CSPP Program - Pharma Sales Training

What is the Certified Specialty Pharma Professional (CSPP) Program?

The Certified Specialty Pharma Professional (CSPP) program is an online, self-paced course designed for experienced pharmaceutical sales representatives who aim to specialize and advance in their careers. This course focuses on specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device sales.

  • After completing 18 preparatory modules, CSPP enrollees sit for the final exam.
  • Passing the CSPP exam means you can use the “CSPP” credential professionally.
  • The CSPP credential is a premier certification for specialty pharma reps and it demonstrates your advanced business skills, deep healthcare knowledge, and commitment to the professional ethics of the role.
  • This automatically makes you a preferred partner for healthcare specialists, their staff, and your teammates.

What will I learn in the CSPP program?

The Certified Specialty Pharma Professional curriculum consists of 18 in-depth modules that cover a range of topics focused on specialty pharmaceutical sales.

Module 1 provides an essential foundation for pharmaceutical sales reps. Understanding the industry's growth drivers and recent trends is crucial for sales reps to navigate and excel in a rapidly evolving landscape, allowing them to make informed decisions and adapt their sales strategies to meet the industry's changing needs.

The terms "pharmaceuticals" and "drugs" are often used as catch-all phrases for many different types of products. Module 2 provides an overview of the various product types that pharma professionals may encounter.

Module 3 provides pharmaceutical sales reps with a comprehensive understanding of the FDA's role and its impact on the products they can promote. Mastery of this information is essential for reps to navigate within the framework of FDA regulations.

Module 4 is integral for pharmaceutical sales reps to grasp as it provides a comprehensive understanding of how prescription drugs move from the manufacturer to the patient.

Module 5 discusses the value pharma sales professionals bring to the healthcare industry by diving into the unique nature of pharmaceutical sales, distinguishing it from other sales domains.

Module 6 equips pharmaceutical sales reps with the essential skills to navigate and understand the critical information within a package insert. Proficiency in reading PIs is crucial for sales reps to communicate product details accurately,

Module 7 provides a foundation on how to discuss clinical studies effectively, which are essential tools for engaging healthcare professionals. It also underscores the importance of using only company-approved materials in sales calls to ensure compliance and provide accurate information.

Module 8 outlines the general rules governing product promotion and the materials that can be used in sales calls. Understanding these guidelines and the concept of omni-channel marketing is essential to ensure that sales reps effectively communicate the value of pharmaceutical products within the regulatory framework.

Module 9 provides a comprehensive understanding of how prescriptions are paid for in the U.S., covering topics like common payers, the role of PBMs, and cost-saving methods.

Module 10 provides pharmaceutical sales reps with a comprehensive understanding of the various HCPs they may interact with in medical offices and pharmacies. This knowledge is crucial to effectively tailor sales strategies and communication to the roles and expectations of these customers.

Understanding the challenges of gaining access to HCPs and mastering different call types enables reps to engage effectively, build relationships, and deliver product information appropriately in diverse scenarios, including virtually or in person.

Module 12 dives into the roles of internal counterparts within a company that works with or impacts healthcare professionals other than pharma sales reps in order to coordinate.

Module 13 provides a structured understanding of the key steps in the sales process, both in-person and in virtual settings from pre-call planning to post-call analysis,

Pharmacology is the study of the interactions between molecules and living organisms. This entails characterization of their pharmacological properties (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics). This module will enable you to understand the different characteristics of a drug and how they are important for therapeutic success.

Module 15 explores the significance of biological products in the specialty pharmaceutical space. Specialty sales reps will equip themselves with knowledge on their structure, manufacturing processes, and regulatory pathways.

Module 16 provides an in-depth review of the scientific concepts of reference products, biosimilars, and interchangeable biosimilars, which serves as the foundation for the regulatory concepts of these products.

In this module, specialty sales representatives will dive into market access for biosimilars and review biosimilar reimbursement methodologies.

Have you ever wondered whether physicians were speaking the same language as you when you engaged in a conversation with them about diagnostics, diseases, and therapeutic areas? This module will help you understand how those difficult words are structured and will give you some vocabulary and tools to decipher them.

What will I get out of the CSPP program?

The CSPP program was built with a strong commitment to outcomes-based learning. This means that the program will give you deep, actionable knowledge rather than just running through a laundry list of facts and figures. You will be able to APPLY what you learn in your future work, not just pass a generic exam.

Program leaders require four top-level learning outcomes for CSPP graduates. These learning outcomes translate directly into more effective business practices for every CSPP graduate.

Top-level learning outcomes for CSPP graduates


Establish a deep understanding of core clinical areas such as pharmacology, anatomy, and physiological effects of drugs & the mechanism of action of specialty pharmacotherapeutics.


Understand health economics outcomes research and the interpretation of complex pharmacoeconomics data.


Learn about analyzing advanced scientific literature, complex clinical trial design, evidence-based medicine, and medical terminology.


Learn about professional ethics related to specialty pharmaceutical sales, FDA rules and regulations, ethics and compliance related to the pharmaceutical industry, and preventing fraud and abuse.

CSPP by the Numbers

the number of learning modules included in the program
the number of attempts allowed for each post-quiz
the number of weeks afforded to complete the program
the number of attempts allowed on the certification exam
the average number of hours it takes to complete the program
the number of clicks required to elevate your career

How are the modules structured?

Each of the 18 CSPP modules includes

  1. Pre-Quiz (Optional)

    Establishes your existing knowledge of the specific module's content

  2. Module Content

    Consists of multiple sections that vary from module to module

  3. Post-Quiz

    Determines how well you’ve absorbed and retained the module content

Time commitment

  1. Self-Paced Program

    The CSPP program is self-paced, and you have up to six months to complete the board certification

  2. Average Time to Complete

    Most learners finish the program in about two months, which includes approximately 24 hours of study

  3. Certification Exam Time

    The final certification exam requires three hours

What does the CSPP include?

  • 18 In-Depth Learning Modules
  • Practical Case Studies
  • Downloadable Resources
  • Comprehensive Industry Glossary
  • Knowledge Checks
  • Final Certification Examination
  • Live 24/7 customer support via live chat, email and phone