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CA State Board of Pharmacy
Attn: CE Desk
2720 Gateway Oaks Drive, #100
Sacramento, CA 95833
The law(s) regarding continuing education (CE) are located in Business and Professions Code sections 4231 through 4234 and in California Code of Regulations sections 1732 through 1732.7 (see here for an electronic copy of the pharmacy lawbook).
Pharmacists are required to complete 30 hours of CE per renewal period (every two years) (see Business and Professions Code section 4231).
Advance Practice Pharmacists are required to complete 10 additional hours of CE per renewal period (every two years), for a total of 40 hours of CE. The subject matter of these 10 additional hours of CE shall be regarding an area of practice relevant to the licensee’s clinical practice (see Business and Professions Code section 4233).
CE coursework must pertain to the practice of pharmacy and be obtained from a provider who is recognized by one of the two accreditation agencies designated by the Board, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA). Per California Code of Regulations section 1732.2(b), CE courses are also considered approved if they pertain to the practice of pharmacy and are approved for CE by the Medical Board of California (MBC), California Board of Podiatric Medicine (BPM), California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), or Dental Board of California (DBC).
Mandatory CE Courses
Law and Ethics Requirement
In accordance with California Code of Regulations section 1732.5(b), at least two of the 30 CE hours required for a pharmacist’s license renewal must be completed by participation in the mandatory Board-issued law webinar and the mandatory Board-issued ethics webinar. This law became operative on July 1, 2019. Viewing both webinars will satisfy the two-hour law and ethics CE requirement. You may view these webinars on the Board’s website at any time; no registration is required: Law and Ethics Webinars. The Board’s law and ethics webinars are required for pharmacists only. No other licensees are required to complete – nor awarded CE credit by the Board for completing – the law and ethics webinars.
Note: The California State Board of Pharmacy is not an approved ACPE provider. The mandatory Board-issued law webinar and the mandatory Board-issued ethics webinar are required for your California pharmacist license renewal, but will not be submitted to the NABP and will not appear on your CPE monitor. For this reason, pharmacists are required to retain their law & ethics CE completion certificates for four years.
Cultural Competency Requirement
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code (BPC) sections 4202 and 4231, pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and advance practice pharmacists renewing their license after January 1, 2024 will be required to complete at least one hour of CE regarding cultural competency. The Board will not be providing a course and cannot recommend or endorse a specific course.
Licensees may choose which course they would like to complete, as long as the course adheres to all four of the following guidelines:
- The course focuses on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, or queer, or who question their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
- The course is approved from an accreditation agency approved by the board.
- The course covers recognized health disparities faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
- The course contains elements demonstrating how sexual identity is directly impacted through intersectionality.
This CE renewal requirement applies to all pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and advance practice pharmacists whose expiration date is after December 31, 2023.
Elective Board-provided CE Training
Pharmacists may earn CE credit by completing these elective Board-provided training webinars:
- Naloxone Training Webinar - California State Board of Pharmacy
- Training for Furnishing HIV Preexposure and Postexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP) - California State Board of Pharmacy
- Inspection Expectations, Diversion Trends, Loss Prevention, Legal Updates and CURES live webinar (formerly titled Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion Prevention Training: What a Pharmacist Needs to Know) – As of today, a subsequent session has not yet been scheduled.
License Status: “CE Inadequate – License Held”
Your license status has been changed to “CE Inadequate – License Held” because you failed to numerically declare your continuing education credits on your renewal application. In order to change your license status back to “active”, you will need to download a new renewal application and complete it in its entirety: www.pharmacy.ca.gov/licensees/personal/personal_lic.shtml. You may send your completed renewal application to the Board via mail or fax. If you would like to send your completed renewal application electronically, please send us a message.
All new pharmacist licensees are exempt from completing CE during their first renewal period. Pharmacist licensees will not need to have completed CE until the end of their second renewal period.
All new advance practice pharmacist licensees are exempt from completing CE during their first renewal period. Advance practice pharmacist licensees will not need to have completed CE until the end of their second renewal period. After their first renewal period, the CE for a licensee’s pharmacist renewal and advance practice pharmacist renewal will be on the same schedule.Inactive Licensees
Pharmacists renewing their license as “inactive” are not required to provide proof of completion of CE as a requirement for renewal. However, prior to reactivating an inactive license, the licensee must provide proof of completion of at least 30 hours of CE completed within the previous two years. This must include any mandatory CE requirements. Please refer to the section above titled “Mandatory CE Courses”.
Licensees Currently Enrolled in Health Professions School
Pharmacists currently enrolled as full-time students in a health professions school may be eligible for an exemption from completion of CE. Requests must be submitted to the Board in writing and accompanied by supporting documentation. Eligible licensees may send the Board a message for additional information regarding such exemptions.
CE Exemptions Due to Hardship
Pharmacists may seek an exemption from the CE requirement based on instances of emergency or hardship. Requests must be submitted to the Board in writing and accompanied by supporting documentation. Eligible licensees may send the Board a message for additional information regarding such exemptions.
To ensure pharmacists and advance practice pharmacists fulfill their CE requirements, the Board routinely conducts random CE audits. The Board does not have access to any CE tracking/monitoring databases (i.e. NAPB’s CPE Activity Monitor) to verify CE completion. For this reason, pharmacists and advance practice pharmacists are required to retain their CE completion certificates for four years. If you are selected for a CE audit, you will be notified via mail and asked to submit copies of your CE completion certificates to the Board. To ensure that the Board’s audit request reaches you in a timely manner, please keep your address of record updated.
Licensees may petition for credit for CE courses offered by non-recognized providers by submitting a Pharmacists Petition for Continuing Education Credit from A Non-Recognized Provider form and a fee of $40 per hour of coursework. When submitting a copy of the form, licensees are required to include the following: a copy of the course completion certificate and a copy of the course brochure and/or advertisement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please review the following PDF for a copy of the CE FAQs – Continuing Education (CE) FAQs.