Magazine article Drug Topics
Update: The Continuing Professional Development Initiative from ACPE
Expanding traditional approaches to lifelong learning
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) model is being explored as an enhancement to the current pharmacist continuing education (CE) system in the United States.
CPD has been defined as "a selfdirected, ongoing, systematic and outcomes-focused approach to learning and professional development." Evidence exists that CE in the health professions, including pharmacy, can lead to gains in knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, and changes in practice, but also that improvements can be made to current approaches. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine highlighted these issues.
As a result, ACPE has promoted the adoption of CPD as an expanded learning approach by the inclusion of CPD principles in its accreditation standards and by providing information and resources about the CPD process.
The CPD approach is used by pharmacists in Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and several other countries. In the United States, five states - Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin - launched a CPD pilot program in 2006.
With ACPE's support, the program was organized by various state pharmacy associations, schools of pharmacy, and state boards. Its purpose was to develop and evaluate a process and resources for implementing CPD that could be used by pharmacists in the United States. In addition, the pilot project sought to evaluate the effectiveness of CPD as a learning model. Findings of the pilot program were published in 2010.
ACPE officials state that "CPD is selfdirected and practitioner-centered, practice-based, and outcomes -oriented. Its goal is to ensure pharmacists enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values required for their specific area of practice and ultimately to achieve improved patient outcomes."
The CPD model is usually described as a four-stage cyclical learning process. Each stage of the process can be recorded in a pharmacist's "personal portfolio," which is developed over time into a record of learning experiences and acts as an ongoing tool for review and self-evaluation. …