Australian Pharmacists' understanding of their Continuing Professional Development Obligations

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Abstract

Background:

Adoption of mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists in Australia is relatively new. Difficulties have been reported with the introduction of CPD frameworks in other countries. There is limited information on how Australian pharmacists have engaged with the CPD requirements for registration.

Aim:

To explore Australian pharmacists' understanding and engagement with the CPD requirements for renewal of registration.

Method:

The Pharmacy Board of Australia's CPD requirements for registration was used to design an online survey to explore the level of understanding and engagement Australian pharmacists have with the CPD framework.

Results:

278 pharmacists responded to the survey - 66% were female, 30% were male and 4% did not disclose their gender. 63% of respondents noted that it would not be difficult to acquire 40 CPD credits annually. Respondents identified that Group 1 activities were a preferred way of acquiring CPD credits. Majority of pharmacists (91%) believed that they knew the CPD requirements for registration and 77% noted that there had been sufficient guidance provided. Despite this, 26% of participants had never used self-directed learning plans and 38% did not know how to undertake self-directed learning. 76% of participants were under the common misconception that CPD is synonymous with continuing education.

Conclusion:

The majority of pharmacists believe they understand and can engage in the acquisition of CPD credits for renewal of registration. Some aspects of the CPD framework was not understood, such as how it aims to develop a pharmacist's practice. This aspect of the CPD framework will need to be further developed.

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