Prevalence of and factors that influence board certification among pharmacy practice faculty at United States colleges and schools of pharmacy

Pharmacotherapy. 2013 Jan;33(1):105-11. doi: 10.1002/phar.1171.


Board certification is a means of demonstrating expertise above the minimum licensing standards. For many health care professionals, this credential is a necessity. As pharmacists become involved in more advanced patient care services, board certification becomes an essential component to ensuring quality care. The prevalence of United States pharmacy practice faculty members who are board certified, however, is unknown. In addition, to our knowledge, factors that serve to motivate or discourage faculty from obtaining board certification have not been previously described; thus, 900 pharmacy practice faculty members listed in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) online directory were invited to complete an online survey regarding motivators and barriers for board certification. In addition, a list of board-certified pharmacists, obtained from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, was used to check the board certification status of all pharmacy practice faculty members listed in the AACP directory. In 2011, the prevalence of board certification among the 2867 pharmacy practice faculty members was 37% (1063 pharmacists), with the highest prevalence found among assistant professors (39.4%). A total of 322 faculty members (36% response rate) completed the survey; of these, 308 self-identified as pharmacy practice faculty, and their responses were included in the analysis. Current board certification in pharmacy specialties was reported by 163 respondents (52.9%); 14 (4.5%) were previously certified. Among the 308 respondents, the most common perceived reason why pharmacy practice faculty become board certified was the desire to be recognized as an expert in the field (71.5%). Those who were currently board certified indicated personal growth as the most important reason (60.1%). Those previously certified indicated no perceived benefit as the most common reason for not recertifying (71.4%). Among those never certified, no perceived need (52.0%) or benefit (44.8%) were the most common reasons for not becoming certified; however, a majority of those never certified (68%) stated that they would become board certified if there was no associated cost and they were confident they would pass. To increase the prevalence of board certification in pharmacy practice faculty at U.S. schools and colleges of pharmacy, the benefits of this credential must be addressed at each institution. Steps should be taken to assist and encourage board certification.

MeSH terms

  • Certification / methods
  • Certification / standards*
  • Databases, Factual / standards
  • Faculty / standards*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Schools, Pharmacy / standards*
  • United States
  • Universities / standards*