Continuing Education


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The Iowa Board of Pharmacy requires 30 contact hours of pharmacist continuing education (CPE) for every two-year renewal period. New pharmacists obtaining license by examination in Iowa shall be exempt from continuing education requirements for their first license renewal.

“Renewal period” means the 27-month period commencing April 1 prior to the previous license expiration and ending June 30, the date of current license expiration.

Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities that carry the seal of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited provider will automatically qualify for Iowa pharmacist CPE credit. At least 15 hours of the required 30 hours of pharmacist CPE shall be in ACPE-accredited activities dealing with drug therapy topics. The last two digits of the universal activity number will be 01 or 02.

ACPE-accredited activity numbers with the letter L refer to live courses, H refers to home study or other mediated courses, and C refers to courses combining live and home study or mediated components. The final two numeric characters in the activity number identify the primary program topics: 01 = drug therapy/disease state management, 02 = AIDS therapy; 03 = law (related to pharmacy practice), 04 = general pharmacy, and 05 = patient safety. ACPE-accredited activity numbers ending in 01 or 02 qualify for drug therapy. A final character "P" designates the target audience is licensed pharmacists and a final character "T" indicates the activity is intended for pharmacy technicians. A pharmacist may use only pharmacist (P) courses to fulfill the continuing education requirements.

Pharmacists are also required to obtain two contact hours of CPE in pharmacy law. Law CPE must be from ACPE-accredited provider activities. The universal activity number for a pharmacy law activity will end in 03.

Two contact hours of CPE dealing with patient or medication safety are also required for pharmacist license renewal. These hours may be obtained from ACPE-accredited providers (universal activity numbers ending in 05) or from non-ACPE provider activities pursuant to subrule 2.12(2), paragraph "b".

Up to 13 CPE hours may be obtained through completion of activities provided by an accredited CME or other health professions provider if the activity content directly relates to the pharmacist's professional practice. CPE obtained via accredited healthcare providers other than ACPE must document and report CPE via a continuing professional development portfolio pursuant to rule 657-2.17(272C), CPE offered by a non-accredited provider will not be accepted toward fulfilling pharmacist CPE requirements.

A pharmacist currently enrolled in health-related graduate studies may apply for exemption from continuing education requirements during the period of that enrollment. Exemption may be prorated based on the period of enrollment and the license renewal period. Applications for exemption from CPE requirements should be completed as soon as possible following enrollment in the graduate program. Applications for exemption submitted with license renewal applications may delay the renewal processes beyond license expiration.