Frequently Asked Questions

USP is an authoritative public standards-setting organization that assures the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods in the United States and around the world.

The USP Council of Experts and its Expert Committees are the scientific decision-making body of USP. Members of the Council of Experts are elected by the USP Convention membership at its every-five-year meeting and serve as chairs of USP Expert Committees.

Expert Committees address specific standards-setting areas within USP such as Chemical Medicines, Biologics and Biotechnology, General Chapters, and others. Expert Committee members are elected by the Council of Experts.

Expert Panels are formed to provide additional expertise on a particular compendial topic, thereby supplementing Expert Committee expertise. Expert Panels are intended to provide flexibility and scalability into USP's standards-setting activities, and help ensure that USP standards are based on the best scientific knowledge available. They are advisory to one or more Expert Committees; they are not decision-making bodies.

An Expert Panel, when formed, will have a specific charge (including scope of work, deliverables, and timeline for completion), and will be dissolved at the conclusion of its work. As such, USP calls for Expert Panel candidates as the need for such bodies arises.

The USP Council of Experts and its Expert Committees are responsible for developing and revising standards for medicines and foods that appear in the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP–NF), the Food Chemicals Codex, the Dietary Supplements Compendium, USP on Compounding, and the Herbal Medicines Compendium.

Members of the Council of Experts and its Expert Committee develop and review monographs, general chapters, testing methods, and reference materials, and collaborate on scientific topics supporting the standards that appear in USP's compendia.

The average Expert Committee member spends approximately 3.5 hours per week on USP activities. Expert Committees generally meet face-to-face at a USP site with teleconference/web meetings as required. USP sites include its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland and its international sites in Brazil, China, and India.

While each Expert Committee requires specific expertise in either analytical chemistry, analytical biochemistry, measurement science, food and dietary supplement science, or other applied sciences, candidates should have advanced degrees (doctoral degrees or the equivalent based on extensive experience), and should be actively working in related scientific and/or regulatory disciplines. A complete list of expertise sought is included in the Expert Committees Chart.

The USP Nominating Committee for the Council of Experts will nominate two qualified candidates to stand for election as chair of each Expert Committee at the May 2020 USP Convention. Those candidates elected by the USP Convention Membership will serve as chairs of the Expert Committees and members of the Council of Experts. The Council of Experts will elect Expert Committee members.

The term of service for the Council of Experts is five years. The term of service for Expert Committees is up to five years.

Expert Panel terms vary, from 12 months to the full five-year term or longer.

Maintaining independence and impartiality is critical to the integrity and credibility of USP’s standard-setting activities. Members of the Council of Experts and its Expert Committees must remain free of actual or perceived conflicts of interest in the performance of their duties for USP. Members of the Council of Experts and its Expert Committees are required to submit and keep updated statements disclosing interests that may create conflicts. Members of Expert Panels are also required to disclose any conflicts that may arise, although Expert Panel members may represent interests such as their employer.

USP also has a confidentiality policy to protect those who submit confidential material to USP in support of USP standards development. Expert Committee members must enter into a mandatory signed agreement to maintain the confidentiality of all information gained in the course of his or her USP activities. Information obtained at USP may not be used or disclosed for any purpose, unless already publicly available.

Most Expert Committees meet at USP Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, once or twice per year. The cost of travel to USP meetings typically is covered by USP.

The membership of each USP Expert Committee varies according to its responsibilities. USP strives for a balance of industry (including from innovator, generic, and over-the-counter company, laboratory, etc.), academia, health care practitioner, regulatory, and independent experts to comprise its Expert Committees, but will seek the most qualified volunteer experts regardless of organizational affiliation. USP also strives for a mix of U.S. and international experts to reflect the global use of USP’s standards.

USP creates and continuously revises standards through a unique public–private collaborative process, which involves interested industry stakeholders, the government, and other interested parties from anywhere in the world. The standards may originate from pharmaceutical manufacturers or other sponsors or from USP's own laboratory network. USP's scientific staff and volunteer experts review this material, conduct additional laboratory tests as necessary, and ensure that the information is subject to a process of public review and comment. The public process helps to refine and finalize this information for publication in the USP–NF, FCC, or other USP compendium. USP Expert Committees make the final decisions to approve and publish the standards.

Expert Panels are formed solely to advise one or more Expert Committee on scientific and technical matters for which the Expert Committee does not have sufficient expertise. Expert Panels usually meet and address the issues, then form recommendations to the Expert Committee. The Expert Committee has final decisional authority on any recommendation of an Expert Panel.

Each Expert Committee and Expert Panel is overseen by a member of USP's senior scientific staff, usually within the Global Science and Standards Division, under the leadership of the Chief Science Officer, and Global Alliances and Organizational Affairs, which includes the Healthcare Quality Standards group and Executive Secretariat functions. Support for Expert Committees includes a Scientific Liaison, Reference Standards Scientist, and an Expert Committee Manager.

All Council of Expert, Expert Committee and Expert Panel members must have access to a computer and the Internet in order to serve as a USP Expert Volunteer.

Registration and Manage User Account

The Call for Candidates website has been certified on Internet Explorer 11.0 and Google Chrome.

Any visitor to the Call for Candidates website can browse for open candidate positions and read information as an anonymous user. However, if you want to apply for any role/position and view your application status, you will need to register and login.

Click here to see a video tutorial on account registration.

Yes, you may use an existing USP Access Point account to access the Call for Candidates application. 

Note: Because USP Council of Experts and Expert Committee members serve as independent experts and do not represent other interests such as their employer, it is recommended that you use your personal email address when registering your USP Access Point account. You may maintain multiple USP accounts.

While logged in to the Call for Candidates website:

  1. Hover your mouse over Your Account and select the Edit Profile option from the drop-down menu. This will open the Account Information page in a separate browser tab.
  2. Edit your information in this page. You can also click the “Need Help?” hyperlink for additional help.
  3. Click the Save Details button.
  4. Close the browser tab.

To register, complete the following steps:

  1. Click the Log In link at the top of the page. The USP Access Point login page will display.
  2. Click the Create a new USP Access Point account link at the bottom of the login page. The Create a New Account page will display.
  3. Click the “Need Help?”  hyperlink located at the top to access instructions on how to complete your registration. You can also click here to view a video tutorial on registration steps.

To change your account password

  1. Hover the mouse over Your Account area at the top of the page.
  2. Click the Change Password option. The Manage Password page opens in a separate browser tab.
  3. Enter your new password in the New Password and Confirm Password fields and then click the Change Password button. Your password is changed.
  4. Close the Manage Password window tab.

Note:  You MUST use your new password when logging in to any USP application, such as Council of Experts (CoE) Portal, USP-NF Online, etc.

Roles and Positions

On the Call for Candidates home page, click the Volunteer Opportunities option at the top of the page to view a listing of open positions. You can bookmark any position by clicking the star  icon at the top of the listing. Click the  icon next to each listing to view the expertise required for that position. 

Click the listing hyperlink to apply for that position.

After creating your USP Access Point account and completing your Call for Candidates profile, you can apply to an open position by taking the following steps:

  1. Click the Volunteer Opportunities link at the top of the home page to view a listing of all open positions and then click any listing to apply for a position. You can bookmark any position by clicking the  icon at the top of the page. 
    Note: You must complete your profile before you can apply for a position. You will be asked to complete your profile if it is incomplete when attempting to apply for a position.
  2. Select the PRIORITY dropdown menu to specify your relative priority for the position and then click the  button to submit your application. A confirmation message will be displayed. Repeat steps 1-2 to apply to another position. 
    Based on your areas of expertise, the system will display a list of position recommendations to help guide you in applying for appropriate positions.

To see the status of any position for which you have applied, access the tab at the top of the page.

Choosing the priority when applying for position means specifying your relative preference for each position. Thus, you would characterize as “highest” the position(s) for which you would most prefer to be selected. Such positions will be given priority consideration relative to positions you identify as medium and lowest. You may designate more than one position at each priority level.

While there are no limitations on the number of positions you may apply, we recommend that you apply only for positions that best match your qualifications and areas of expertise. To help guide your interests, after you apply for one position the system will recommend to you a list of positions that best match your areas of expertise.

While you are browsing for all open positions in the Volunteer Opportunities page, click any listing and then in the position description page, select the star icon  to bookmark/save the position. All saved positions can be accessed later by clicking the tab, and then clicking the Bookmarks option in the left pane.

You can also apply to your saved positions from the  tab after you choose a Priority for each position and then click the  button.

As long as your application has a status of “Submitted” or “Received”, you can change the priority.

  1. Login to the Call for Candidates web application and then choose the  tab.
  2. In the "Recent Application Activity" section, choose an application to change the priority. If your application doesn’t appear in this list, click the All Applications option from the left side of the page to view all of your applications.
  3. In the application page, select the PRIORITY drop-down box to specify your  Priority relative to the position and then click the Change button to change the priority for your application.

Application Status, Selection, and Withdrawal/Decline

You can view the current status of your application at any time by logging into the application. Click the  tab at the top to view your applications and their status in the “Application Status Overview section.

Your application will have a status of one of the following after you have applied for a position:

  • Submitted – the application has been submitted.
  • Received – receipt of your application has been acknowledged.
  • In-Review – your application is under review. You cannot withdraw or modify your application at this point. However, you can email USP staff at to withdraw or modify your application.
  • Selected – you have been selected for the position. You should receive an email notification asking you to accept or decline the selection. You may see multiple secondary applications under your primary application, which you have been assigned based on your areas of expertise. (See “Why do I see multiple selected applications under the position for which I applied?” for more details.)
  • Non Selected – your application has not been selected. You will receive an email notification with more information.
  • Accepted – you have accepted your selected application.
  • Active – you accepted your application and you have been entered in the system as an expert volunteer by USP staff. You now have access to the Council of Experts (CoE) portal. You should receive email notification with additional information.
  • Withdrawn – you have withdrawn your application. This can be done at any point after the application submission except when an application has a status of “In Review” or “Selected”.
  • Declined – you have declined your candidacy for the position. You receive an email confirmation.

Yes, you can withdraw your application at any stage except when an application has a status of “In Review” or “Selected”.

To withdraw your application:

  1. Login to the web site and then click the  tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click  in the left pane or click . You can also access your applications in the Application Status Overview section.
  3. Click the  link next to any application that you would like to withdraw. You are taken to the Position Application page.
  4. Click the  button in the application page.  A withdrawal confirmation message is displayed.
  5. Confirm your withdrawal by choosing the OK button. If needed, you can always re-apply to a withdrawn application.


Login and click the  tab at the top of the home page. In the "Application Status Overview" section, click Withdrawn link to view your withdrawn applications. You can re-apply to your withdrawn applications from here as well.

Yes. You may decline a position after you have accepted it by contacting

Note: It is preferred that you withdraw your application as soon as you determine that you are unable or unwilling to participate as a USP volunteer.

Once you have accepted a position and USP staff has converted you in the system to an expert volunteer, you will see the Onboarding option on the Call for Candidates home page. Clicking on this option will display orientation materials that will help you become familiar with your new role and responsibilities.

The Onboarding option also signifies that you can now access the Council of Experts (CoE) Portal to view ballots and to cast your vote on a monograph.