NABP provides the FPGEC Certification program as a means of documenting the educational equivalency of a candidate’s foreign pharmacy education, as well as the license and/or registration. In the process of FPGEC Certification, candidates provide documents that verify their educational backgrounds and licensure and/or registration.
The pharmacy program that each candidate completed must have been at least a four-year curriculum at the time of graduation. Beginning January 1, 2003, foreign-educated pharmacists will be required to have earned their professional degree from a five-year curriculum program in order to apply for FPGEC Certification. The program change affects only those foreign-educated pharmacists who have earned a pharmacy degree after January 1, 2003. These pharmacists must have graduated from a five-year degree program. The new curriculum requirements do not apply to foreign-educated pharmacists who have earned a four-year degree prior to January 1, 2003. These individuals will remain eligible for the FPGEC Certification under the current program requirements.
Candidates must pass the FPGEE and obtain a total score of 550 or higher on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 213 or higher on the computer-based TOEFL. Candidates must also pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a score of 50 or higher. The TOEFL and TSE must be successfully completed within two years (either before or after) of passing the FPGEE. The TOEFL and TSE must be completed by all foreign pharmacy graduates, even those who are native English speakers. At present, 49 states recognize FPGEC Certification as a prerequisite for pharmaceutic licensure. The FPGEC Certificate is not a license to practice pharmacy. Applicants who receive the FPGEC Certificate may be qualified by the state boards to take the pharmacy licensing examination in those jurisdictions that accept this certification. A few states, however, may also approve foreign graduates who are not FPGEC-certified on the basis of their credentials. For information, contact the appropriate state board of pharmacy office. Because the licensure requirements vary from state to state, candidates are advised to directly contact the board(s) of pharmacy of the state(s) in which they desire licensure.
The FPGEE is a full-day, computer-based examination that is administered on a continuous basis five to six days per week at LaserGrade Test Centers throughout the United States. To be considered for approval to sit for the FPGEE, candidates must submit a completed application or registration form, fees, and supporting documentation in accordance with the procedures established by the FPGEC. If you are already in the United States, your temporary visa like H-1B will be converted into permanent residence visa. This process is known as adjustment of status. You can also obtain visas for your family members.
After living for a few years in the United States, you can apply for citizenship if you fulfill some requirements
The FPGEC reviews:
Your licensure and/or registration
Refer to the FPGEC Application Bulletin to see if you meet the requirements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Web site.
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.
FPGEC Certification Timeline
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). 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 (US). 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.
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 Web site and will not be mailed.
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. 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.
Effective April 1, 2010, the TOEFL iBT is the only English language proficiency examination accepted. Paper-based TOEFL and TSE score reports are only accepted from candidates who applied for FPGEC Certification before April 1, 2010, and took the TOEFL and TSE examinations before June 30, 2010.
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. 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.
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
E-mail: [email protected]
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.
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