Summary of Certification Activities

Year Number of Exam Candidates Pass Rate
2013 16 75%
2014 66 70%
2015 40 75%
2016 93 68%
2017 86 72%
Total CSPs:  228

Why is my application locked?

Applications that are not completed and submitted by the application deadline will automatically lock. If you choose to delay submitting your application for a future testing window or need access to your application after it has locked, please email jmoore@naspnet.org to request access.

I paid the application fee. Why have I not received information on scheduling my exam session?

If you completed sections of your application and paid the testing or retesting fee, and you have not received a confirmation of your application submission, log back into your application, complete any remaining sections, and then click the orange “submit” button at the bottom of the application. SPCB will not receive your application until you complete this submission step. Please note that you will receive a payment confirmation email as well. However, only the application submission confirmation indicates that your application has been successfully submitted for review.

Additionally, if you selected for your employer to complete the electronic attestation of your work experience, your application will not be processed until the employer completes the attestation.

Upon review of your application, if additional information is required in order to approve it, you will be contacted by email. Please add jmoore@naspnet.org to your safe senders list to ensure receipt of important notifications.

Why didn’t I receive confirmation that my application was submitted?

You will receive an automated confirmation email when your application is submitted and a second email after your application has been processed. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your application to confirm that you clicked the orange “submit” button at the bottom of the form. We will not receive your application for processing until this step is complete. Please note that the email confirming payment is NOT a confirmation that your application was successfully submitted.

How do I schedule my exam session?

Once your application is successfully submitted, processed, and approved, you will receive an email with test scheduling instructions from SPCB’s testing partner, Comira.

How is the exam graded?

The exam is graded based on a pre-determined passing point established by a panel of subject matter experts. The passing score is based on the panel’s established difficulty ratings for each exam question. Under the guidance of our psychometrician, the panel develops and recommends the passing point which is reviewed and approved by the SPCB Board.

Do I have to pass each content area to pass the exam?

You do not have to pass a certain number of sections in order to pass the exam. Pass/fail status is determined by the total number of questions answered correctly. Feedback is provided in the four content domains only to give you an idea of how you performed in each content area.

Why isn’t the passing score in the Candidate Handbook?

It is the policy of the SPCB Board that the passing score for the exam is not published. The purpose of the CSP exam is to gauge whether or not test takers understand the key concepts represented on the content outline for the exam. Because all of the items on the content outline are essential the Board does not want to inadvertently convey the message that only a certain percentage of the outline must be studied in order to pass the exam or for test takers to attempt to only answer a certain percentage of test questions correctly.

Can I get a copy of the exam to review my answers?

We cannot release the exam or any portion of it under any circumstances. To do so would be a violation of our security procedures. Access to the examination is carefully controlled and limited to only those individuals who must have access for the purpose of examination development and quality control.

Should I take a review course or purchase study materials?

As a certification organization, SPCB’s role is in developing and administering the exam. The Board does not require, provide, or endorse any specific study guides or review courses.

How much does certification cost?

The cost for the initial exam is $550, or $500 for NASP members. The re-certification fee (due every 2 years) is $250. Fee information is included in the Candidate Handbook.

Are the exam questions disease state specific? 

A variety of disease states associated with Specialty Pharmacy are included in the exam questions. These include Inflammatory Diseases (RA, Crohn’s, Gout, Psoriatic, Arthritis), Oncology, Infectious Diseases (Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, etc.), Multiple Sclerosis, and other disease areas: Bleeding Disorders (Coag, Anti Coag, Hemophilia); Immune Deficiency (Ig, HAE, Alpha-1); Transplantation; Diabetes; Cystic Fibrosis; Infertility; Growth Deficiency; Blood Cell Deficiency. Please refer to the Exam Content Outline section of the Candidate Handbook for additional information.

I am not sure if my work experience will qualify, what is included in Specialty Pharmacy experience?

Specialty Pharmacy practice is defined as pharmacy practice that includes medications and pharmaceuticals that are high in cost, require special handling, are subject to limited or restricted distribution, require ongoing assessment, treat rare diseases, or require active monitoring of side effects; with an increased emphasis on patient management, medication adherence, collaboration with other members of the health care team, an ability to use metrics to drive optimization of patient care, and an ability to assist the patient to access additional supportive resources.

Specialty Pharmacy practice includes both operational and clinical pharmacists who dispense specialty pharmacy drugs as well as pharmacists who are responsible for the management or direction of specialty pharmacists / specialty pharmacies. As an example job titles may include, Staff Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacist, Specialty Pharmacist, Pharmacy Manager, Clinical Services Manager, Manger of Pharmacy Benefits, Director of Pharmacy, Director of Specialty Pharmacy Practice, Director of Clinical Services, Director of Pharmacy Operations, VP Pharmacy Operations, VP of Clinical Services, and VP of Specialty Pharmacy Development, Chief Pharmacy Officer, etc.

The 3,000 hour experience requirement includes time spent working in Specialty Pharmacy practice in a variety of capacities. For example, a pharmacist in a retail or hospital environment with 6,000 hours of work experience who spends approximately 50% of his/her time working with specialty pharmaceuticals would meet the requirement and should report only the relevant specialty practice hours.

What Continuing Education (CE) credits qualify for CSP recertification?

CSP’s are required to earn 30 CEs every 2 years. All CE credits must be ACPE accredited and must be directly related to Specialty Pharmacy. CE topics related to Specialty Pharmacy include: topics listed on the Content Outline (available in the Candidate Handbook), topics related to Specialty Pharmacy areas of focus (listed in the Recertification Handbook), and topics related Specialty Pharmacy medications and pharmaceuticals.

Specialty Pharmacy medications and pharmaceuticals that those that are high in cost, require special handling, are subject to limited or restricted distribution, require ongoing assessment, treat rare diseases, or require active monitoring of side effects; with an increased emphasis on patient management, medication adherence, collaboration with other members of the health care team, an ability to use metrics to drive optimization of patient care, and an ability to assist the patient to access additional supportive resources.