Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process by which pharmacists and pharmacy technicians keep up-to-date through learning.
It is a mandatory requirement for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to complete a minimum of nine CPD entries per year to remain on the GPhC register.
Top tips for recording CPD
- Decide how you will record your CPD entries – online or paper based. Ultimately the GPhC will phase out the paper-based method
- The GPhC will expect you to achieve at least 50% of the assessable good CPD recording practice criteria overall within your CPD record(s)
- Make your learning/development needs specific – if it is too broad it will be difficult to evaluate your learning
- Aim to document at least 1-2 pieces of learning per month
- Utilise the CPD modules available from the NPA to add towards your CPD evidence
- Make note of any CPD ideas that you come across whilst at work to avoid forgetting them. You can use a diary or even a notes app on your smart phone to keep a record
- Discuss your CPD with colleagues and peers this may provide you with a broader range of ideas for CPD records. If you are recording CPD online, you can grant permission for others to view your CPD records
- Look back through your diary and make a note of learning events you attended (e.g. NPA Conference) and queries from patients or other healthcare professionals that you ‘looked into’ resulting in undertaking a learning activity – consider what you learnt from these activities and document them
- Record as many CPD records as possible. When you are requested to submit your CPD this will provide you with a choice of entries to select from for submission
- Ensure you answer all the questions on the recording format. Some questions may act as a prompt to help ensure you are recording learning that is relevant to your job
- The person reviewing your CPD won’t know you, your job or your learning/development needs, therefore, write your entries like a story and put it into context e.g. “as a pharmacist working in a small pharmacy I need to learn about …..because……”
- Section 7 of ‘Plan and Record’ includes criteria for good CPD recording practice. This criteria is the same as the criteria that the CPD reviewers will use. Use this to make a self-assessment of your CPD entries and determine the likelihood of meeting the review criteria
- It is really important to write a brief statement on the learning outcomes, even if this is different from the original learning/development need. This question should be completed in the past tense once you have completed your learning activities
- Focus your planned CPD on those activities that are likely to have the biggest impact on your service users, your colleagues and your organisation. This will help you prioritise your learning and choose what to include in your CPD entries
- Remember to consider a range of learning activities when deciding how you will meet your learning/development need e.g. e-learning, talking to colleagues, work shadowing
What happens if CPD standards are not met?
Should you fail to meet the required standards, in most cases, the GPhC will ask you to carry out additional CPD, usually targeted at specific areas of your practice. You will be asked to submit these additional entries to the GPhC for review within a specified timescale.
If there are considerable failings in your records and you fail to improve them, the GPhC can cancel your registration or remove an annotation to your register entry relating to a specialty.
If your CPD records are thought to contain false or misleading information or fraud is suspected, the GPhC will conduct an investigation under their fitness to practice procedures. This could lead to your registration being cancelled.
For full details of your CPD requirements and FAQs refer to the GPhC website.