Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Overview

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.

CPD Program Application

Submissions for CPD program accreditation will be accepted starting January 1st, 2024. To prepare your submission, please use the attestation checklist and rubric, policies and procedures, and principles documents included below. For questions related to the application process or CPD program accreditation, please contact ACPE staff at [email protected].

CPD Resources

CPD Webinar Series

CPD educational resources, including presentations and their associated documents.

CPD Case Study Series: Examples of CPD in Practice


CPD Case Study Series: Episode 4 – Integrating a CPD Process for Student Pharmacists
Description: In Episode 4, hear Dr. Mary Bridgeman, Dr. Christine Parikh, and Dr. Kristin Reinaker from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, discuss the implementation of an eight semester course series designed to provide a framework for tracking professional readiness, professional identify formation, and prepare students for lifelong learning by introducing and applying the process and principles of CPD!

CPD Case Study Series: Episode 3 – CPD for Preceptors
Description: In Episode 3 of the CPD Case Study Series, hear Dr. Amanda Margolis (University of Wisconsin – Madison) describe the implementation and outcomes of a CPD program for pharmacy preceptors.

CPD Case Study Series: Episode 2 – CPD for Learners at the Connecticut Pharmacists Association
Description: In Episode 2 of the CPD Case Study Series, hear Lisa Capobianco (Vice President, Operations at the Connecticut Pharmacists Association) and Dr. Brian Pelletier describe their experience with implementing a CPD program for learners at their state association. Additionally, hear from two learners who completed the program! In this example, peer coaching, learner cohorts, and simplifying the CPD documentation process were all important factors to consider when implementing a CPD program.

CPD Case Study Series: Episode 1 – CPD in APPE Experiences
Description: In Episode 1 of the CPD Case Study Series, hear Dr. Kelsey Frederick (University of Tennessee Health Science Center), Dr. Janet Cooley (University of Arizona), and Dr. Suzanne Larson (Midwestern University) describe an innovative application of continuing professional development (CPD) principles, using CPD to structure an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) at three different institutions. Slides and supportive resources are available. For more information from the authors, visit: https://cpdappe.weebly.com/

Where Does CPD Fit? Conversations on Relicensure, Preceptor Development, Continuing Education, and Pharmacy Curriculum


CPD Approach for Maintenance of Licensure: A Board of Pharmacy’s Early Experiences
Description: Discussion of the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy’s experience with CPD as an alternative to hours-based CE for re-licensure.

CPD for Preceptors: Modeling Self-Directed Lifelong Learning
Description: Tips for preceptors to model self-directed lifelong learning for pharmacy students.

Integrating CPD into Continuing Pharmacy Education: CPE Provider Perspective
Description: Offers ways accredited providers can integrate CPD concepts into CPE activities and programs.

Considerations for Integrating CPD into Pharmacy Curriculum
Description: Approaches for college/school of pharmacy faculty to engage students in the principles of CPD.

Foundations of CPD


Connecting CPD to Career Goals
Description: Practical tips for using the CPD approach to self-directed lifelong learning in order to advance career goals.

CPD: Bridging the Classroom and the Workplace
Description: Discussion of the importance of application of learning into practice as part of the CPD cycle.