Planned learning example: learning about endometriosis

Student working on laptop

This is the second year that planned learning can be submitted to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Similarly to 2018, a minimum of two CPD records must be planned and a maximum of two can be unplanned.

The following planned learning entry is intended to act as a guide to better enable you to complete your own learning for submission to the myGPhC site. You should not replicate or copy and paste this material, rather create your own entry based on your experience. You should reflect on your own practice and consider how your patients or service users have benefited from your learning.

The following example is from the perspective of a community pharmacist:


Learning about endometriosis

What are you planning to learn?

Tell us what learning you are planning to carry out. What you need to learn may be new knowledge, skills, or a new attitude or approach — anything that you think will make you better able to do your job as a pharmacy professional or prepare you for a new service or role. You should be as specific as possible.

You should explain why this learning is relevant to you in your role as a pharmacy professional and how it will affect the people using your services. If you don’t think it is relevant or will have a significant beneficial impact on anyone, you might want to consider why you are planning to carry out and record this learning.

Please take care not to disclose any confidential information about patients without their consent.

I want to learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis and management of endometriosis, including what other conditions it can be confused with and the risk factors for developing the condition.

This learning is relevant to me as endometriosis affects 10% of women between their first menstruation and menopause. Owing to the non-specific symptoms that patients are likely to present within community pharmacy, it is important that pharmacists can recognise and distinguish when a patient may have endometriosis.

This learning will help me improve my knowledge of endometriosis, allow me to provide better advice to patients presenting with endometriosis-like symptoms and provide advice to patients being treated for endometriosis.

How are you planning to learn it?

It is important for you to consider a range of options for achieving your learning across the breadth of your CPD entries. Focus your planned CPD on those activities that are relevant to, or likely to have the biggest impact on, the people using your services.

  • I plan to read The Pharmaceutical Journal CPD article ‘Endometriosis: symptoms, diagnosis and management’;
  • I plan to complete The Pharmaceutical Journal CPD quiz to test my endometriosis knowledge;
  • I plan to visit the Endometriosis UK charity website to find out more about the presenting symptoms, the patient experience and lifestyle advice to help patients manage pain;
  • I plan to read the BNF to find out more about pharmacological treatment options for endometriosis, including counselling points and cautions;
  • I plan to read the NICE guidelines on endometriosis.

Give an example of how this learning has benefited the people using your services

Putting learning into practice is a good way to prove that you have learnt what you intended. Tell us what specific skills, attitudes and / or behaviours you have gained as a result of your learning.

Include a real example of how the people using your services have benefited from your learning. If you were able to introduce a new service successfully, the benefits will be clear. If you are more confident in your ability to respond to a particular query, or have some new knowledge that you can use in your practice, that is also a beneficial outcome.

Do include any feedback about your practice that you have had from other people.

I have learnt about the common signs and symptoms of endometriosis (e.g. chronic pelvic pain) and how it occurs. I have improved my knowledge of the causes and the factors that can increase a patient’s risk of developing endometriosis (e.g. obesity). I am also aware of the different conditions that endometriosis may be mistaken for (e.g. appendicitis) and the experience of women who have endometriosis.

A patient recently came into the pharmacy and asked for advice about on-going painful periods (around four months) and pain during urination and sexual intercourse. Owing to my learning, I was able to recognise her symptoms and recommended she speak to her GP as her symptoms indicated possible endometriosis.

This learning benefited my patient as she then went to her GP and was prescribed a three-month combined oral contraceptive to help manage her pain. I was then able to advise her on what she should expect from this treatment in terms of relief and side effects. I was also able to advise her on lifestyle advice, such as applying heat packs, to potentially help her manage her pain. The patient returned several weeks later saying that she had trialled the combined oral contraceptive and the heat packs, and although they provided some relief, she is now been considered for surgery to help manage her endometriosis. The patient expressed gratitude for my advice and taking the time to discuss her treatment and condition with her.

Before creating your own planned learning entries, see ‘Revalidation: How to use planned and unplanned learning entries to record CPD
’, which provides a step-by-step guide for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians writing and submitting this vital part of revalidation.

How the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is supporting members with revalidation

A dedicated revalidation support hub, which also provides more information on the various support services offered is available on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website and includes:

  • RPS MyCPD app — An app supported by The Pharmaceutical Journal. Available for iOS devices via the App Store and Android devices via Google Play. For information on how to use the app, see ‘How to use the new ‘RPS MyCPD’ app for pharmacy revalidation
  • Revalidation support service — Members can contact this service by phone (0333 733 2570 Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:00) or email;
  • Revalidation events — Information on the latest events can be found on the website;
  • MyCPD Portfolio — Members can create a portfolio allowing you to make records of any CPD you have engaged with and retain these records throughout your career.


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Planned learning example: learning about endometriosis;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207132

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