The President's Message - Lifetime Strategic Planning - CPD

by Chris Rivers, ICHP President
August 15, 2012

ICHP updates the strategic plan every three years.  Our organizational strategic plan is our roadmap.  

Lifetime strategic planning includes continuing professional development (CPD).  Beyond the continuing education credits required to maintain licensure, CPD creates the structure or outline of our professional development and competency.  The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) defines CPD as “the lifelong process of active participation in learning activities that assists individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and supporting achievement of their career goals.”1  

In 2009 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and other organizations urged for reform in the education and training of healthcare professionals.  The institute recommended that regulatory boards shift to a requirement that licensed professionals demonstrate their patient care delivery ability.

As with all continuing education, the goal of CPD is to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by pharmacists for their practice. As ASHP states, “research has shown that traditional approaches to CE can be effective in both learning and practice change, but that outcomes of learning can be improved if the learning is in an area of interest or preference, related to daily practice, selected in response to identified need, interactive and hands-on, self-directed, focused on specific outcomes and objectives, and if the learning uses more than one intervention (i.e., is continuing, not opportunistic) and includes a ‘commitment to change.’ These principles and strategies are all incorporated into the CPD approach.”2

ACPE and other national pharmacy organizations have CPD statements or policies.  In 2006, a five-state pilot, consisting of Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Washington and Iowa,  was conducted where pharmacists documented their learning  by reflecting on their current practice, assessing and identifying professional learning needs and opportunities, developing and implementing a personalized learning plan, and evaluating learning outcomes.  The results of this pilot study were published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.4

From ASHP, the CPD process includes the following steps:2
Reflect: Identify your own current challenges and opportunities for improvement in care. Develop your learning goals based upon practice and career needs, prioritize these goals, and think about a realistic timeframe to achieve each.
Plan: Develop a plan to meet your learning goals.  Some methods to do this include performing web searches, attending webinars or live-meetings, reading journal articles, or accessing social media outlets (through ASHP Connect) and/or listserves (refer to ASHP Sections).
Act: Follow through on your plan to meet your learning goals. Your plan will likely include some educational programs with CE credits.  A good source for this could be ICHP continuing education events as well as the ASHP CE Center.
Evaluate: Evaluate the outcomes of your activities and assess the impact on patient care as well as your own professional development.
Record & Review: Do this during each step in order to monitor and manage your plan as well as your progress.

ACPE is a good CPD education resource for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, student pharmacists and CE providers.  There are several audio-visual presentations: CPD 101, Inventory of Learning Styles, Using Reflection to Create a Learning Plan; Act, and Evaluate, and Record Your CPD.  In addition, there is a CPD portfolio, a tool which contains worksheets to assist you when starting your CPD. You may also find CPD info and worksheets in ICHP’s Members Only Toolkits -

ICHP developed a position statement regarding CPD, which states that “as members of a profession, pharmacists are obligated to maintain their professional competency by keeping their knowledge base and skill set up to date.”4

  1. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Continuing Professional Development. (accessed July 23, 2012).  
  2. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Continuing Professional Development. (accessed  July 23, 2012).
  3. Dopp AL.  A five-state continuing professional development pilot program for practicing pharmacists. Am J Pharm Educ 2010 March 10;74(2):  28.
  4. Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists. Continuing Professional  (accessed July 23, 2012).  ?

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