Select Page

Medical Science Liaison-Board Certification® badge.


MSL-BC® Certification, What’s In It for Me?

Five Benefits for MSLs and MSL Managers

Earning the MSL-BC® requires a substantial commitment of time and energy. But here’s what you gain in return for this investment.

Benefits of Certification Charts
Benefits of Certification Brochure Download

Benefit #1

You’ll be recognized as having met the “Gold Standard” for the MSL profession
Why certification is a Gold Standard

In all occupations and professions, certification is viewed as a professional qualification, signifying to employers, regulators, and the public that the holder of the credential possesses the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills needed to competently perform the role.

Because certification is typically a voluntary process (vs. licensure which is mandatory), obtaining the credential also shows that you are:

  • committed to meeting the professional standards set by the industry and/or profession; and
  • dedicated to maintaining your competency through engaging in continuing professional development (as is required to maintain certification).

For all these reasons, certification is often seen as the “gold standard” of professional credentials.

The value of a Gold Standard for the MSL profession

In the past, our profession was missing the golden standard that would be able to validate our knowledge.”

Sasha Bogdanovich, MD, PhD, MSL-BC
MSL, EMD Serono

Certification provides a means through which stakeholders can gauge the qualifications of an MSL professional. The MSL-BC® has established consensus-based, industry-recognized standards against which MSL professionals can be evaluated.

Using processes similar to those utilized to create physician board certifications, the rigorous MSL-BC® examination was developed by leaders in the field working in partnership with experts in certification testing.

The MSL-BC® also provides a uniform measure of the knowledge and skills expected of all MSL professionals, regardless of the path they have taken into the field.

"My route to this role is not typical of many MSL peers. I’m very privileged to work amongst colleagues with exceptional healthcare/research backgrounds and qualifications including PharmD and PhD; however, I hope that my attaining this Board Certification demonstrates that despite my lack of such degrees, I can stand shoulder to shoulder with any MSL/MSL Leader across our industry – worldwide.”

Amjad Mahmood, MSL-BC
Sr. MSL, AstraZeneca (UK’s first Board Certified MSL)


Benefit #2

Distinguish yourself within the MSL community
A mark of distinction

Certification requires that you submit to a rigorous, objective, and standardized evaluation of your knowledge and skills by an independent, third party. Successfully completing this process is a mark of distinction – you have taken the extra step of demonstrating that your expertise “measures up” to the gold standard set by the profession.


"As career interest continues to grow in the MSL eld I think it will be even more important to stand out in a strong field of applicants. The MSL-BC® will help!”

Jeanna Cooper, PharmD, MSL-BC, BCPS
MSL, Ipsen

A valuable addition to your resume

The MSL-BC® represents your mastery of a specific, highly-detailed skill set. By comparison, a resume typically summarizes experience and accomplishments in general terms. Earning the MSL-BC® provides stakeholders with more insight into your capabilities. Thus, the credential can add value to your resume — no matter how long that resume is.


"The MSL-BC® will help to define not only experienced MSLs, but MSLs who ‘get it’ and understand the multifaceted skill set needed to be an MSL.”

Jamie Tobitt, PharmD, MSL-BC
Sr. MSL, bluebird bio


Benefit #3

Accelerate your MSL career
Draws attention to your job application

"The MSL-BC® was an opportunity to showcase my credentials on my professional social media to let recruiters know that I am abreast and up-to-date in my field. I believe that with these credentials I will advance in my career much faster.”

Chuck Narla, BPharm, PhD, MSL-BC
MSL, Eisai

Certification helps recruiters and employers to quickly confirm that you possess the requisite professional competencies for success as an MSL professional or MSL manager. As a result, you may be more likely to be selected to advance further in the selection process.
Demonstrates your commitment

"The MSL-BC® is a tool to gauge the commitment of an MSL/MSL manager to the profession, which may prove useful in career advancement opportunities.”

Anu Guggilam, DVM, PhD, MSL-BC
MSL, SK Life Science

Earning the MSL-BC® distinguishes you as someone who: (a) is committed to the profession and its standards of practice and (b) dedicated to continuing your professional development. Many employers view certification as an indication of how dedicated you would be if hired.
May lead to being considered for a promotion or increase in compensation

"It is not an ‘end,’ but rather a step in my ongoing growth and development, creating opportunities for both increased compensation, career and promotional opportunities.”

Gary Dawson, PhD, BCPP, MSL-BC
Medical Affairs, Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Certification is not just beneficial for securing a job early in your career or obtaining a position with a new employer. The MSL-BC® can also be an advantage if you are an established professional or have been with an employer for some time, since employers may require certification or consider it as a factor when awarding a promotion or an increase in compensation.


"… as more MSL leaders become aware of this certification, it might become a requirement for anyone who is interested in advancing upwards on the MSL career ladder.”

Mila Levinson, PharmD, BCPS, MSL-BC
Sr. MSL, AstraZeneca


Benefit #4

Greater credibility and respect from KOLs
and other stakeholders

"...On a daily basis, to me, MSL-BC® means a HCP/KOL or co-worker can trust in this discussion of the peer reviewed data as it has been brought to you by a peer reviewed & approved certified Medical Science Liaison.”

Angie Lombard, CP, MS, MSL-BC
MSL, Instrumentation Laboratory, A Werfen Company

Certification programs establish and elevate standards for professional practice and in doing so, raise the profile of a profession within an industry. An industry-wide recognition of the profession enhances appreciation of the individuals working in the field and the value they bring to the table.

"… I think this exam is highly important for elevating our profession and truly shows to our healthcare providers and ultimately patients that we have set the bar high in terms of our scientific, clinical, and medical knowledge and that we truly bring incredible value.”

Mariya Krisenko, PhD, MSL-BC
MSL, Novo Nordisk


Benefit #5

Professional Growth and Satisfaction

"The certification is important because it will bring recognition, and commitment to the profession. It will label you as a specialist who has gone the extra mile to learn, to ensure a thorough understanding of the role, the do’s and don’ts, as well as, responsibilities. It will put you a cut above which will help with job placement and advancement.”

Alexi Negron, PharmD, MBA, MSL-BC
Executive MSL, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Many people use certification as a way to evaluate themselves, to test themselves against a standard set by the profession. Meeting this standard gives certificants a sense of personal satisfaction. It is an external confirmation that they met an important goal they set for themselves. Certificants also report that successfully completing the certification process gave them greater confidence.

"I am more confident that I understand the MSL role, and I have the required competencies to do my job effectively.”

Eyitayo Fakunle, PhD, MPH, MSL-BC
MSL, Bioventus

The certification process aids your professional growth by helping you to identify your strengths and areas in which further learning and experience would be beneficial. With this information, you can create a personalized professional development plan which will position you to accomplish your career goals.

Ultimately, What is the MSL-BC® Certification?

Through examination, the certification allows MSLs and MSL Managers to validate and demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to the MSL profession based on specific criteria determined by a large number of independent MSL and Medical Affairs leaders from some of the top global pharmaceutical companies.

The MSL-BC® is the standard of excellence within the profession!

Ready to get started?

Apply Button


Qualification for the MSL-BC® include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher from a regionally or nationally accredited educational institution (a copy of the candidate’s highest degree or transcript must be provided at the time of registration); and
  • One (1) year of cumulative experience working full-time as a Medical Science Liaison (or equivalent title) or leading a Medical Science Liaison team.

Note – This certification is NOT available for Aspiring MSLs (i.e. those trying to break into the MSL career). All applicants must legally attest that they meet all the above requirements, which is subject to verification.