Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

The Development of the Croatian Competency Framework for Pharmacists

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

The Development of the Croatian Competency Framework for Pharmacists

Article excerpt


Implementation of pharmacy competencies as a basic prerequisite for providing pharmaceutical care and ensuring patient treatment outcomes is increasingly supporting the development of pharmacists across sectors. (1,2) Competency pertains to knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that affect an individual's role or responsibilities, relate to job performance, and are subject to improvement through training and development activities. (3) Competency-based developmental frameworks are increasingly common among health professions in high-income countries and are frequently used to define standards for education and training and for career progression. (4) They contain a structured assembly of behavioral competencies that can contribute to supporting practitioner development and allow for effective and sustained performance.

Culture can influence expectations of pharmaceutical services by public and regulatory bodies, and religion, traditions, history, experiences, and perceptions of medications all challenge the unified understanding of competencies in pharmacy. (5) Therefore, the International Pharmacy Federation, through the Pharmacy Education Initiative (FIPEd) developed an evidenced-based Global Competency Framework (GbCF), a document that contains a core set of behavioral competencies that should be generally applicable for the pharmacy workforce worldwide. (6) The GbCF does not imply that there should be a single global curriculum that would fit all countries, but rather that it can be taken by other countries and adapted to their own needs.

Development of a national competency framework for pharmacists in Croatia was important as it could lay the foundation for bridging the gap between traditional pharmacy education and the ever-changing demands of modern health care systems. One of the major drawbacks of the Croatian continuing education (CE) model is lack of a supporting system that could assist pharmacists in identifying their learning needs and supporting their development. Therefore, development of the Croatian Competency Framework (CCF) for pharmacists, with minimum competencies required, was a way to resolve those issues, namely assessing the differences between the established and desired levels of their performance and informing development of a competency-based curriculum to achieve the desired level of competency, as previously conducted on a "pharmaceutical care competencies" cluster. (7) Furthermore, strategies for quality improvement of CE and continuous professional development (CPD) educational activities have been offered and could serve as a complementary supporting system for continuing education development. (8)

The Croatian Competency Framework could assist individuals and organizations with career planning opportunities and allow the pharmacy sector to implement useful and harmonized professional development on national level. Therefore, the aim of this research was to adapt and validate the GbCF to be relevant for Croatian community and hospital pharmacists.


To develop a competency framework for community and hospital pharmacists in Croatia, a GbCF developed by the FIPEd was used. (6) A descriptive study was conducted in three consecutive steps: translation, consensus development, and validation by an expert panel and public consultation. Each subsequent phase was informed by and built upon the preceding phase.

Following the standard methods of translation, the original English version of the GbCF was translated into the Croatian language by expert pharmacists familiar with terminology of the area covered by the framework and knowledgeable of English-speaking culture. Based on the Brislin translation model, the framework was then back-translated by two bilingual translators, both versions were compared for accuracy and equivalence, and any discrepancies that had occurred during the process were negotiated. …

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