Learning Plans (CPD Plans)
A learning plan is a planning tool that you use to develop and guide your learning activities to enhance your capability to practise.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard requires pharmacists to self-assess their individual (learning) needs with reference to the Competency Standards for Pharmacists in Australia.
From 1 December 2015, the Board has introduced a new requirement that pharmacists develop a CPD plan which helps them identify and undertake activities to meet their professional development needs. A learning plan (CPD plan) is formulated after you assess your CPD needs. For example assess your needs to remain competent in the area in which you practice or to transition to advanced practice.
Pharmacists should set out a clear plan of professional education activities they intend to undertake to meet their identified learning needs.
In summary to meet Board’s standards you must plan your CPD on an annual basis by:
- reflecting on the role you perform and the services you provide, against the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia to identify relevant competencies
- identifying professional learning needs relevant to these identified competencies, and
- identifying suitable CPD activities which address your professional learning needs.
The Board encourages pharmacists to review their learning plans regularly during the CPD period to ensure that their needs are being met and amend to incorporate additional needs. Your CPD plan should be treated as a dynamic document, which can be amended to incorporate unplanned, newly identified activities that may become available to you during the CPD period.
The National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia also encourages pharmacists to identify areas in need of further development through self-reflection or through performance appraisal.
A learning plan (CPD plan) should be reviewed and updated, at least at the commencement of each CPD year. An audit of compliance with the standard will require evidence of the plan and the associated CPD activities. Records of CPD must be able to be verified and pharmacists are required to keep the CPD plan/records and any supporting documentation for the full three CPD periods.