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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development, commonly referred to as "CPD," is an approach to lifelong learning that is being explored in the United States. ACPE defines CPD as “the lifelong process of active participation in learning activities that assists individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and supporting achievement of their career goals.” Another definition that has been offered for CPD is "a self-directed, ongoing, systematic and outcomes-focused approach to learning and professional development."

The principles of CPD have already been incorporated into continuing education systems in several countries, including Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand. In the US, several national pharmacy organizations, including ACPE , have adopted statements or policy regarding CPD. During 2006-2007, five states (Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin) piloted a program to provide pharmacists with the knowledge and skills to accept the responsibility to fully engage in and document their learning through reflecting on their practice, assessing and identifying professional learning needs and opportunities, developing and implementing a personal learning plan, and evaluating their learning outcomes. The five-state pilot was also conducted as a research study and the results have been published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE 2010; 74 (2) Article 28). Other pilots have been conducted or planned and experiences gained from these pilots will inform the future direction to be taken by the pharmacy profession. In North Carolina, the state board of pharmacy now allows pharmacists to adopt a CPD approach as an alternative to completion of a mandatory number of hours of CE - to meet the requirements for maintenance of their pharmacist license.

As with all continuing education, the goal of CPD is to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by pharmacists 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.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), among others, has called for an overhaul of the education and training of healthcare professionals and recommended that regulatory boards move toward requiring licensed professionals to demonstrate their ability to deliver patient care. The IOM has called for measures of competence and outcomes that are evidence based. In its report released late in 2009 , the IOM endorsed the concepts of CPD and recommended a redesign of CE for health professionals based on a new comprehensive vision of professional development. 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 .

A resource document and two publications that provide additional detail and background regarding CPD are available on the website of the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy (CCP). Click here for a short presentation that provides a summary of the components of the CPD cycle. To download a copy of the CPD Cycle graphic click here [JPEG,315 KB] . For terms of use of the ACPE-copyrighted CPD Cycle click here [WORD, 52 KB]. For a CPD Annotated Bibliography, please click here.

ACPE is pleased to make available the following CPD educational resources to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, student pharmacists, and CE providers. Most of the audio-visual presentations will take approximately one hour with exercises; CPD101 is a bit longer. Click on the links below to access the presentations and their associated documents. The CPD Portfolio (#6) contains worksheets used with presentations #3 and #4. Please complete the learning self-assessments as well. If you wish to earn CE credit for completing these educational activities, they are also available from an ACPE-accredited CE Provider for a nominal charge.

1. CPD101: This presentation describes the concepts and components of CPD, the need to improve how pharmacists approach their continuing education and lifelong learning, and compares and contrasts the traditional CE model with a CPD model. a.Handouts
c.Self-assessment questions

2. Inventory of Learning Styles: This presentation discusses the role of self-reflection in CPD and how to apply learning styles theory to facilitate self-reflection.
a. Handouts
b. Health Professionals Inventory of Learning Styles (H-PILS)
c. Self-assessment questions

3. Using Reflection to Create A Learning Plan: This presentation describes the importance and application of reflection in personal and professional development and how to design learning objectives that address the personal and professional goals identified through reflection.
a. Handouts
b. Bloom's Taxonomy
c. Self-assessment questions

4. Act, Evaluate, and Record Your CPD: This presentation describes how to implement a personal learning plan to accomplish identified learning objectives, evaluate your learning and overall CPD process, and develop and maintain a CPD portfolio.
a. Handout
b. Self-assessment questions

5. CPD_Portfolio This document contains worksheets that can help you to get started with your own CPD. The CPD portfolio is intended as a tool to support your learning.

6. Answers to self-assessment questions:
a. CPD101
b. Inventory of Learning Styles
c. Using Reflection to Create a Learning Plan
d. Act, Evaluate, and Record Your CPD

Over the next several months, ACPE will be adding additional CPD resources and tools to its website.



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