SMART PHARMACIST PROGRAM: Learn Today – Apply Tomorrow


SMART Pharmacist Program is designed to be a sustainable, evidence-based educational initiative with all elements of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Cycle, including application and impact on everyday pharmacy practice.

When managed with strong leadership and motivation, it has been shown that the SMART Program shows results on the individual pharmacist, organizational, national and patient levels.

Education and application processes address all components of competency: knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. Quality of education is assured by appropriate structure, process and outcomes of learning, all designed in the national context and with strong impact on the personal motivation of pharmacists and patient care.

Quality assurance of education leads to quality of services, both in community and hospital pharmacy settings. The new innovative international model SMART Pharmacist offers structured, comprehensive and competency-based education and a new approach to pharmacy practice in your country. To assure the quality, global educational tools and best practice will be used, respecting the national context. Based on tradition, enhanced by innovation, the future of pharmacists in your country could be shaped with your input and engagement.

Changes will be initiated with input of all stakeholders; SMART goals and plan will be developed. Structure, process and outcomes of this project will show an impact to create the new context for future development.

Pharmacists will be invited to achieve SMART status by taking an active role in their learning, assessment and development, participating in new models of patient care, and documenting results and interventions in patient care.

Internationally recognized experts with experience in pharmacy practice, competency assessment and development, education, change management and quality assurance will assist you in your plans and actions.

Mike Rouse, B. Pharm (Hons); MPS, FFIP is Assistant Executive Director, Professional Affairs and Director, International Services at the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) in Chicago, USA. Born in Zimbabwe, Mike studied pharmacy and worked in hospital and community pharmacy. He was chief executive of the largest pharmacy chain in Zimbabwe before moving to the USA in 2001. At ACPE, Mike’s primarily areas of responsibility are professional affairs, strategic initiatives and projects, and international services and collaboration. He coordinated the revision of ACPE’s 2007 PharmD Standards and is a global leader in initiatives to introduce a CPD approach to lifelong learning.

Mike founded and convenes the International Forum for Quality Assurance of Pharmacy Education and drafted the Global Framework for Quality Assurance of Pharmacy Education, which was adopted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in 2008 and updated in 2014. Mike served on FIP’s Board of Directors (“Bureau”), Foundation for Education and Research, and several other boards and committees. He is Education Lead for Quality Assurance for FIP Education (FIPEd) and was Co-Lead for Continuing Education/Continuing Professional Development. Mike received the Distinguished Service Award and Fellow Award from FIP for his service to FIP and the pharmacy profession globally. He has been a consultant and invited speaker in more than 60 countries.

Doc dr sc Arijana Meštrović, MPharm, FFIP worked for 14 years as a community pharmacist and she was responsible for education and competency development in the biggest pharmacy chain in Croatia. She is now Assistant Professor and independent consultant in Pharma Expert international agency, providing lectures and workshops in CPD programs for pharmacists, implementing new services in pharmacy chains and teaching Professional Practice and Pharmaceutical Care at universities in Croatia and Cyprus. Her Doctor’s degree is in biomedical sciences – competency development in pharmacy. Representing CoDEG (Competency Development and Evaluation Group) she is using the Global Competency Framework and evaluating its impact on pharmaceutical care and practitioner development in European countries. She is collaborating with FIP’s Education Development Team in areas of Competency and Quality Assurance in Pharmacy Education.

Arijana serves as a member of the International Services Program Advisory Group of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE, USA), Co-Chair of FIP’s Programme Committee, Expert Member of FIP’s Board of Pharmaceutical Practice, member of the Executive Committee of FIP’s Academic Section, member of Pharmaceutical Care Network of Europe and international consultant of WHO (World Health Organisation). She has been recognized by FIP with FIP Fellow award for her dedication and leadership in advancement of pharmacy profession. Arijana is dedicated to promoting competency-based education using the CPD model among pharmacy practitioners, so her teaching usually addresses all components of competencies – knowledge, experience and motivation.

Why the “SMART” Pharmacist Program?

The term “SMART” is taken from SMART Learning Objectives, which are a key element of the PLAN component of the CPD Cycle. In the context of setting learning objectives, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed. Learning objectives can be SMART, but learning can be SMARTER when it is applied in practice and it achieves meaningful outcomes and impact. In this way, the learning can address real practitioner needs (including enhancing their competence) as well as meeting patients’ needs and/or achieving organizational goals.

What gets measured gets done!

Continuing education (CE) – especially in mandatory credit/hours-based systems – has traditionally been measured by “participation” but this is the lowest level of evaluation when considering the results of CE. The main objectives of CE are the development of the practitioner and improvements in patient and population care; these outcomes are what should be measured.

The SMART Pharmacist Program aims to achieve meaningful learning through the use of a new education model based on pillars and foundations of educational quality, competency development of the practitioner, improved quality of services, and measurable improvement in patient care. All of these outcomes are measured in a standardized way, using validated instruments and frameworks.

In this way, the whole program becomes SMART:

  • Specific – the program focuses on the specific pre-identified competency-based learning needs of the practitioner, as well as real patient and population needs. In both regards, specific objectives to be achieved must be clearly stated.
  • Measurable – using national instruments and tools, which have been developed/adapted using globally-adopted frameworks, the following elements are integral to the Program:
    • Measurable improvement in pharmacists’ competencies
    • Measurable improvement in quality of services provided in the pharmacy practice setting
    • Measurable improvement in patient care outcomes
  • Achievable – the goals to be achieved are simple and realistic; pharmacists will not feel overwhelmed.
  • Relevant – patient and societal needs are pre-identified by all key stakeholders; they are health care priorities or commonly encountered issues. The mantra of the SMART Program is “Learn Today, Apply Tomorrow”. This is only achievable if the learning is relevant to the practice of the learner.
  • Timed – a specific timeframe is set for each professional development or clinical learning module to ensure that pharmacists remain focused, engaged and motivated, and can see the impact of their learning in the lives of their patients.

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Project can be tailored according to your needs and preferences. It can include educational activities, assessment and development of competencies and quality of services, time and change management, services implementation and documentation, research, publications, promotion, advocacy and guidance. Contact us for more information.

Doc. dr. sc. Arijana Meštrović, MPharm, FFIP
Assistant Professor
Head of Education and Competency Development
Pharma Expert
Consultancy and Education,
Zagreb, Croatia

Mike Rouse, B. Pharm (Hons); MPS, FFIP
Assistant Executive Director,
Professional Affairs and Director, International Services
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Chicago, Illinois, USA

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