Become a Certified Pharmacy Executive Leader (CPELSM)

CPEL Seal ASHP’s new Certified Pharmacy Executive Leader (CPELSM) credential acknowledges your unique expertise as a pharmacy executive leader and communicates your value to colleagues, healthcare administrators, other health care professionals, and the public.

The CPELSM credential provides national recognition of core competencies in professionalism, leading people, leading the pharmacy enterprise, and leading within and across complex health care systems. The CPELSM also demonstrates your commitment to achieving and maintaining excellence in pharmacy leadership.

To apply for the CPELSM credential, candidates must meet all of the eligibility criteria and complete an online application. There is no fee to apply for the CPEL; the table below provides the other applicable fees. Applications will be approved by the ASHP Pharmacy Practice Accreditation Commission (PPAC). Approved candidates will participate in a multi-day in-person capstone at ASHP. Upon successful completion of the capstone, candidates will be awarded the CPEL credential for 7 years.

CPEL BadgeEligibility Criteria

To be considered for the CPELSM, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Current ASHP member at the time of application (with sustained membership throughout the certification period).
  • A valid and unrestricted license as a pharmacist in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  • Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a program outside the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in the jurisdiction.
  • Completion of an ASHP-accredited pharmacy residency or documentation of equal experience and qualifications.
  • Documented CPELSM competencies (See the Application Instructions for the questions included in the online application). 
  • Currently in an executive leadership position with a minimum of 5 years (post-residency) progressive and sustained leadership experience including significant managerial oversight in a healthcare organization resulting in advancing pharmacy practice and positive patient outcomes. If you do not work in a health system, but have within the last 3 years, you are still eligible to apply.
  • References (2) affirming CPELSM experience/oversight requirements.
  • Documentation of current (within past 2 years) volunteerism in healthcare-related organizations such as a charitable or professional organization where your contribution was not compensated (excluding precepting roles). 


Apply Online

All applications must be submitted online. Be prepared to upload your pharmacy license, CV and reference letters, during the online application.

Apply Online

View the application instructions, including narrative sections you may be required to complete, prior to applying online.  


Target Candidates

Leading hospitals and health systems must have strategic and innovative pharmacy executives who plan and oversee the design and operation of complex medication-use services or processes.  Leadership experience in the context of the CPEL credential is defined as an individual who is responsible for actively leading and participating in the pharmacy enterprise's and health system’s strategic planning and decision-making processes at senior levels. 

To be recognized as a Certified Pharmacist Executive Leader, applicants must have a minimum of 5 years (post-residency) of progressive and sustained leadership experience including significant managerial oversight in a healthcare organization resulting in advancing pharmacy practice and positive patient outcomes. Examples of leadership experience include:

  • Ensures the enterprise’s strategic planning leverages pharmacy services across the continuum of care to improve health outcomes.
  • Optimizes formulary management with an emphasis on procurement that is driven by clinical efficacy, patient outcomes and total cost of care.
  • Collaborates with executives within and external to the health system to build cross-functional relationships and align services with initiatives such as quality metrics and financial performance.
  • Advances patient care services through the promotion of pharmacy best practices by the creation and adoption of emerging technologies and innovative services.
  • Leads a culture that is conducive to the highest levels of patient care, employee retention, training and recruitment.  
  • Ensures a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment and supportive of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as employee growth, wellness, and resilience. 


About the Capstone

The capstone is the final required step for candidates to earn their CPEL credential. During this multi-day in-person program at ASHP, candidates will engage in facilitated case discussions based on the CPEL professional and leadership competencies. Candidates must participate in the capstone in its entirety. Upon successful completion of the capstone, candidates will receive their CPEL certification for 7 years.

Candidates who are approved by the ASHP Pharmacy Practice Accreditation Commission (PPAC) for the capstone must reserve their place in their selected capstone and pay the tuition fee of $500.00 to continue in the process to receive CPEL certification.  Capstone fees are subject to cancellation policies. If you must cancel participation in a confirmed capstone, your tuition payment can be applied to a future session provided cancellation is received at least 10 days prior to the capstone. Cancellations received within 10 days of the capstone will be charged a $100 processing fee.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and capstones will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Tentative capstone dates are below; additional sessions will be scheduled based on the total number of approved applicants.

Tentative Capstones at ASHP

  • May 6-9, 2024  (apply by March 25)

Capstone Travel Expenses

Candidates are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own travel, accommodation, and incidentals to participate in the capstone. ASHP will provide a list of local hotels. Lunches and beverages will be provided during the capstone as part of the tuition fee.  Participants are responsible for breakfasts  and dinners.


Request for Special Accommodations  

ASHP complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. No individual with a disability shall be deprived of the opportunity to participate solely by reason of a disability. ASHP will provide reasonable accommodation for a candidate with a disability who requests accommodation. 


CPEL Certification Fees

Action Fee Details
Application Fee $0 There is no fee to apply.
Capstone Fee $500.00 For initial certification only.
Annual Certification Fee $150.00/year During the 7-year certification term
Recertification Fee $600.00 Every 7 years to renew certification


Recertification Requirements

To recertify every 7 years, CPELs must pay the recertification fee ($600) and be a member of ASHP with a valid and unrestricted pharmacy license in the U.S. or another jurisdiction. CPELs must also complete an application documenting four (4) volunteer activities and key accomplishments during the certification term. Completion of ASHP-approved leadership professional development is also required (total of 60 points including a minimum of 30 points from live/in-person or live virtual activities).


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