Pilot evaluation of a continuing professional development tool for developing leadership skills

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Abstract

Background

Strategies are needed to assure essential nonclinical competencies, such as leadership, can be gained using a continuing professional development (CPD) framework.

Objective

The objective of this study was to explore student pharmacists' utilization and perceived effectiveness of a CPD tool for leadership development in an elective course.

Methods

Students completed 2 CPD cycles during a semester-long leadership elective using a CPD tool. A questionnaire was used to measure students' perceptions of utility, self-efficacy, and satisfaction in completing CPD cycles when using a tool to aid in this process.

Results

The CPD tool was completed twice by 7 students. On average, students spent nearly 5 hours per CPD cycle. More than half (57.1%) scored themselves as successful or very successful in achieving their learning plans, and most (71.4%) found the tool somewhat useful in developing their leadership skills. Some perceived that the tool provided a systematic way to engage in leadership development, whereas others found it difficult to use.

Conclusions

In this pilot study, most student pharmacists successfully achieved a leadership development plan and found the CPD tool useful. Providing students with more guidance may help facilitate use and effectiveness of CPD tools. There is a need to continue to develop and refine tools that assist in the CPD of pharmacy practitioners at all levels.

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