CPD Requirements

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which pharmacists continue to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has determined that pharmacists must undertake self-directed learning as part of a structured learning/CPD plan. For the period starting 1 October 2015, CPD obligations have changed and the Board has introduced a new requirement that every pharmacist develop and maintain a CPD plan. Pharmacists should ensure that they meet the Board’s CPD standard by:
  • developing and maintaining their CPD plan 
  • selecting appropriate CPD activities to address the competencies identified in the CPD plan which are relevant to their scope of practice 
  • maintaining detailed records of activities undertaken, and 
  • ensuring that these records can be verified. 

CPD is divided into 3 Groups.

Group 1 CPD credits can be gained by reading or listening and absorbing. No assessment is required for group 1 content. All you need to do is record that you have done it. One hour worth of involvement earns you 1 CPD credit. Your group 1 credits can constitute NO MORE THAN 50% of your total CPD credits for the year.

Group 2 CPD credits are those for which you have been assessed on the content. The best examples of these are the multiple choice questions (MCQs) from various pharmacy publications like Retail Pharmacy and AJP. You can answer these assessments on the College website and they will be recorded for you on your CPD record. You can also manually add in further group 2 activities that you have undertaken from elsewhere. Just use the self-record function in the College’s CPD library.

There are many other opportunities to undertake Group 2 CPD on the College website. You can access a wide range of clinical, business and compounding CPD.

Group 3 CPD credits can be gained by undertaking and assessing an activity that leads to practice change. For example, you may give a presentation or training to your staff or write and publish a journal article. You could engage in small group discussion with others (pharmacists or team members) to draw up a plan for changing the way you deliver certain services or plan the introduction of services. This type of activity also requires a reflection post-activity to evaluate any practice change or outcomes resulting from the activity.

For this you can get Group 3 CPD credits (3 for each hour of effort).

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has made the overarching statement that CPD activities should be made as part of developing and maintaining your CPD plan. CPD activities should:

  • be relevant to your scope of practice
  • be of significant intellectual or practical content and deal primarily with matters directly related to the practice of pharmacy. If a CPD activity is accredited by an authorised provider, the Board will accept that the activity has been reviewed for its educational quality and for its relevance to a pharmacist's practice
  • consist of a range of different types of activities and CPD activity groups (Group 1, 2 and 3)
CPD activities delivered by an education provider should:
  • be conducted by someone who is qualified by practical or academic experience in the material covered, and/or
  • cover subject material from reputable sources.

CPD activities do not need to be accredited (i.e. by an Accrediting Organisation such as the College). Remember CPD is self-directed and is determined by YOU and the needs you have identified for yourself. If a CPD activity is not accredited by an authorised provider, you will need to assess it for suitability and relevance and determine whether your individual learning needs will be addressed.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia requires that pharmacists accrue 40 CPD credits by September 30, 2016. We have attached a link to the guidelines produced by the Board outlining their requirements for CPD. From time to time, the Board may require you to provide evidence of your CPD.

The College learning management system is designed to assist you to comply with Pharmacy Board requirements.