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The FPGEC Certification Program
NABP assists graduates of foreign pharmacy schools in more than 200 countries as they work toward becoming licensed pharmacists in the United States. All 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico require graduates of pharmacy schools that are not based in the US to achieve Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) Certification before applying for a license from a state board of pharmacy. Contact the state board of pharmacy for specific requirements as each state’s requirements differ. Some states, for example, exempt graduates of Canadian pharmacy schools from this requirement.
The FPGEC reviews:
- Your education
- Your licensure and/or registration
Refer to the FPGEC Application Bulletin to see if you meet the requirements.
NABP is aware of Web sites that are posting NABP documents, such as examination registration bulletins, without NABP authorization. In some cases, the material that is posted on such sites may be outdated and/or incorrect. Please ensure that you visit www.nabp.net to obtain current, official NABP documents and materials or contact NABP customer service if you have any questions.”
As part of the program, you must pass the following examinations:
- Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE)
- You may not take the FPGEE until your education and licensure and/or registration have been reviewed and approved.
- TOEFL iBT
- You may take the TOEFL iBT at any time in the process
Certification ensures that a foreign pharmacist’s education meets acceptable requirements as compared to the education that US-educated pharmacists are expected to have before they practice as licensed pharmacists.
The FPGEC Application Bulletin details all requirements of the certification process; reviewing the Bulletin is the first, and most important, step in the application process.
The FPGEC Certificate is not a license to practice pharmacy; however, all 50 states, the District of Columba, Guam, and Puerto Rico require a foreign pharmacy school graduate to achieve FPGEC Certification as part of their licensing requirements. Visit the board of pharmacy Web site for state-specific license requirements. Each state has different requirements, and you will be required to pass additional examinations as part of the state’s license application process.
To apply for FPGEC Certification you must be a graduate of a recognized or accredited school of pharmacy and provide documentation that you are licensed and/or registered for unrestricted practice of pharmacy in a foreign country or jurisdiction.
Graduated on or after January 1, 2003
If you graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy on or after January 1, 2003, you must have completed at least a five-year pharmacy curriculum. For example, a five-year BSc in pharmacy, a five-year BPharm, or a five or six-year PharmD.
Pre-pharmacy coursework completed at the university level as part of admission into the university’s pharmacy program may be considered during the evaluation of a candidate’s education. However, coursework and internships completed after graduation will not be considered as part of the five-year pharmacy curriculum requirement.
Consideration of post-baccalaureate degrees and whether such a degree may be applicable to the five-year pharmacy curriculum requirement will be determined on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the FPGEC. Post-baccalaureate degrees (such as a MSc or PhD) will not be considered except under limited circumstances where the degree obtained and coursework completed to obtain the degree satisfactorily show that the candidate obtained experience in patient care in a clinical pharmacy practice setting.
See the FPGEC Application Bulletin for more information.
Graduated before January 1, 2003
If you graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy before January 1, 2003, you must have completed at least a four-year pharmacy curriculum.
For details about application requirements, review the section on FPGEC and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) application procedures in the FPGEC Application Bulletin before applying for FPGEC Certification. An incomplete or incorrect application will result in a delay in the process.
The FPGEC application is available for download in the FPGEC section of the NABP website.
Once completed, the FPGEC application should be submitted to NABP along with:
- Payment (Refer to the Application Bulletin for fee information.)
- Two identical, full-face photographs of passport size and quality
- Documentation of license and/or registration as a pharmacist in your country of practice
- A certified photocopy of a current photo identification such as a driver's license, passport, or state-issued identification card
- Please note: As of July 1, 2013, FPGEC fees increased. More information is available in a news article.
See the FPGEC Application Bulletin for more information about the requirements.
Note: The previously offered Scantron application will no longer be accepted.
Education Credentials/General Evaluation Report
As part of your application to the FPGEC Certification Program you must also complete an application with Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) for an evaluation of your educational credentials. This application can be submitted at the same time as your FPGEC application.
Detailed instructions on what you need to submit to ECE are covered in the FPGEC Application Bulletin, but be prepared to submit the following to ECE:
- Documentation of education including official transcripts
- Proof of degree
- Photocopy of your pharmacy degree
- Translation of non-English documents
- Payment of $85 for the General Evaluation Report
When ECE has completed your General Evaluation Report, ECE will forward one copy of the report to the FPGEC along with your supporting educational documents.
All official documents must be submitted to the FPGEC in an envelope sealed by the issuing body. A seal, stamp, or signature of an official must be placed across the flap closure and the envelope to ensure the confidentiality of the documents inside. You can request that the issuing body send the official, appropriately sealed documentation directly to the FPGEC, or you can request that the issuing body send them to you so that you can forward them to the FPGEC. Envelopes that are not sealed as specified in the FPGEC Application Bulletin or that appear open or tampered with, will not be accepted. Download the image of an appropriately sealed envelope (PDF) for an example.
The FPGEC evaluates each application and supporting documentation and the ECE General Evaluation Report for accuracy, authenticity, and fulfillment of certification requirements. If your application does not meet requirements, you will be notified and will be asked to correct those deficiencies.
If your application to the FPGEC Certification Program meets requirements, you will receive a letter of acceptance to sit for the FPGEE.
Awarding FPGEC Certification
FPGEC Certification is awarded once you fulfill the requirements as stated in the FPGEC Application Bulletin. Certification ensures that you have met the educational requirements of the FPGEC, and have successfully passed the FPGEE and the TOEFL iBT. Visit the board of pharmacy Web site for specific licensing and internship requirements in the state or jurisdiction where you wish to pursue licensure.
The Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) evaluation process is time intensive, and the length of time it takes to become FPGEC certified extends for an even longer period of time when documents are missing or incorrectly submitted. NABP suggests that you ensure that the necessary information is properly submitted. For your convenience, the following guidelines provide an indication of how long each step of the certification process may take to complete.
The FPGEC Application Bulletin provides valuable information on applying for FPGEC Certification and should be used as the primary source of information to guide you through the process.
Initial Evaluation (Approximately Six Weeks)
The evaluation process for the FPGEC starts when you send your applications, fees, and supporting documents to NABP and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Documentation may be submitted to FPGEC and ECE at the same time. See the section on FPGEC and ECE application procedures in the FPGEC Application Bulletin for more information on what you need to submit to each organization. (Note: If you wish to receive confirmation your materials have been received by the FPGEC, materials should be sent via registered mail or private courier service.)
The first evaluation of your application and supporting documentation will be completed within six weeks of the date of receipt.
Additional Evaluation (Approximately Six Weeks)
Each time you must resend any supporting documents for re-evaluation, it will take six additional weeks for the FPGEC to evaluate new documents. Processing delays can be reduced by closely following the document submission requirements stated in the section on Documentation of Pharmacist Credentials in the FPGEC Application Bulletin.
Common Delays to the FPGEC Certification Timeline
If you receive an evaluation status letter stating that your supporting documentation does not meet FPGEC requirements, you have three months to address the issues noted in the letter. Each time you submit corrected documents for re-evaluation, it will take six additional weeks for the new documents to be evaluated.
Mail Delivery (Up to 30 Business Days)
Allow 30 business days for NABP to receive correspondence that is sent internationally and 10 business days for NABP to receive correspondence sent within the United States. Please allow the same amount of time for correspondence sent from NABP to you.
Approved to Take the FPGEE
When you have completed all of the necessary requirements, you will be sent an acceptance letter giving you the information that you need to register for the next Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE). You will also receive an identification card. You are required to present this card on the day of testing at the Pearson VUE professional testing center. If you do not present the card on the test day you will not be able to test. Acceptance letters and identification cards are sent to approved candidates several months before the next FPGEE is held. The FPGEE is administered twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Please keep in mind that the examination registration deadline is approximately two weeks before each FPGEE administration. Consult the NABP Web site for specific dates.
Important note: If you have an address outside of the US and are trying to register online with Pearson VUE, you will need to register over the phone by calling their customer service department directly at 888/709-2679.
Retrieving FPGEE Scores After Testing (Approximately Eight Weeks After Testing)
Scores for the FPGEE are available approximately eight weeks after each examination. The scores are available on the NABP website and will not be mailed. The minimum acceptable passing score for the FPGEE is 75.
Taking the TOEFL iBT
All candidates for the FPGEC Certification Program must complete the English language proficiency requirements as indicated in the FPGEC Application Bulletin. There are no exceptions or waivers to these requirements. You may take the TOEFL iBT examination at any point during the FPGEC Certification process. NABP receives the TOEFL iBT score results approximately seven weeks after testing. These scores are time sensitive and must be submitted in accordance with the policies located in the FPGEC Application Bulletin.
Discussing the TOEFL iBT with NABP
Because TOEFL iBT scores are sent to NABP seven weeks after testing, Customer Service cannot answer any questions before that time. Any inquiries about the TOEFL iBT sent to the FPGEC before that time period will not be addressed.
Additionally, NABP cannot inform you if you did not pass the TOEFL iBT and cannot provide your individual score reports. To determine if you passed or failed, please reference the English language proficiency score requirements indicated in the FPGEC Application Bulletin.
Final Evaluation (Up to 10 Weeks)
After you successfully complete the FPGEE and TOEFL iBT, your file undergoes a final evaluation. This final evaluation can take up to 10 weeks. At this time, the FPGEC reserves the right to request additional documentation for your program file as needed. Your FPGEC Certificate will not be mailed to you until the final evaluation is successfully completed.
Mail Delivery (Up to 30 Business Days)
Again, please allow an additional 30 business days for international mailing time and 10 business days within the US.
After Receiving FPGEC Certification
Once you receive your FPGEC Certificate, please contact the board of pharmacy in the state where you wish to obtain your pharmacist license to receive information about that state’s requirements for internship and licensure. NABP also advises that you check the state’s eligibility requirements for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) before registering for those examinations.
It is important during this process to reference the FPGEC Application Bulletin policies related to file closures. Candidates are required to adhere to these policies to avoid negative repercussions to their program files, including disqualifications to the program.
How to communicate with NABP Customer Service and the FPGEC
Communicating with NABP Customer Service
Customer Service can only assist with basic program information including requests to change mail and e-mail addresses, processing payment receipts, and resending letters that you may not have received because of an insufficient address.
To ensure the privacy and protection of all candidates, Customer Service can only respond to questions from candidates, and cannot speak or correspond with anyone calling or writing on a candidate’s behalf. NABP considers security of customer information to be one of its highest priorities. Consequently, Customer Service agents will not provide any personal information to callers who are unable to provide the necessary security answers.
Only the FPGEC can answer questions relating specifically to the application process, the candidate file, and disputing an evaluation status letter. The FPGEC will answer such questions in writing and will send those responses through US mail.
To Contact Customer Service
Communicating with the FPGEC
Please note that communication with the FPGEC may only be done in writing, not via telephone or e-mail.
Writing to the FPGEC
Your written communications to the FPGEC may be mailed or faxed.
If you send a fax to the FPGEC inquiring about any of the following topics, a written response will be mailed within six weeks.
- Questions regarding your FPGEC file
- Disputing the decision of the FPGEC regarding your application or documents
- General inquiries regarding your documents
In all written communications with the FPGEC, use your full name as it appears on the application form.
The FPGEC uses the address on the application form for all communication. You must notify the FPGEC in writing of any mailing address changes. Include both the previous and current addresses in the notification.
Your Signature is Required
All communications submitted via fax, mail, or private courier service must be personally signed by you, the candidate. The FPGEC will not respond to unsigned communications.
Again, your written communications to the FPGEC may be mailed or faxed. A fax may be used for any type of question, including questions on a specific application, provided the candidate signs the fax.
Send official inquiries and submissions to:
1600 Feehanville Drive
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
It may take an additional 30 business days for international mail to be delivered and 10 business days for mail sent within the US.
The FPGEC cannot be responsible for delayed, lost, or misdirected mail. If you want a receipt showing that the FPGEC received your communication, send your correspondence via private courier service or United States Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.
Due to the high volume of correspondence received, the FPGEC and Customer Service are unable to confirm receipt of faxes and mail.