Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is how pharmacists maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities to help them enjoy career success.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia Registration Standards and Guidelines require pharmacists to undertake self-directed learning as part of a structured learning/CPD plan. The College’s Learning Management System helps members meet the Board’s CPD standards by making it easy to:
- Develop and maintain your CPD plan on an accessible platform anytime.
- Select appropriate CPD activities to address the competencies identified in your CPD plan that are relevant to your scope of practice.
- Reflect on the CPD activity, e.g. how it has changed your practice or led you to undertake further study.
- Maintain detailed records of activities undertaken.
- Ensue these records can be verified.
A CPD Plan is a structured document explaining how the pharmacist will approach their CPD activities during the CPD period (and beyond if applicable). The CPD Plan is a living document that should be regularly re-evaluated and updated.
A CPD Plan requires pharmacists to:
- Identify their professional role/s and scope of practice.
- Identify the competencies necessary to fulfil their role/s and scope as described by the 2016 National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia.
- Identify their professional development needs relevant to these competencies.
- Identify suitable CPD activities that address these professional development needs.
The College CPD Plan is designed to meet the Pharmacy Board of Australia's CPD requirements. As a College member, you can access our exclusive, easy-to-use tool for developing and maintaining your CPD learning plan online.
Pharmacists are currently required to complete a minimum of 40 CPD credits during each CPD period (1 October - 30 September).
CPD activities are divided into 3 Groups.
Group 1 CPD
Group 1 CPD credits are gained by reading or listening and absorbing. No assessment is required for Group 1 content. All you need to do is record that you have done it. Pharmacists can earn 1 CPD credit for each hour of activity. Your Group 1 credits can constitute NO MORE THAN 50% of your total CPD credits for the year.
Group 2 CPD
Group 2 CPD credits involve assessment. Pharmacists can claim 2 CPD credits per hour of activity. Examples include multiple-choice questions (MCQs) from pharmacy publications (e.g. Retail Pharmacy, ITK and AJP). Members can complete these assessments on the College website. CPD credits will be automatically listed on your CPD record if you pass the assessment. You can also self-record other Group 2 activities on the website.
Check out the wide range of clinical, leadership and management CPD opportunities here.
Group 3 CPD
Group 3 CPD credits involve undertaking and reflecting on an activity that leads to practice change. For example, you may deliver a presentation or training to your staff or write and publish a journal article. You could reflect on how a service or process is delivered, undertake related training, implement changes to your practice, and then document how the training helped you change or improve your practice. Pre- and post-activity self-reflection is essential for Group 3 CPD activities.
Pharmacists can claim 3 Group 3 CPD credits per hour of activity.
Pharmacy Board CPD requirements
The Pharmacy Board of Australia requires that CPD activities must be undertaken as part of developing and maintaining your CPD plan.
CPD activities should:
- Be relevant to your scope of practice.
- Be of significant intellectual or practical content and deal primarily with matters directly related to the practice of pharmacy – if a CPD activity is accredited by an authorised provider, the Board will accept that the activity has been reviewed for its educational quality and for its relevance to a pharmacist's practice.
- Consist of a range of different types of activities (i.e. journal articles, webinars, conferences, etc)
- Consist of a range of CPD activity groups (i.e. from Groups 1, 2, 3).
CPD activities delivered by an education provider should:
- Be conducted by someone who is qualified by practical or academic experience in the material covered, and/or.
- Cover subject material from reputable sources.
CPD is self-directed and self-determined. If a CPD activity is not accredited by an authorised accrediting body, you should assess it for suitability and relevance and determine whether it addresses your individual learning needs.
The College system provides a comprehensive catalogue of accredited CPD activities to help you address the identified requirements of your learning plan.
The College CPD record automatically lists the CPD activities you undertake using the system and you can manually record activities from other sources.
The total number of CPD credits undertaken throughout the CPD period is automatically calculated.
Your CPD record can be downloaded, should you need it for a Pharmacy Board CPD audit.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia requires that pharmacists reflect on each CPD activity undertaken. The reflection should include how the activity has impacted the pharmacist's practice (i.e. What do you do differently in your practice after completing the activity compared to before?). It can also include how appropriate the activity was to the pharmacist's practice (e.g. the activity focused on a key group of patients in my practice) and any further learning needs the activity has identified (i.e. What further education would you like to undertake in order to fill your knowledge gap?).
The College system includes an online journal tool for simple recording and reporting of CPD reflections. The tool can be used to report your reflections, should you need it for a Pharmacy Board CPD audit.
From time to time, the Pharmacy Board of Australia asks pharmacists to provide evidence of their CPD plans, activities and self-reflections.