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Continuing Education Requirements

IC 25-1-4; 856 IAC 1-26

Continuing professional education means accredited post-licensure professional education experience derived from participation in postgraduate studies, institutes, seminars, lectures, conferences, workshops, and other forms of educational experiences so as to maintain the professional competency of the practice of pharmacy, improve pharmacy professional skills, and preserve pharmaceutical standards for the purpose of the protection of the health and welfare of the citizens of Indiana.

Requirements to Maintain Licensure
All Indiana pharmacists are required to complete thirty (30) hours of continuing education each biennium in order to renew their pharmacist license.  However, if a pharmacist maintains an “Inactive” status on their pharmacist license, then s/he is not required to complete continuing education for renewal.

The continuing education biennium is the time period of January 1 of even-numbered years through December 31 of the following odd-numbered year. Pharmacists must renew their licenses on or before June 30 of even-numbered years.  [The biennium for the June 30, 2016 renewal is January 1, 2014-December 31, 2015].

No hours may be carried forward from one biennium to another.  HOWEVER, if the pharmacist fails to meet the requirements during the biennial period, the pharmacist may earn and report sufficient hours during a succeeding biennium and apply the CE retroactively to the previous biennium as if they had been earned in that previous biennium.  In the event the pharmacist applies credits to a previous biennium, those hours cannot be used for any other biennium.  [If the pharmacist is renewing in 2016 and only completed 25 hours of CE from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2015, s/he can take the remaining 5 CE hours in 2016 as long as s/he does so prior to submitting the renewal.  These 5 CE hours absolutely cannot be included with the next CE biennium, January 1, 2016-December 31, 2017, for the 2018 renewal.]

Failure to comply with the continuing education requirements while continuing to hold a license as a pharmacist in Indiana shall constitute professional incompetence by failing to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice.

Newly Licensed Pharmacists
If licensed more than six (6) months, then you must complete 1.25 hours of CE for each month or part of month from date of licensure until the end of the biennium.

If licensed less than six (6) months in the biennium, then no CE is required to be completed for this biennium. [If the pharmacist license was issued on or after July 1, 2015, then there is no CE requirement for the 2016 renewal.]

Breakdown of Continuing Education Hours
A minimum of twenty-four (24) hours (4/5 of required CE hours) must be pharmacy related.
A maximum of six (6) hours (1/5 of required CE hours) can be business, management or computer-related.
At least fifteen (15) hours (1/2 of required CE hours) must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

How to Obtain Hours
CE is acceptable for renewal if it is a program approved by the Board or is a course taken through an approved organization [as listed below] and is designed to directly enhance the pharmacist’s knowledge and skill in the practice of pharmacy.  

CE may be transferred from another state to Indiana as long as that state recognizes Indiana CE hours for pharmacists.

The following is a list of approved organizations in accordance with IC 25-1-4-1:

  1. U.S. Department of Education
  2. Council on Post-Secondary Education
  3. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals
  4. Joint Commission on Healthcare Organizations
  5. Federal, state, and local government agencies
  6. A college or other teaching institution accredited by the US Department of Education or the Council on post-secondary education
  7. A national organization of practitioners whose members practicing in Indiana are subject to regulation by a board or agency regulating a profession
  8. A national, state, district, or local organization that operates as an affiliated entity under the approval of an organization listed in subdivisions 1-7
  9. An internship or a residency program conducted in a hospital that has been approved by an organization listed in subdivisions 1-7
  10. Any other organization or individual approved by the Board.  

Other CE That May Be Approved by the Board
Accredited hours may also be obtained in the following ways:

  1. Distance education;
  2. In-company professional seminars;
  3. Programs sponsored by professional groups in public health provider services;
  4. Business, management, and computer courses;
  5. Postgraduate coursework in pharmaceutical sciences; and
  6. Other programs and experiences that meet the definition of continuing professional education.

If the pharmacist has attended a program that has not yet been approved by the Board, you may submit the CE Application to apply for credit.

Continuing Education Certificates of Completion
The pharmacist is not required to submit copies of their certificates of completion for continuing education courses when they renew their license. The pharmacist shall retain copies of these certificates for a period of 3 years from the end of the licensing period for which the continuing education applied. The pharmacist shall provide the Board with copies of the certificates of completion upon the Board's request for a compliance audit.

CE sponsors are also required to retain a file of those who completed their CE for a period of 4 years

Continuing Education Compliance Audit
The Board requires a practitioner to comply with the following renewal requirements:

  1. The pharmacist shall provide the board with a sworn statement executed by the practitioner that the practitioner has fulfilled the continuing education requirements required by the board, this is part of the renewal application online or on the paper renewal application.
  2. The pharmacist shall retain copies of certificates of completion for continuing education courses for four (4) years from the end of the licensing period for which the continuing education applied.

Following every license renewal period, the board will randomly audit actively licensed pharmacists to verify compliance with the continuing education requirements.  The practitioner shall provide the board with copies of the certificates of completion upon the board's request if they are selected in the compliance audit.

Upon conclusion of the compliance audit, pharmacists who fail to meet the continuing education requirement will be issued a Notice of Non-compliance that will include assessment of a penalty fee and require the completion of the required continuing education.

CPE Monitor
The Indiana Board of Pharmacy is pleased to introduce you to the new CPE (Continuing Pharmacy Education) Monitor being launched as a new joint service provided by the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) and ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education).  This service is being provided free of charge to all licensed pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians that hold a license in the state of Indiana.  The Board encourages all licensees to follow the appropriate link provided below and set up your e-Profile today! 

Additionally, the Board anticipates utilizing these services provided by NABP and ACPE to assist with continuing education audits in future renewals and as they continue evaluating changes to how CE credits can be earned and reported to the Board.  While this is not yet a requirement for ongoing licensure in the state of Indiana, the Board will be heavily relying on information provided via this service to monitor completion of your CE requirements for renewal.

To learn more about the CPE Monitor or to set up your e-Profile and start tracking your CE credits electronically, please see the information provided in the directions provided at the NABP website.

Questions
Continuing education questions may be directed to the Board at 317.234.2067 or by e-mail at
pla4@pla.IN.gov.