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The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB) contracted with Comira Testing, to develop the examination component of the Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP) credentialing program. As the first component of examination development, Comira and SPCB conducted a job analysis to identify the critical job tasks required to perform the duties of CSPs. To ensure that the CSP examination will reflect the actual tasks performed by specialty pharmacists, Comira team members employed a content validation strategy to establish the link between the tasks performed by specialty pharmacists and the content being assessed on the CSP examination. To that end, subject matter experts (SMEs) in specialty pharmacy were consulted with to identify the essential tasks performed by specialty pharmacists.

This summary report describes the procedures used to conduct the job analysis and the development of test specifications for the Certified Specialty Pharmacist examination. The purpose of the job task analysis was to define current practice in terms of the critical tasks performed and skills needed by specialty pharmacists. This information was then used to establish the foundation of the test specifications for the CSP examination. The test specifications include the test blueprint and the content specification outline. The test blueprint is the list of content domains to be covered by the examination and the coverage weight of each content domain. The content specification outline is the list of essential job tasks falling within each content domain.

The CSP job analysis study was conducted over the period of October 2012 through March 2013, in four phases.


The job analysis began with background research and a series of interviews with specialty pharmacy subject matter experts (SMEs). During the interviews, SMEs were asked to discuss the important tasks performed in their role of a specialty pharmacist. They also described the goals and aims of a specialty pharmacist and, more specifically, how the specialty pharmacist achieves those goals through the application of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform relevant tasks. They were asked to consider their own abilities and experience, as well as the role of specialty pharmacist in general within the wider spectrum of different working characteristics such as ability level, amount of experience, and working environment.

The information collected during the interviews was aggregated and analyzed. The result was an initial draft of job task statements grouped into a set of content domains.

A panel of additional SMEs was convened to review and refine the initial list of task statements that was developed based on the SME interviews. This list was subsequently organized using a uniform structure and format. Validation of the initial list was performed by the SPCB Job Task Analysis (JTA) Panel, which reviewed the content domains and task statements for technical and conceptual accuracy, made revisions/additions/deletions as needed, and verified that the task statements had sufficient depth and breadth to support reliable item development for the SPCB examination. The result was 49 job task statements grouped into four task domains.

Table 1: JTA Panel Members

Name Title Organization
Alan Bleznick, BSPharm Pharmacist, Director of Operations Parkway Pharmacy
Sara Deno, PharmD Director of Clinical Services ESI
Meredith Fish, PharmD Clinical Pharmacist Specialist PerformRx
Krista King, PharmD, MPH, BCOP Director Specialty Pharmacy Strategy and Analytics OptumInsight
Stacey Ness, PharmD, MSCS Director of Clinical Services MHA
Jacqueline Nguyen, PharmD Clinical Operations Director Factor Support
Deborah Pechacek, RPh Manager Walmart Specialty Pharmacy
Scott Reid,   PharmD Consultant Consultant and Advisory
Gary Rice, RPh, MS, MBA VP Clinical Services Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
Cynthia Robbins, RPh, BSPharm VP Corporate Contracting BDI Pharma
Sejal Upadhyaya, PharmD, RPh Specialty Pharmacists Southside Pharmacy
Ken Wagg, RPh Account Manager Accredo Health Group
DZ Washington, PharmD Director of Pharmacy Physicians United Plan

The list of task statements formed the basis of an online survey questionnaire that was administered to a national sample of specialty pharmacy practitioners. 138 eligible pharmacists completed ratings on task importance and/or task frequency in addition to responding to a number of demographic items.

A second meeting of SME panelists was convened to review the results of the job analysis survey and to develop the recommended Certified Specialty Pharmacists (CSP) Examination Test Specifications. The methodology used for the job analysis study is consistent with the validation processes recommended in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999), published jointly by the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies’ Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs (2005). After reviewing the demographic characteristics of the survey respondents, the survey results, and the preliminary content weights, the JTA panel exercised their professional judgment to make adjustments based on their review and deliberations. The JTA panel worked together to achieve consensus and collaboratively finalize the CSP Examination Test Specifications.

Table 2: SME Panelists

Name Title Organization
Alan Bleznick, BSPharm Pharmacist, Director of Operations Parkway Pharmacy
Jeffrey Bourret, RPh, MS, FASHP Medical Lead, Specialty Payer & Channel Customer Services, Medical Affairs Pfizer, Inc.
Gary Cohen, BSPharm, RPh Executive Director Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board
Sara Deno, PharmD Director of Clinical Services ESI
Rosemary Kerwin, PharmD Clinical Director Community Specialty Pharmacy Network
Stacey Ness, PharmD, MSCS Director of Clinical Services MHA
Scott Reid,   PharmD Consultant Consultant and Advisory
Gary Rice, Rph, MS, MBA Vice President, Clinical Services Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
George Zula, RPh, MBA VP, Operational Programs and Solutions US Bioservices

The entire validation process incorporates the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999). The results from the job analysis survey establish the content-related validity of the certification program by identifying the important tasks performed and the requisite knowledge and skills to perform the tasks safely and competently. The results of the job analysis survey are the foundation for all aspects of the examination development process including item writing, item review, and test assembly and publication.

Table 3: Content Domains

I. Intake 25%

II. Clinical Management  40%

III. Fulfillment 25%

IV. Outcomes  10%