Frequently Asked Questions
International Residency Accreditation FAQs
Accreditation is a process used by health care organizations worldwide to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve. ASHP accreditation of pharmacy residency programs is an important driver for excellence, serving as a bridge between education and practice.
Your residency program has established policies and procedures. Accreditation can provide you the assurance that you meet high-level standards set by a recognized, external organization such as ASHP. It's like the difference between telling someone that you are smart, and showing them your pharmacy (training) credentials. It is the external stamp of approval on your pharmacy residency program, showing that you follow pharmacy experiential learning standards and best practices.
Accreditation is much more than credibility. The process of accreditation leads to greater efficiency and quality of patient care. The process of accreditation embodies continuous quality improvement and can result in elevation of the pharmacy and patient care services.
Ultimately, the goal of accreditation is to help you continually improve your pharmacy residency program. By achieving accreditation, you attain formal recognition of the high quality of experiential learning provided by your hospital pharmacy. Continued accreditation demonstrates your commitment to excellence and quality improvement and can enhance the credibility and value of the pharmacy services and training you offer, both within your organization and to the wider profession.
Accreditation seeks to enhance the quality of a program and organization by promoting self-evaluation, encouraging quality improvement, and providing public accountability by ensuring specific criteria are met. An accredited residency program builds on pharmacy education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists who are
- responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions and
- prepared to take a leadership role in advancing pharmacy practice in their country.
Hospitals with accredited pharmacy residency programs are publicly demonstrating their commitment to advancing pharmacy practice and providing high quality patient care. They join a community of over 2,000 sites throughout the world that have accredited programs.
International sites my seek accreditation of their pharmacy practice residency program using one of two entry level standards, depending on the best fit:
- ASHP Accreditation Standard for International Pharmacy Practice Residency Programs
- ASHP Accreditation Standard for Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) Pharmacy Residency Programs
ASHP staff are available to provide guidance when contacted by a prospective residency program representative and there is an initial assessment of the health care organization, pharmacy services, education systems in that country, plans for the prospective residency program, and other factors.
The accreditation process is composed of:
- Access to the online PharmAcademic residency program tool
- Pre-survey checklist and self-assessment questionnaire
- List of required documents
- On-site survey (remote surveys may be conducted when travel from the US is difficult)
Accreditation for a pharmacy practice residency program focuses on the delivery of the training program itself and includes a review of the pharmacy services. Hospital pharmacy services accreditation is an in-depth evaluation of each pharmacy service. The first step of the accreditation process for hospital pharmacy services is a review of all policies and procedures and other supporting documentation for compliance with the standards. The second step is an on-site survey in which the survey team reviews and tours all pharmacy operations and patient care areas, patient records, patient care services being performed, and employee records (pharmacy staff and select other hospital staff). The survey focus is evaluation of pharmacy staff roles in the delivery of pharmacy services to patients and other health care professionals, and their adherence to policies and procedures.
A one-time application fee and an annual accreditation fee are assessed.
For more information about international accreditation of hospital and health systems pharmacy services and international pharmacy residency programs, contact [email protected].