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What is CPD?

What is CPD? Learn the importance of continuing professional development as a service provider because of rapid changes.
Hello everyone, my name is Shao Ching Chiang currently the deputy director of pharmacy in Koo Foundations Sun-Yet Sen Cancer Center, Taipei, Taiwan Today we are going to discuss a very important topic which is continuing professional development This is today’s outline we will have a brief introduction about continuing professional development And also we want to differentiate different terminology in describing similar concept in continuing professional development including CE continuing education or self-directed education or lifelong education And also, we will introduce briefly about international model of continuing professional development We will have United Kingdom and Canada as two examples And then we will talk about FIP publish and GPP which is Good Pharmacy Practice And on this document there is a focus on maintaining and improving professional performance And we will discuss about the content Also, we will share the experience in Taiwan There are several important movement or program has been done in Taiwan and we will use a future direction as any conclusion We all know that all clinical professions are built on a continuous involving rapidly changing foundations of scientific knowledge in changes in scientific medical and social context often result in the need to develop new skill sets and re-exam attitude and clinical behaviors So, the mechanisms for ensuring that individual practitioner remain current and at the forefront of change are essential If best clinical practice standards are to be implemented in day to day professional work And, there has been considerable interests in the mechanism by which individual practitioners maintain their competence and engage in lifelong learning within their life or within their field And there is growing recognition that lifelong learning is not a skill automatically conferred on graduation with a professional degree Instead, practitioners need to learn how to build on their existing skill sets and knowledge base during their career as their professional practice evolves, and changes Given the competing demands on time and resources faced by most practitioners finding a mechanism to build lifelong learning and maintenance of competency into daily practice can be challenging So, continuing professional development is an approach to this challenge that suggest learning takes place every day in myriad ways within a professional context By recognizing and embracing the many learning opportunities presented by our daily work and by using these opportunities to frame our personal learning objectives for future development it is possible for us as pharmacist and other professionals to use our practice in a more efficient and effective manner to drive professional development There are several terminologies We may use them interchangeably or we could use several similar terms to describe one concept but actually they have different in certain aspects So, we want to define these terminology right now so when we continue on the topic we know when we use the term we know what we’re talking about The first one is the most commonly used term called continuing education abbreviated CE Continuing education is a program of study aimed at a particular group or vocation profession with the intent of keeping participants up to date within a particular field It is usually episodic, part-time nature also focus on specific trends For example, it usually is a series of discrete stand-alone activities, programs or classes It is usually built on presumed preexisting knowledge base and skill sets It tends to focus more heavily on application then on theory Continuing professional development abbreviated as CPD is different from continuing education that previous we mentioned about CPD, continuing professional development usually plays on the context of updating your professional knowledge and competence throughout your working life And it is the integral to day-to-day professional work and life Another terminology is lifelong learning It described all learning activity could be both personal or professional you undertake This refer to the relevant learning not limited to professional domains of knowledge and that all new knowledge will find applications within both professional and personal contexts Self-directed learning is an approach to education in which you have full control over both the learning objectives and the means of learning And you must take the initiative and full responsibility for self-assessment, educational endeavor and an evaluation of outcomes related to learning needs The self-directed learning is probably the highest level of continuous professional development Someone could fulfill the mandatory continued education but someone may not fulfill the self-directed learning We hope that all our continuing professional development is self-directed and also, lifelong learning But in the traditional way almost every country or almost every regulatory body in a country has mandatory CE requirements This is a state board regulating pharmacy requirement They require the pharmacists to complete a minimum number of CE hours a year or within a certain period of time to fulfill a certain number of points or credits The mandatory CE hours or requirement actually do not translate into any meaningful practice changes And also, there is no evidence that individual who complete mandatory continuous education requirement maintain their competency This is the problem of traditional mandatory CE hours requirement People just come in, sign the attendance sheet and sitting there People may listen to the speaker they may learn something from a speaker or they could take a nap in the class and not learning anything Then,when they finish the hours they sign the sheet again and left And, those mandatory CE requirement only count the hours or the credit hours that the person completed So, in the traditional mandatory CE hours or requirement it doesn’t require to prove the competency you have after the CE hours And also, many requirement also required the attending a CE events and completing a post event assessment Even though the person complete and successfully achieved a satisfactory points on the post event assessment that do not correlate with competency or improved professional practice in any meaningful way So, this is the problem that we are facing and we may need to resolve it So, traditional method for encouraging professional development and learning fail to work As an individual practitioner you must reflect on and answer difficult but important questions The two questions as following number one, what motivates you to learn once you have passed all required examination in another way of saying is after all the required examination you obtained the practicing license and no other examination pressing you on to actively stated study And what would be the motivation in your mind in deep in your heart to push you and to make you want to learn?
And, the second question is what engages you when the in practice to want to continue your professional and personal development? In another way of saying is how the professional educational program or educational development career really engage you in your practice? So, the most important question we are facing is we have the educational program continue education program but do we really learn something from the educational program and also, we could apply the knowledge and skills we learned in the educational program in our daily practice? And, the practice is the one that really benefit the patients

Chiang first outlines the learning objectives of this activity before providing details on what is CPD and some important terminologies.

Continuing Professional Development Key Points

Continuing professional development for clinical professions is built on a rapidly changing foundation of scientific knowledge and social context. Thus there is a need to constantly develop new skill sets and re-exam attitude and clinical behaviors. Mechanisms have to be put in place to ensure that individual practitioners remain current and competent.

While practitioners themselves need to engage in lifelong learning. This can be challenging, and CPD is an approach to overcome this challenge. CPD suggests that learning takes place every day in myriad ways within a professional context. By recognizing and embracing the many learning opportunities presented by our daily work.


  • Continuing education (CE), program of study targeting a particular group or vocation. Aim to keep participants up to date with knowledge within a particular field. Usually episodic and part-time, and focus on specific trends. Presumes participants to have the pre-existing knowledge base and skillsets, focusing more on the application than on theory.
  • Continuing Professional Development, focus on updating professional knowledge and competence throughout one’s working life. Integral to day-to-day professional work.
  • Lifelong learning, all learning activities, both personal and professional.
  • Self-directed learning, an approach to education where one has full control over the learning objectives, the means of learning, and assessment.
  • Mandatory CE requirements, state board regulations require pharmacists to complete a minimum number of CE hours annually.

However, there are some practical issues in mandatory CE:

  • Training may not translate into meaningful practice change.
  • No evidence of maintaining competency.
  • No correlation between competency or improved professionalism and attending CE events.

Thus, it is important to self-reflect:

  • What motivates you to continue learning?
  • What engages you within the practice to continue improving?

If you would like to learn more about continuing professional development and its importance, check out this course “Good Pharmacy Practice: Pharmaceutical services” from Taipei Medical University.



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Good Pharmacy Practice: Pharmaceutical Services

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