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 assist 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.