Pharm.D. accreditation standards being revised

March 21, 2005

For the first time since they were adopted in 1997, the standards governing the accreditation of pharmacy schools' Pharm.D. programs are being revised by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

For the first time since they were adopted in 1997, the standards governing the accreditation of pharmacy schools' Pharm.D. programs are being revised by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Looking to update the Pharm.D. accreditation standards and guidelines, ACPE has sent its proposed revision to pharmacy stakeholders seeking feedback on possible changes. ACPE had signaled its intention in March 2003 to conduct the revision in order to be in line with its policy of periodic reevaluation as required by the U.S. Department of Education.

While there are no wholesale revisions in the philosophy of the standards, some changes have been proposed. For instance, a new standard would require the institution housing the pharmacy school or the independent school to be accredited by a regional/institutional accreditation agency recognized by the Department of Education or another agency acceptable to ACPE. Another standard would require a student complaint policy, including procedures to be followed in the event of a complaint, student rights to due process, an appeal mechanism, and information on how students could submit a complaint to ACPE.

In addition to the standards, ACPE will be developing guidelines to help pharmacy schools figure out how to comply. ACPE will also be conducting formal hearings on the proposed standards throughout the year at several national pharmacy organization meetings. The timeline calls for ACPE to accept stakeholder comments through October, with final board approval slated for next January. The draft of the proposed revisions is posted at http://www.acpe-accredit.org/standards/default.asp