The FPGEC Certification Program
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 licensure requirements. Each state has different requirements, and you will be required to pass additional examinations as part of the state’s license application process. Some states, for example, exempt graduates of Canadian pharmacy schools from this requirement.
The FPGEC reviews:
- Your education
- Your licensure and/or registration
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 Certificate is not a license to practice pharmacy.
The FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin details all requirements of the certification process. Reviewing the Bulletin is the first, and most important, step in the application process.
Am I Qualified for FPGEC Certification?
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.
Minimum Curriculum Length
- Four-Year Degree: If you were issued a pharmacy degree prior to January 1, 2003, you must have completed a minimum four-year pharmacy curriculum at the time of graduation.
- Five-Year Degree: If you were issued a pharmacy degree on or after January 1, 2003, you must have completed a minimum five-year pharmacy curriculum at the time of graduation.
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.
See the FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin for more information.
Ready to Apply for FPGEC Certification?
For details about application requirements, review the section on FPGEC and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) application procedures in the FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin before applying for FPGEC Certification. An incomplete or incorrect application will result in a delay in the process.
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
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 Candidate 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 fee for the General Evaluation Report
You must request that ECE forward one copy of your General Evaluation 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 for an example.
Also, if your documents are not in English, you must follow translation requirements as outlined in the FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)
As part of the FPGEC Certification Program, you must take and achieve the minimal acceptable score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test (iBT). You must take the TOEFL iBT at an Educational Testing Service (ETS) test center located within one of the NABP member jurisdictions including the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and nine Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan). Check with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for dates and locations.
TOEFL iBT Passing Standards for FPGEC Certification
- Reading: 22
- Listening: 21
- Speaking: 26
- Writing: 24
Use institution code 9103 to have an official report of your TOEFL iBT scores mailed to the FPGEC.
You may take the TOEFL iBT at any time during the FPGEC Certification process; however, ETS will only forward score reports for up to two years following a test date.
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. Details about each step of the process and the approximate time to complete each step are available in the FPGEC Certification Timeline.
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 Candidate 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 website for specific licensing and internship requirements in the state or jurisdiction where you wish to pursue licensure.
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 mailing addresses, process payment receipts, and resend letters that you may not have received because of an insufficient address.
To ensure the privacy and protection of all applicants, Customer Service can only respond to questions received from the applicant and cannot speak or correspond with anyone calling or writing on the applicant’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 applicant 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 email.
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.
Policies related to file closures are included in the FPGEC Candidate Application Bulletin.
Your Signature is Required
All communications submitted via fax, mail, or private courier service must be personally signed by you, the applicant. 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 applicant 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.