Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing Professional Development, commonly referred to as CPD, is an approach to lifelong learning. ACPE defines CPD as a self-directed, ongoing, systematic and outcomes-focused approach to lifelong learning that is applied into practice. It involves the process of active participation in formal and informal learning activities that assists individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and supporting achievement of their career goals.
The principles of CPD have already been incorporated into continuing education systems in several countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the US, several national pharmacy organizations, including ACPE, have adopted statements or policy regarding CPD. The CPD approach is being implemented and studied in academic, regulatory, and practice environments.
As with all continuing education, the goal of CPD is to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by pharmacy professionals for their practice. Research has shown that traditional approaches to CE can be effective in both learning and practice change, but that outcomes of learning can be improved if the learning is in an area of interest or preference, related to daily practice, selected in response to identified need, interactive and hands-on, self-directed, focused on specific outcomes and objectives, and if the learning uses more than one intervention (i.e., is continuing, not opportunistic) and includes a "commitment to change." These principles and strategies are all incorporated into the CPD approach.
It is important to stress that CPD is not a replacement for CE; CE (as defined by ACPE) is an integral and essential component of CPD. CPD is, therefore, being considered as a quality improvement to current systems for continuing education and, as such, continues to be ACPE's Strategic Plan .
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