Continuing professional development records to be called at random under new plans from British pharmacy regulator

General Pharmaceutical Council signage

Pharmacists will be randomly selected every year to provide a record of their continuing professional development (CPD) in changes being put forward for consultation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

The pharmacy regulator says the move towards a random sampling system will save around £200,000 a year and will encourage the profession to keep contemporaneous CPD records. 

Under the present system, pharmacists are required to produce their individual CPD record every five years as part of the regulatory process. But the GPhC says it is common practice for pharmacists to put their CPD record together only when it is being called in, rather than keeping it up to date as the CPD is completed. 

The GPhC believes asking a random 2.5% of pharmacists annually to produce their CPD record means it is likely that records will be kept continually up to date. 

Pharmacists randomly selected during one year will be excluded from the following year’s sample, the GPhC says. 

“Our proposed change to how we call CPD records is aimed at improving the regulatory effectiveness and proportionality of our work, and ensuring that pharmacy professionals continue to demonstrate their professionalism by reflecting regularly on learning and development activities,” the GPhC says.

“CPD is a core professional responsibility and pharmacy professionals are still expected to continuously do and record continuing professional development activities.” 

The proposals, details of which can be found in the minutes from the meeting of the GPhC council on 8 September 2016, follow a review of the present CPD system and the results of a pilot based on random selection which found that records were maintained to the required standard apart from those by pharmacists who were already subject to remediation support. 

The consultation will run for six weeks and its results will be considered by the GPhC in winter 2016. They will also be taken into account as part of wider CPD reforms which are expected to be put out for consultation in spring 2017.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2016, Vol 297, No 7893;297(7893):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201696

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