palmer, [Vice Chair]PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

Palmer is Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and adjunct faculty at the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development. She received her PharmD at MCPHS University, completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Massachusetts and a PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy residency at the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare system. Her current practice is focused on treatment of adults at a UC Health partnered free-standing non-profit psychiatric treatment center in greater Cincinnati.

Elayne D. Ansara, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

Ansara is a Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner in Mental Health within the VISN23 Clinical Resource Hub through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her primary practice is within the geropsychiatry consult team. She received her PharmD from Purdue University, completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Resident at Indiana University Health and her PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency at Eskenazi Health/Purdue University, both in Indianapolis. Her current practice interests include neurocognitive disorders, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. She maintains board certification in both Pharmacotherapy and Psychiatry.

Lindsey N. Binns, PharmD, MS, BCPP

Binns is a Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner practicing in mental health at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her BS in biology and chemistry at Western Kentucky University, her MS in chemistry at Vanderbilt University, and PharmD from University of Cincinnati. She completed her PGY1 residency at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, KY and PGY2 Psychiatric pharmacy residency at the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System. Binns serves as a subject matter expert in both mental health and mental health/pharmacogenomics at the VA.

Michelle Chu, PharmD, BCACP, APh

Dr. Michelle Chu is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at USC School of pharmacy. She went to the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Pharmacy and completed postgraduate residency training in ambulatory care pharmacy practice at the USC School of Pharmacy. She has developed several clinical pharmacy services at various health systems, including telehealth. She is currently a director of PGY1 + PGY2 pharmacy residency in ambulatory care and practices at a primary care clinic at a county medical center, training pharmacy residents.

Calvin Daniels, PharmD, PhD, BCPPS, DPLA

Daniels is a Clinical Pharmacist in Medication Safety and Informatics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He received his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his PharmD from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. He completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency at Children’s of Alabama and a PGY2 Medication-Use Safety Residency at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His practice and research focus on improving the safety of clinical decision support within medication-use systems.

Amber Douglass
Amber R. Douglass, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

Douglass is a Mental Health Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner at the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System / VISN 1 Clinical Resource Hub. She provides virtual care for Veterans with various mental health and substance use disorders in the outpatient setting in the New England states. Douglass is also engaged in teaching activities for Belmont University College of Pharmacy and the Meharry Medical College Psychiatry Residency Program. She received her PharmD from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and completed a PGY1 residency with Sullivan University / Central State Hospital in Louisville, KY.

Farah Khorassani, PharmD, BCPP

Khorassani is a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. She received her PharmD from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, MA. She completed a PGY1 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a PGY2 in Psychiatric Practice at University of North Carolina. She previously served on faculty at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Currently, she practices as an inpatient clinical pharmacist at UCI Health and is a certified mental health first aid instructor. Her research interests include long-acting injectable antipsychotics and student mental health.

CDR Anna Santoro, PharmD, MA, BCPP, BCGP, NCPS

CDR Santoro is an officer in the US Public Health Service, assigned to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). In the BOP, CDR Santoro is a Clinical Psychiatric Specialist at Federal Medical Center (FMC) Devens in Ayer, MA and serves as a Regional Psychiatric Consultant. She developed the BOP’s first Psychiatric Pharmacy Program, and assisted with the national expansion of pharmacy mental health services, including the Mental Health Consultant program, serving 122 institutions. Additionally, CDR Santoro is the lead consultant for pain management and for the Memory Disorder Unit at Devens, the BOP’s only dedicated unit for inmates with dementia.

Richard J. Silvia, PharmD, BCPP

Silvia is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the MCPHS School of Pharmacy in Boston and Clinical Psychiatric Pharmacist. He also practices at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, MA, maintaining a busy collaborative practice in integrated behavioral health within the center’s primary care clinics. Silvia earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Rhode Island and completed a two-year residency/fellowship in psychiatric pharmacy through the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT and the University of Connecticut.

Sheryl Thedford, PharmD, PhD, BCPS, BCPP

Thedford is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP). She received her BA from Grinnell College, her Doctorate in Physiology from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and her PharmD from UMSOP. She completed ASHP-accredited residencies at Shenandoah University (PGY-1) and UMSOP (PGY-2 Psychiatry). She serves adult inpatients of all ages in acute and continuing care at a large Maryland State Psychiatric Hospital. She is a preceptor for the ASHP-accredited PGY-2 in Psychiatric Pharmacy for UMSOP in Geriatric and Continuing care rotations. Dr. Thedford maintains Board Certification in both Pharmacotherapy and Psychiatry.

Eligibility Requirements

An applicant for board certification in Psychiatric Pharmacy must demonstrate all of the eligibility requirements listed below. For examinations in the windowed testing format, all practice and education eligibility requirements must be met prior to sitting for the initial certification examination. For examinations in the continuous testing format, all practice and education eligibility requirements must be met before submitting the application. Once all of the requirements below are met, an applicant will be deemed eligible to sit for the Psychiatric Pharmacy specialty certification examination. If an applicant achieves a passing score on the Psychiatric Pharmacy specialty certification examination, they may use the designation Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist, or BCPP.

  • Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a program outside the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in the jurisdiction.
  • A current, active license/registration to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  • Demonstration of practice experience1 in one of three ways:
    • At least four years of Psychiatric Pharmacy practice experience1 within the past seven years, with at least 50% of time spent in the scope defined by the exam content outline; or
    • Successful completion of PGY1 pharmacy residency2 within the past seven years, plus at least two years of Psychiatric Pharmacy practice experience1 with at least 50% of time spent in the scope defined by the exam content outline; or
    • Successful completion of PGY2 pharmacy residency in Psychiatric Pharmacy within the past seven years.

1All practice experience must be completed post-licensure/registration as a pharmacist. All applicants intending to demonstrate eligibility for any BPS certification examination utilizing the practice experience pathway must provide an attestation from their employer, on company letterhead, that verifies this experience accurately represents at least 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. For more information, click here. A sample employer verification letter is available here.

2American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited/candidate status PGY1 pharmacy residency, residencies accredited under the ASHP Accreditation Standard for International Pharmacy Practice Residency Programs, or Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board (CPRB)-accredited Year 1 pharmacy residency.

The rationale for the appropriateness of the requirements for BPS certification programs are based upon the following:

  • BPS recognizes individuals who graduate from a recognized school or college of pharmacy within the candidate’s jurisdiction. Those jurisdictions recognize and evaluate programs on the extent to which it accomplishes its stated goals and is consistent with the concept that pharmacy is a unique, personal service profession in the health science field. In the United States, the responsibility for recognizing schools and colleges of pharmacy falls to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
  • The rationale for requiring licensure or registration of pharmacists within their jurisdiction is based upon the fact that for public protection, all pharmacists must be licensed or registered. This is considered a baseline requirement to be a pharmacist specialist. In the United States, BPS recognizes the licensure process administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) aims to ensure the public’s health and safety through its pharmacist license transfer and pharmacist competence assessment programs. NABP’s member boards of pharmacy are grouped into eight districts that include all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and all 10 Canadian provinces.
  • The experiential component is required to help assure practical application of components of the specialty knowledge being certified. There are multiple pathways to meet the practice experience requirement. The faster eligibility pathways recognize accredited residencies through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). The ASHP residency accreditation program identifies and grants public recognition to practice sites having pharmacy residency training programs that have been evaluated and found to meet the qualifications of one of the ASHP’s residency accreditations standards. Thus, accreditation of a pharmacy residency program provides a means of assurance to residency applicants that a program meets certain basic requirements and is, therefore, an acceptable site for postgraduate training in pharmacy practice in organized health care.
  • Passing the BPS pharmacy specialty examination helps assure knowledge consistent with the validated content outline for the BPS specialty.

The appropriateness of the BPS program requirements are consistent with the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy’s Resource Paper titled: Scope of Contemporary Pharmacy Practice: Roles, Responsibilities, and Functions of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians.

Upcoming Deadlines

Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for the BCPP examination can find more information about examination dates and fees for certification examinations here

Candidate's Guide

The Candidate’s Guide is intended for use by pharmacists who are interested in becoming certified as specialists by BPS in any of the BPS-recognized specialty practice areas. To review critical information for BPS Certification Examinations, visit this page.

Content Outline for BCPP

For the Fall 2023 Examination, refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline found in the BCPP Examination Specification document for details.

For the 2024 Examinations and forward, refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline found in the here for details.

Please note that the Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification and Recertification examinations transitioned to continuous testing starting in 2023. To learn more about the transition to continuous testing, click here

Important Resources

Preparatory Courses for BCPP Examinations

Certification is a significant differentiator, and the rigorous exam process requires concentrated study. Successful candidates are well prepared, and a number of available resources can assist pre-qualified applicants.

Suggested preparation for the examination might include:

  • The study of journal articles, textbooks or other publications related to the Content Outline.
  • Attendance at continuing education programs and courses in specialized pharmacy practice.
  • Participation in study groups and examination preparation courses.
  • Reviewing the sample examination items provided in order for candidates to familiarize themselves with the various item formats which are presented on the exam. Sample question performance should not be interpreted as an indicator of exam performance.

 

To maintain its strict, independent standards for certification, BPS does NOT provide review information, preparatory courses, or study guides. However, such materials are available from outside organizations, state or local professional associations and colleges of pharmacy. Potential applicants may contact the professional associations noted below for additional study resources.

The Board of Pharmacy Specialties provides the following program listing for informational purposes. This list is not an exhaustive list of options available for examination preparation. BPS does not endorse or provide preparatory courses for Board Certification Examinations.

Psychiatric Pharmacy

BPS partners with Prometric to provide the examination. BPS does not have any other partnerships for the certification or recertification application process. BPS partners with professional development program (PDP) providers to provide continuing education (CE) for recertification and the relationship is noted here. Any organization claiming a relationship with BPS for the application process or providing CE labeled ‘BPS-approved’ outside of the organizations listed should be reported to BPS immediately.

Certification for Applicants Outside the U.S.

BPS would like to offer some helpful tips to candidates outside of the United States in order to make their application experience easier. To learn more about applying for board certification as a pharmacist outside of the U.S., visit this page.

Apply for ADA Accomodations

BPS complies with the relevant provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For applicants looking to request special accommodations in their application process, more instructions can be found on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

After review of the BPS Candidates Guide and specialty certification page, some applicants may still have questions. Visit this page to see frequently asked questions from pharmacists pursuing board certification like you!

Sample Examination Items

Sample Items for BCPP Examinations

The sample examination items for BCPP examinations are made available by BPS for the purposes of familiarizing certification candidates and other stakeholders with the structure and format of BPS Certification Examinations. This is not meant for use as a self-assessment. Performance on any of these items does not correlate with performance on the actual examination.

The content of these examples is meant to be illustrative of actual examination items, but these items do not appear on the certification examination and are not meant to identify the scope of the examination. For a more comprehensive indication of the scope of the certification examination, please refer to the BCPP Exam Content Outline.

Examination items are in multiple-choice format. The great majority of examination items are multiple-choice with a single response from among four options. Some examinations may include a small percentage of items that require selection of multiple (three or four) responses from among a larger set of available (up to eight) options. Examinations items may also be supplemented by an image.

View the examination items down below.

A patient presents to an inpatient psychiatric unit expressing a desire to stop drinking and appears anxious and trembling. The patient reports consuming 4200 mL of beer and 750 mL of bourbon every day for the past 2 weeks. The last drink was taken 12 hours ago. Laboratory values are normal except for the AST 180 units/L and the ALT 280 units/L. Which of the following is the appropriate initial treatment for this patient?

Carbamazepine
Acamprosate
Lorazepam
Naltrexone

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which is an accurate statement regarding the use of fluoxetine in patients with borderline personality disorder?

Fluoxetine has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in borderline personality disorder in well-controlled clinical trials.
The risks of using fluoxetine in borderline personality disorder outweigh the potential benefits.
The efficacy of fluoxetine has been demonstrated in small trials; it may help alleviate some symptoms.
Fluoxetine has been approved by the FDA for treating borderline personality disorder.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 7-year-old child with separation anxiety disorder has partially responded to the Coping Cat cognitive behavioral therapy program. Which oral medications should be added?

Sertraline 25 mg daily
Fluoxetine 20 mg daily
Paroxetine 10 mg daily
Venlafaxine ER 37.5 mg daily

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 62-year-old patient with prostatic hypertrophy and multi-infarct dementia becomes disoriented and agitated, with apparent auditory hallucinations. Clozapine 25 mg by mouth twice daily is ordered, and two doses are administered within 12 hours. The next morning, the patient falls upon arising, has a blood pressure of 100/50 mm Hg, and reports urinary hesitancy. What is the most likely cause of this reaction to clozapine?

Alpha1-adrenergic and muscarinic blocking effects
Muscarinic and serotonergic blocking effects
Alpha1-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects
Alpha2-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which baseline monitoring parameter is recommended for patients who are initiated on atypical antipsychotic medications?

Waist circumference
Echocardiogram
Thyroid-stimulating hormone
Prolactin

Correct!

Incorrect!

Remission in clinical trials for major depressive disorder is defined as:

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) score of 7 or less.
Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score of 16 or less.
reduction of symptoms by at least 20%.
reduction of symptoms by at least 50%.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A study of the effects of paroxetine on serum sodium revealed that in a group of five healthy volunteers, the mean serum sodium concentration was 140 mmol/L before treatment and 138 mmol/L after treatment with paroxetine. The results of a paired Student's t test revealed that the serum sodium concentrations before and after treatment were not significantly different (p = 0.15). What conclusion may be drawn from the results of this experiment?

There is at least a 15% chance that the difference between the groups did not occur by chance alone.
The number of subjects in the study was insufficient to preclude type II error.
The statistical method used was not appropriate.
Although not statistically significant, the difference is probably of clinical significance.

Correct!

Incorrect!

Genetic testing for HLA-B*1502 allele to reduce the risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in persons with Asian ancestry has been established and is recommended for which of the following?

Divalproex
Levetiracetam
Topiramate
Carbamazepine

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which supplement is most likely to cause a manic episode?

Glucosamine and chondroitin
Omega 3 fatty acids
Melatonin
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate statement regarding suicide and antidepressant medications?

Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those aged 24 years and older.
Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those between 10 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides in those between 14 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides especially after 6 months of treatment.

Correct!

Incorrect!

When are research protocols that involve procedures with more than minimal risk acceptable to perform on children?

The risk/benefit ratio is difficult to predict when compared to available alternatives.
The level of risk and experiences is comparable to those of children with the same disorder who are not enrolled in the study.
The protocol has been reviewed and approved by the principal investigator.
Adequate provisions have been made for obtaining informed consent from the child and caregiver.

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate description of the National Alliance on Mental Illness?

A for-profit education organization that provides educational programs such as On Campus
A lobbying organization that represents individuals with mental illness and advocates for crisis teams
A national organization that provides support to individuals who are homeless due to mental illness
A non-profit education, advocacy, and research organization for all individuals with mental illness

Correct!

Incorrect!

A psychiatric pharmacist who is reviewing dispensing errors notes that, in 10 incidents over the past 3 months, levofloxacin 500 mg and levetiracetam 500 mg have been confused for each other. Pharmacist A was responsible for seven of the errors, Pharmacist B for two, and Pharmacist C for one. Which of the following is the best recommendation for the future?

Implement therapeutic interchange of moxifloxacin for levofloxacin.
Require indications on every medication container and educate staff.
Restrict dispensing of medication to technicians with pharmacist verification.
Implement disciplinary action on Pharmacist A.

Correct!

Incorrect!

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Psychiatric Pharmacy Sample Questions

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Recertification Requirements for BCPP

Pharmacists who earn the designation Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist® (BCPP) are required to maintain their certification over a seven-year period by completing one of the following recertification pathways: 

Option One: Recertification Examination

  • For BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2023 or earlier: Achieve a passing score on the recertification examination administered by BPS.

  • For BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2024 or later: Achieve a passing score on the recertification examination administered by BPS 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 assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs or self-reported CPD must be reported each year.

OR

Option Two: Professional Development Program

  • For BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2023 or earlier: recertification via professional development program requires 100 units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs offered by:

    • The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP)

    • The Psychiatric Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course offered by any of the approved providers may be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year certification cycle. The course offered by AAPP is a two-year product released at the start of even years (2022, 2024…). Given this revision cycle, individuals cannot repeat the same edition of the Review Course for BCPP recertification.

  • For BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2024 or later: recertification via professional development program requires 100 units, comprised of 80 units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs offered by:

    •  The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP).

    • Additionally, 20 units of continuing professional development (CPD) must be completed and self-reported in MyBPS. For more information on CPD, review the FAQ. To maintain an active certification in good standing, a minimum of two units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs or self-reported CPD must be reported each year.

    • The Psychiatric Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course offered by any of the approved providers may be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year certification cycle. The course offered by AAPP is a two-year product released at the start of even years (2022, 2024…). Given this revision cycle, individuals cannot repeat the same edition of the Review Course for BCPP recertification.

 

Year certified/recertified

New cycle start

(begin earning recert units)

Cycle expiration

(deadline to meet recert reqs)

Units required 

(PDP = professional development program)

20161/1/201712/31/2023100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20171/1/201812/31/2024100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20181/1/201912/31/2025100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20191/1/202012/31/2026100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20201/1/202112/31/2027100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20211/1/202212/31/2028100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20221/1/202312/31/2029100 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP
20231/1/202412/31/2030100 units (80 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP + 20 units CPD)
2024 onward1/1/2025 onward12/31/2031 onward100 units (80 units assessed CPE via BPS-approved PDP + 20 units CPD)

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

Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists® are required to pay the BPS Annual Certification Maintenance fee of $125 each year for years one through six and the $400 recertification fee in year seven. Individuals with more than one BPS certification are assessed one BPS Annual Certification Maintenance Fee each year. 

Upcoming Deadlines

Candidates are required to recertify every 7 years. Certificants must submit their recertification application no later than the deadline of August 4. BPS encourages candidates to submit their recertification application as early as January 1 of their recertification year.

Candidates who intend to recertify via examination should note the availability of the recertification examination and related application deadlines. Candidates recertifying their BCPP credential by examination can find more information about examination dates and fees here

Candidates who intend to recertify via continuing education (CE) MUST submit their recertification application by the deadline date of August 4 even if they have not completed their CE requirements.

The deadline to complete the required CE for recertification is December 31 for all specialties. The board-certified pharmacist is responsible for submitting an application that is completely and accurately filled out. Incomplete and/or unpaid applications will not be processed.

Recertification Guide

The Recertification Guide is intended for use by candidates renewing their certification. To review critical information for recertifying with the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, visit this page.

CPE Providers

BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2023 or earlier: recertification via professional development program requires 100 units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs offered by:

The Psychiatric Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course offered by any of the approved providers may be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year certification cycle. The course offered by AAPP is a two-year product released at the start of even years (2022, 2024…). Given this revision cycle, individuals cannot repeat the same edition of the Review Course for BCPP recertification.

 

BCPP with certification beginning January 1, 2024 or later: recertification via professional development program requires 100 units, comprised of 80 units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs offered by:

Additionally, 20 units of continuing professional development (CPD) must be completed and self-reported in MyBPS. For more information on CPD, review the FAQ. To maintain an active certification in good standing, a minimum of two units of assessed CPE from BPS-approved professional development programs or self-reported CPD must be reported each year.

The Psychiatric Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course offered by any of the approved providers may be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year certification cycle. The course offered by AAPP is a two-year product released at the start of even years (2022, 2024…). Given this revision cycle, individuals cannot repeat the same edition of the Review Course for BCPP recertification.

Content Outline for BCPP

For the Fall 2023 Examination, refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline found in the BCPP Examination Specification document for details.

For the 2024 Examinations and forward, refer to the Psychiatric Pharmacy Content Outline found in the here for details.

Please note that the Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification and Recertification examinations transitioned to continuous testing starting in 2023. To learn more about the transition to continuous testing, click here

Important Resources

Apply for ADA Accomodations

BPS complies with the relevant provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For applicants looking to request special accommodations in their application process, more instructions can be found on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

After review of the BPS Recertification Guide and specialty page, some applicants may still have questions. Visit this page to see frequently asked questions from pharmacists renewing their board certification like you!

Important Resources

Sample Items for BCPP Examinations

The sample examination items for BCPP examinations are made available by BPS for the purposes of familiarizing certification candidates and other stakeholders with the structure and format of BPS certification examinations. This is not meant for use as a self-assessment. Performance on any of these items does not correlate with performance on the actual examination.

The content of these examples is meant to be illustrative of actual examination items, but these items do not appear on the certification examination and are not meant to identify the scope of the examination. For a more comprehensive indication of the scope of the certification examination, please refer to the BCPP Exam Content Outline.

Examination items are in multiple-choice format. The great majority of examination items are multiple-choice with a single response from among four options. Some examinations may include a small percentage of items that require selection of multiple (three or four) responses from among a larger set of available (up to eight) options. Examinations items may also be supplemented by an image.

View the examination items down below.

A patient presents to an inpatient psychiatric unit expressing a desire to stop drinking and appears anxious and trembling. The patient reports consuming 4200 mL of beer and 750 mL of bourbon every day for the past 2 weeks. The last drink was taken 12 hours ago. Laboratory values are normal except for the AST 180 units/L and the ALT 280 units/L. Which of the following is the appropriate initial treatment for this patient?

Carbamazepine
Acamprosate
Lorazepam
Naltrexone

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which is an accurate statement regarding the use of fluoxetine in patients with borderline personality disorder?

Fluoxetine has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in borderline personality disorder in well-controlled clinical trials.
The risks of using fluoxetine in borderline personality disorder outweigh the potential benefits.
The efficacy of fluoxetine has been demonstrated in small trials; it may help alleviate some symptoms.
Fluoxetine has been approved by the FDA for treating borderline personality disorder.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 7-year-old child with separation anxiety disorder has partially responded to the Coping Cat cognitive behavioral therapy program. Which oral medications should be added?

Sertraline 25 mg daily
Fluoxetine 20 mg daily
Paroxetine 10 mg daily
Venlafaxine ER 37.5 mg daily

Correct!

Incorrect!

A 62-year-old patient with prostatic hypertrophy and multi-infarct dementia becomes disoriented and agitated, with apparent auditory hallucinations. Clozapine 25 mg by mouth twice daily is ordered, and two doses are administered within 12 hours. The next morning, the patient falls upon arising, has a blood pressure of 100/50 mm Hg, and reports urinary hesitancy. What is the most likely cause of this reaction to clozapine?

Alpha1-adrenergic and muscarinic blocking effects
Muscarinic and serotonergic blocking effects
Alpha1-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects
Alpha2-adrenergic and histamine blocking effects

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which baseline monitoring parameter is recommended for patients who are initiated on atypical antipsychotic medications?

Waist circumference
Echocardiogram
Thyroid-stimulating hormone
Prolactin

Correct!

Incorrect!

Remission in clinical trials for major depressive disorder is defined as:

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) score of 7 or less.
Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score of 16 or less.
reduction of symptoms by at least 20%.
reduction of symptoms by at least 50%.

Correct!

Incorrect!

A study of the effects of paroxetine on serum sodium revealed that in a group of five healthy volunteers, the mean serum sodium concentration was 140 mmol/L before treatment and 138 mmol/L after treatment with paroxetine. The results of a paired Student's t test revealed that the serum sodium concentrations before and after treatment were not significantly different (p = 0.15). What conclusion may be drawn from the results of this experiment?

There is at least a 15% chance that the difference between the groups did not occur by chance alone.
The number of subjects in the study was insufficient to preclude type II error.
The statistical method used was not appropriate.
Although not statistically significant, the difference is probably of clinical significance.

Correct!

Incorrect!

Genetic testing for HLA-B*1502 allele to reduce the risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in persons with Asian ancestry has been established and is recommended for which of the following?

Divalproex
Levetiracetam
Topiramate
Carbamazepine

Correct!

Incorrect!

Which supplement is most likely to cause a manic episode?

Glucosamine and chondroitin
Omega 3 fatty acids
Melatonin
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate statement regarding suicide and antidepressant medications?

Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those aged 24 years and older.
Antidepressants have been associated with increased suicidality in those between 10 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides in those between 14 and 24 years old.
Antidepressants have been associated with completed suicides especially after 6 months of treatment.

Correct!

Incorrect!

When are research protocols that involve procedures with more than minimal risk acceptable to perform on children?

The risk/benefit ratio is difficult to predict when compared to available alternatives.
The level of risk and experiences is comparable to those of children with the same disorder who are not enrolled in the study.
The protocol has been reviewed and approved by the principal investigator.
Adequate provisions have been made for obtaining informed consent from the child and caregiver.

Correct!

Incorrect!

What is an accurate description of the National Alliance on Mental Illness?

A for-profit education organization that provides educational programs such as On Campus
A lobbying organization that represents individuals with mental illness and advocates for crisis teams
A national organization that provides support to individuals who are homeless due to mental illness
A non-profit education, advocacy, and research organization for all individuals with mental illness

Correct!

Incorrect!

A psychiatric pharmacist who is reviewing dispensing errors notes that, in 10 incidents over the past 3 months, levofloxacin 500 mg and levetiracetam 500 mg have been confused for each other. Pharmacist A was responsible for seven of the errors, Pharmacist B for two, and Pharmacist C for one. Which of the following is the best recommendation for the future?

Implement therapeutic interchange of moxifloxacin for levofloxacin.
Require indications on every medication container and educate staff.
Restrict dispensing of medication to technicians with pharmacist verification.
Implement disciplinary action on Pharmacist A.

Correct!

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Psychiatric Pharmacy Sample Questions

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