The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) recognizes pharmacy as a profession. Pharmacists are obligated to maintain their professional competence by keeping their knowledge and skill set current.  With the ever changing world of health care delivery and increasing demands of patients, pharmacists must commit to maintaining professional competence through lifelong learning, or “Continuing Professional Development”. 

In addition, pharmacy support personnel must develop and maintain skills necessary to support pharmacists in their current roles as well as those that develop over time.

According to Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Continuing Professional Development is 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 in developing and maintaining competence, enhancing professional practice, and supporting achievement of career goals”1

Continuing professional development can be achieved via myriad means.  The following are adapted from the ACPE Guidelines on Continuing Pharmacy Education and Continuing Professional Development1:

  • Continuing Education
    • Participation in continuing education activities by accredited providers
  • Academic/Professional Study
    • Participating in conferences, workshops, retreats
    • Undertaking academic coursework or postgraduate education
    • Completing certification courses
    • Completing an independent study
    • Reading and reflecting on healthcare articles and literature
    • Leading or participating in journal clubs
  • Teaching and Precepting
    • Developing, presenting, and/or authoring educational content
    • Teaching and precepting students, residents, or other healthcare professionals
    • Peer coaching or mentoring programs
  • Workplace Activities
    • Engaging in point-of-care learning, i.e. self-directed learning on topics relevant to clinical practice
    • Job shadowing
    • Preparing for external review, accreditation, or certification
    • Implementing performance improvement projects
    • Discussion with peers/colleagues
    • Consultation with peer and healthcare experts
  • Scholarly Pursuits
    • Conducting research in one’s professional field
    • Presenting and/or publishing scholarly works
    • Serving as content reviewer for publications, dissertation, or other scholarly works
    • Test-item writing (e.g. high stakes examinations, peer-reviewed self-assessment activities, or researching, drafting, and defending questions)
  • Professional/Community Service
    • Serving on a committee or holding office in a professional association
    • Active involvement in professional associations/organizations
    • Active involvement in advocacy events and training
    • Volunteer experiences or special interest groups

1Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Guidelines on Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  ACPE Board of Directors, June 2014.

Revised 10/2015