We are launching a consultation on continuing professional development

We have launched a consultation on a change to the continuing professional development (CPD) framework that would give the regulator more flexibility in how CPD records are called.

The proposed change would mean that, instead of calling the records of all registrants once every five years, we would randomly select a small portion (a minimum of 2.5%) of pharmacy professionals on an annual basis for review. The approach allows for a more responsive approach to CPD, and enables us to increase the sample size when appropriate – for example if concerns are raised about registrants’ ability to meet requirements for CPD. In practice, the proposed change would mean that registrants could be called more or less regularly than every five years.

The proposed change to the approach was informed by the results of a pilot study conducted by us, which confirmed that registrants selected at random continued to meet requirements at a level consistent with how they had performed under the current five year cycle.

Additional support for the proposed change is largely drawn from a qualitative review of the GPhC’s current approach to CPD conducted last year. Among the findings was a consistent message from pharmacy professionals who indicated that they valued undertaking CPD on a continuous basis, but recorded their activities often only in response to a call to submit records.

Evidence from the research and pilot study indicate that pharmacy professionals will still undertake their continuing professional development activities and that a change in the approach might encourage continuous recording.

All other current CPD requirements will remain the same and all pharmacy professionals must still continue to undertake and record their CPD.

Commenting on the consultation launch GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said:

“Our proposed change to CPD underscores our commitment to improving the regulatory effectiveness and proportionality of our work, and ensuring that pharmacy professionals continue to demonstrate their professionalism by reflecting regularly on learning and development activities.

‘CPD is a core professional responsibility and as the regulator we want to ensure that it continues to serve as a means of assuring public and patient safety.”

The consultation will run from 19 September 2016 to 31 October 2016.