Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Results of the Pre-Conference Survey: ACPE Invitational Conference on Advancing Quality in Pharmacy Education

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Results of the Pre-Conference Survey: ACPE Invitational Conference on Advancing Quality in Pharmacy Education

Article excerpt


This report summarizes the results of a survey involving a broad array of pharmacy and health care leaders that was developed and administered by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) prior to its invitational conference in Atlanta on September 12-14, 2012. (1) ACPE designed this consensus-seeking conference to ensure that the accreditation of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) educational programs in the United States is well aligned with the future needs of the pharmacy profession. The findings and recommendations emerging from this conference will guide the revision process for ACPE accreditation standards and guidelines. (2,3)

The purpose of the survey was to collect information to stimulate thought and discussion by conference participants and presenters. The survey assessed perceptions of: 1) the competency of current graduates in key practice areas, 2) the competencies needed for future practice, and 3) the effectiveness of current strategies for assessment of student attainment of expected competencies including the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).

Surveys were distributed to those individuals who would be attending the conference (Participants) and to a larger, broader group of practitioners and educators (Stakeholders) using Survey Monkey [R] software. The following organizations agreed to invite individuals within their constituencies (Stakeholders) to complete the survey: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and National Community Pharmacists Association.


The Participant survey was sent to 93 expected conference attendees with 74 individuals returning the survey for a 79.5% response rate. The estimated number of individuals in the Stakeholder group who received the survey was 1932 with 761 individuals completing the survey (a response rate of about 40%).

Table 1 shows the demographic descriptors of the survey's 835 respondents. Respondents represented a wide range of interests within pharmacy practice and education. The relative proportion of individuals within each sub-group appeared to be evenly distributed between Participants and Stakeholders groups except that a larger proportion of faculty appeared in the Stakeholder group and a higher proportion of Association Executives and Pharmacy Practice Managers within the Participant group.

Initial analysis found very few differences between Participant and Stakeholder responses so the results of the two groups were combined for purposes of this report. However, when important differences did appear between Participants and Stakeholders, they are noted in this report. Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, Table 5, and Table 6 list the respondent ratings of the survey items. Although the total pool of respondents was 835, the actual number of responses (see Total column) was somewhat different for each question because not all respondents answered all questions.

Competencies of Current Graduates

Respondents were asked questions regarding whether current PharmD graduates are competent in 27 key areas of practice. They recorded their perceptions using a 4 point Likert-type scale: strongly agree/agree/disagree/strongly disagree. Respondents also were given the option of declaring that they were "unable to answer" each question. Overall, respondents were in agreement with the majority of the areas; that is, graduates are competent in most of the 27 areas. To identify areas that could be improved, a criterion of 25% or higher level of disagreement (last column in Table 2) was established. Using this criterion, 11 areas (highlighted in Table 2) were identified as needing focused attention with the area of "conducting research and scholarship" having the highest level of disagreement (65. …

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