Continuing professional development (CPD) is a process of continuing learning and development throughout the life of a professional. It enables pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to develop in their roles and demonstrate that they are competent in their area(s) of practice. It is not just about participating in continuing education, but an ongoing process of reflection, planning, action and evaluation.

All pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must undertake and record CPD as a condition of their registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The CPD requirements are not changed by factors such as part-time employment, working in a role where you do not have direct contact with patients, or living or working outside Great Britain.

Yes. The CPD call and review process is now a statutory process (which means that registrants are now required by law to keep records of their CPD and to submit these to the GPhC when requested).

When your CPD record is called for review, we will invite you to submit records for review that have been recorded over the last five years, or from the date you entered the register if you have been registered for less than five years, or from the date or your last CPD submission.

We will expect you to demonstrate that you have met the requirements and conditions for recording CPD that have been in place during the review period. That means that we will expect you to have made a minimum of nine CPD entries per year for each full year of registration since the CPD standards were first introduced by the RPSGB in March 2009, or the date you joined the register (whichever is later), or the date you last submitted CPD records, plus a proportion of 9 for each part year.

These entries must be submitted in a format published or approved by the GPhC, such as the template provided on the online recording website - www.uptodate.org.uk.

CPD entries that you make must also comply with the additional requirements of the CPD framework.

You should be recording a minimum of nine CPD entries per year for each full year of registration, or the date you joined the register (whichever is later), or the date you last submitted CPD records as part of a Call and Review request. They must reflect the context and scope of your practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. At least 3 must start at the ‘reflection’ phase.

You will receive a feedback report based on the entries in your CPD record that the reviewer has selected for review. Feedback will cover each of the four areas of the CPD cycle and will show where you have done well. It will also highlight any areas where improvements to CPD recording might be made and provide advice on good recording practice.

The standards require you to keep a legible record of your CPD and make a minimum of nine entries per year of your registration in a format approved by the GPhC. These can include a range of activities - from training courses to work-based skill development, and reading relevant to your field of practice. You should reflect on and record how each CPD task has helped you to develop or improve the quality of your practice, and submit your records to the GPhC when requested to do so.

For further information, please view our CPD Standards page.

The GPhC’s CPD standards came into force on 27th September 2010. The GPhC has, for an interim period, adopted the standards that were introduced by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in March, 2009. This means that any entries made in your CPD record after 27th September 2010 must comply with these standards. Any entries made between 1 March 2009 and 26 September 2010 should also comply.

The GPhC’s CPD requirements comprise the CPD framework, the CPD standards and CPD rules, all of which can be viewed at the CPD section of our website.

The GPhC has a duty under the Pharmacy Order 2010 to have these requirements in place - to define the process, what we mean by non-compliance with the CPD requirements and what action we might take when this happens.

The CPD framework and CPD rules came into force on 2 July, 2011. The CPD framework sets out in detail the minimum requirements to be met by pharmacy professionals with respect to their CPD compliance.

The CPD rules deal with non-compliance, the list of circumstances in which we will regard someone as having failed to comply with our CPD requirements, and the action we may take when this happens. As a result of the CPD framework and rules coming into force, there are a few changes to our CPD requirements and to the CPD call and review process. The most significant changes, that apply from 2 July, 2011, are outlined below:

  • A minimum of nine CPD entries per year for each full year of registration or the date you joined the register (whichever is later), or the date you last submitted CPD records as part of a Call and Review request;
  • At least 3 out of the 9 required CPD entries for each full year of your registration must start at the “reflection” stage;
  • When your CPD record is reviewed, the GPhC will check that you have applied at least 50% of the assessable criteria for good recording practice;
  • If the outcome of your CPD record review is that you have not met the GPhC’s CPD requirements we may ask you to undertake additional CPD activities by a specified date and to make a record of this learning in your CPD record;
  • If you fail to respond to a request from us to submit your CPD record for review by the deadline given, we may now remove you from the Register.

You will receive a limited number of reminders. If you do not respond to the original request or to any of the subsequent reminders, the GPhC will be able to remove your name from the Register.

You will receive notice from the Registrar that the GPhC intends to remove your name from the register and you will be given a limited amount of time in which to respond.

You will be given the opportunity to request a hearing if you believe there is a valid reason why an entry in the register should not be removed. If you do not request a hearing or, if following the hearing the Registrar is still of the opinion that you have failed to comply with our CPD requirements, the GPhC may proceed to remove your name from the Register. This is one of the reasons why it is vitally important that you inform us of any change of address, even one that is temporary.

If you believe you have good reason why you are unable to meet your deadline (for example, you or a close family member is seriously ill) you must contact us in advance of your deadline to request an extension. You will need to complete a CPD Extension Request form which you can download from our website at http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/continuing-professional-development/review-cpd-records.

 

If you are absent from work due to illness or maternity leave, you are exempt from making CPD entries provided that your period of absence is twelve months or less.

When your CPD record is called for review we will ask you to provide some information about the reasons for any gaps in your record and to support this with appropriate evidence. We recommend that, when you are able to, and particularly towards the end of your sickness or maternity leave, you undertake some learning, such as reading journal articles, to prepare yourself for your return to work.

You can use some of this learning as the basis for making some CPD entries. You may not be able to evaluate the benefits of this learning to your practice until you return to work, in which case we recommend that you make a note to take another look at the entries once you are back at work.

You can find additional information at http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/continuing-professional-development/review-cpd-records.

You would not be expected to record CPD for a period of up to 12 months whilst on maternity leave. When we request you to submit your CPD record (which is approximately every five years) please complete and submit a CPD Incomplete Record Notification Form:

You can find additional information at http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/continuing-professional-development/review-cpd-records.

Not all CPD records have to relate to clinical activity or dealing with patients. Your CPD record can reflect anything that is relevant to your particular role or scope of practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

For example, a manager’s record might contain entries reflecting managing, coaching or training skills being developed. Likewise, if you are working in a specialist field such as oncology, or as an advanced practitioner, such as a prescriber, your records should contain entries to reflect this.

NB. CPD records do not have to reveal commercially sensitive information about your organisation and must not breach patient confidentiality by identifying individual patients or customers by name.

No, you will not, as long as you respond to any request to submit your CPD record for review and have made a genuine attempt to fulfill our CPD requirements. If, for any reason, your submission does not meet the requirements of our CPD standards or the CPD framework, we may ask you to undertake some additional CPD activities within a set time frame and/or to make additional entries in your CPD record.

Your feedback report will provide you with information about the strengths and weaknesses of the entries that have been reviewed and some guidance to help you improve your future entries.

Your CPD record needs to be relevant to you and reflect each area of practice that you work in. Therefore, if you work in secondary care most of the time but undertake occasional locums in community practice your records should include CPD that is relevant to both areas.

If you work part-time within pharmacy you will still be expected to record, as a minimum, nine CPD entries for each year of your registration starting from 1st March 2009, or the date you joined the register (whichever is later), or the date you last submitted CPD records as part of a Call and Review request. Like all full-time pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, you will have been under an obligation to undertake and record CPD since 2005, unless you registered after this date or have previously been registered in the RPSGB’s non-practising register.

By registering or maintaining your registration with us, you have declared to us that you intend to practise as either a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in Great Britain, the Isle of Man or Channel Islands. This means that if you are on the GPhC register, you must comply with the CPD standards even if you are currently based overseas and/or are working outside of the pharmacy profession.

Your online account is backed up externally every hour, every day, and an offsite backup is carried out every week at a secure data centre. No one, including staff at the GPhC, has access to your personal CPD account unless you have given them permission using the viewer access facility that you can set up by clicking the “properties” tab when you are logged into your online account. If your CPD record has been called for review, the GPhC will only have access to those entries in your record that you have submitted for review purposes.

If you need a reminder of your username and password for recording CPD online, please go to the "login problems" section of www.uptodate.org.uk, scroll to the bottom of the page and add your GPhC number and surname.

If you have registered your email address with the GPhC, have previously used the online system and have set up a secret question that you are able to answer, your user details will be emailed to you automatically. If you have not previously logged onto www.uptodate.org.uk and not set up a secret question, then your user details will be posted to you (please note that this may take up to 7 days).

 

The GPhC cannot provide personal support or assistance with recording your entries, but there are number of resources available online within the ‘Education’ section of the website. Of particular use may be the Plan & Record document which offers guidance on how to record CPD.

 

A number of organisations provide opportunities for education and professional development. They include:

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (www.rpharms.com)
The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (www.cppe.ac.uk)
The Welsh Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education (www.wcppe.org.uk)
NHS Education for Scotland (www.nes.scot.nhs.uk)
The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (www.aptuk.org)
The National Prescribing Centre (www.npc.co.uk)
The UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (www.ukcpa.org)
National Pharmacy Association (www.npa.co.uk)
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (www.psnc.co.uk)
Community Pharmacy Scotland (www.communitypharmacyscotland.org.uk/)
Community Pharmacy Wales (www.cpwales.org.uk/)
UK Medicines Information (www.ukmi.nhs.uk/)

There are a number of resources available. These include:

This service is not available from the GPhC. Organisations such as The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, CPPE (Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education), NES (NHS Education Scotland), and WCPPE (Welsh Centre of Pharmacy Professional Education) may be able to offer assistance.

A number of organisations provide opportunities for education and professional development.

They include: