Citizenship. Citizen of the United States.
(1) Graduate of an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited College or School of Pharmacy with a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy (BS Pharmacy) and/or a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Verification of approved degree programs may be obtained from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 20 North Clark Street, Suite 2500, Chicago, Illinois 60602-5109; phone: (312) 664-3575, or through their Web site at: http://www.acpe-accredit.org/.
(NOTE: Prior to 2005 ACPE accredited both baccalaureate and Doctor of Pharmacy terminal degree program. Today the sole degree is Doctor of Pharmacy.)
(2) Graduates of foreign pharmacy degree programs meet the educational requirement if the graduate is able to provide proof of achieving the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Commission (FPGEC) Certification, which includes passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT).
Licensure. Full, current and unrestricted license to practice pharmacy in a State, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (i.e., Puerto Rico), or the District of Columbia. The pharmacist must maintain current registration if this is a requirement for maintaining full, current, and unrestricted licensure.
Grandfathering Provision. All licensed pharmacists employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and licensure/certification/registration that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply:
(1) Employees grandfathered into the GS-660 occupational series may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions.
(2) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification/registration, that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
(3) If a licensed pharmacist who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.
Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
English Language Proficiency. Pharmacists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).
Knowledge of Professional Pharmacy Practices. To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with professional pharmacy practice. Professional practice means paid/non-paid employment as a professional or unlicensed graduate pharmacist as defined by the appropriate licensing board.
Residency and Fellowship Training. Residency and fellowship training programs in a specialized area of clinical pharmacy practice may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis. The pharmacy residency program must be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). A fellowship program that is not accredited by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) will need to have comparable standards for experience to be creditable (Professional Standards Board refers to the Deputy Chief Consultant for Professional Practice for the determination).
Quality of Experience. Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to pharmacy experience at the next lower level. Experience as a Graduate Pharmacist is creditable provided the candidate was used as a professional pharmacist (under supervision) and subsequently passed the appropriate licensure examination.
Part-time Experience. Part-time experience as a professional pharmacist is credited according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a pharmacist employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.
GS-12 (Full Performance Level)
Experience or Education. In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must meet one of the following:
(1) 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, or
(2) Completion of an ACPE-accredited Pharm.D. program.
Assignment. A pharmacist in this assignment handles routine medication-related activities in accordance with local, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN), and national policies and regulations. These include, but are not limited to: reviewing, interpreting, and verifying medication orders for appropriateness; processing and filling medication orders; interacting with and making recommendations to other clinical staff regarding medication therapy ordered to ensure safe and effective care; reviewing the patient's medications, allergies, labs, and other pertinent information from the medical record to identify and solve medication-related problems; contacting providers as appropriate; documenting recommendations and interventions; providing refill extensions and partial medication supplies; taking health and medication histories; performing medication reconciliation; providing drug information; assisting in formulary management including therapeutic substitutions, nonformulary reviews and medication usage evaluations; documenting and assessing adverse drug events (ADEs); assisting in medical emergencies; providing oversight of technical staff in all aspects of medication distribution. Pharmacists assigned to this position must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs):
1. Knowledge of professional pharmacy practice.
2. Ability to communicate orally and in writing to both patients and health care staff.
3. Knowledge of laws, regulations, and accreditation standards related to the distribution and control of scheduled and non-scheduled drugs and pharmacy security.
4. Skill in monitoring and assessing the outcome of drug therapies, including physical assessment and interpretation of laboratory and other diagnostic parameters.
Experience. In addition to the GS-12 requirements, must have 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level.
Assignments. Candidates at this grade level are to be in one of the assignments listed below. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.
1. Clinical Pharmacy Specialist. The clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) functions at the highest level of clinical practice, works independently under their scope of practice as defined by the individual medical center to directly care for patients. A CPS plays a defined role in budgetary execution and serves as a mid-level provider who functions to initiate, modify or discontinue medication therapy and as a consultant for intensive medication therapy management services. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: designing, implementing, assessing, monitoring and documenting therapeutic plans utilizing the most effective, least toxic and most economical medication treatments; helping achieve positive patient centric outcomes through direct and indirect interactions with patients, providers, and interdisciplinary teams in assigned areas; performing physical assessments; and ordering laboratory and other tests to help determine efficacy and toxicity of medication therapy. Pharmacists assigned to this position must demonstrate the following KSAs:
a. Ability to communicate orally and in writing to persuade and influence clinical and management decisions.
b. Expert understanding of regulatory and quality standards for their program area.
c. Ability to solve problems, coordinate and organize responsibilities to maximize outcomes in their program area or area of clinical expertise.
d. Expert knowledge of a specialized area of clinical pharmacy practice or specialty area of pharmacy.
e. Advanced skill in monitoring and assessing the outcome of drug therapies, including physical assessment and interpretation of laboratory and other diagnostic parameters.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.