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ACPE Recognizes Canadian Accreditation Decisions

Kate Traynor

The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) recently decided to recognize the accreditation decisions of the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy.

This decision means that people who hold a baccalaureate-level degree from a CCAPP-accredited pharmacy program are no longer classified as foreign graduates by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Thus, Canadian pharmacy-school graduates can be licensed as pharmacists in the United States without undergoing Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee certification.

Specific decisions about the licensure of baccalaureate-level Canadian pharmacy-school graduates are left to state boards of pharmacy and must comply with each state's pharmacy practice act.

Recognition of Canadian accreditation is effective from 1993, when CCAPP first began approving pharmacy-education programs, through June 30, 2004. On this date, ACPE stops accrediting baccalaureate-level pharmacy programs in the United States and abroad.

ACPE's recognition of CCAPP-approved programs does not confer U.S. accreditation to the Canadian pharmacy schools, because ACPE did not evaluate the individual pharmacy-education programs. Instead, the recognition means ACPE acknowledges that CCAPP's accreditation decisions are based on standards equivalent to or better than ACPE's expectations for schools that the U.S.-based organization accredits.

NABP last year passed a resolution urging ACPE and CCAPP to "mutually recognize their respective standards, processes, and outcomes" for the accreditation of pharmacy programs in the United States and Canada. NABP also resolved to encourage state boards of pharmacy to amend their regulations to allow graduates of CCAPP-accredited pharmacy programs to be eligible to take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination without first obtaining Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee certification.