Irish Institute of Pharmacy
The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (the Institute) was established at the end of 2011 by the PSI Council, in line with the recommendations of the Review of International CPD models, as the most appropriate structure to oversee the CPD system on behalf of the Council of the PSI. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has been contracted by the PSI to facilitate the establishment of an Institute of Pharmacy.
The Institute will be responsible for overseeing the establishment and operation of a new CPD system and driving the development of pharmacy practice to ensure that it meets the emerging needs of patients and the wider healthcare system. It will oversee the management and support mechanisms for CPD and the commissioning of required education and training programmes in line with national policy and evolving healthcare needs. The Institute will assure the quality of a multiple provider system. The Institute will also progress the development of pharmacy practice in line with international best practice and evolving healthcare needs.
Roll out of the Institute’s services
The Institute’s services will be rolled out over a four year period. A CPD portfolio system will be established in the early stages to allow pharmacists to record and reflect on learning obtained and required. This will be introduced in tandem with an Institute website to serve as a central source of information on CPD for pharmacists. There will be an initial focus on establishing support structures to help pharmacists to engage with the CPD system and on ensuring that learning opportunities are put in place that reflect the needs of all pharmacists and national healthcare policy. In 2013 a competency-based Quality Assurance process, that is based on the successful QA programme for pharmacists in Ontario, will be developed and piloted. This QA process will be peer led and developed and will underpin the continued development of the profession. Full roll-out of the system is anticipated in 2014.
The Benefits of the Irish Institute of Pharmacy
For the individual pharmacist
The Institute will facilitate the provision of a source of accessible learning, tailored to individual needs. This will include online courses accessible from the Institute’s website. It will provide reflective tools which will allow pharmacists to consider their own competencies and target areas of improvement. The Institute will, in time, also facilitate formal recognition of professional development and be able to recognise specialist and applied competencies held by pharmacists, while supporting advanced roles such as the superintendent pharmacist and senior clinical roles. The award of Fellowships by the Institute is envisaged, with the CPD portfolio system allowing ongoing recognition of all learning pursued and competencies developed. The Institute will also provide a mechanism to put in place support structures to facilitate the engagement of all pharmacists with CPD and other mechanisms that will allow pharmacists to engage with peers to share ideas and learning.
For the profession
As an effective CPD system needs to be aligned with development objectives, part of the Institute’s remit will be to advance the practice of pharmacy and ensure that it continues to maintain and build upon its position at the forefront of healthcare delivery. Developments in pharmacy practice will be enabled, supported and facilitated by having an Institute and a quality assured CPD system in place. The Institute will enhance the profile and reputation of pharmacy in Ireland and support the building of closer links with other healthcare professions and more effective and integrated healthcare delivery. It will also assure the competence of the entire profession and reinforce consistent standards of service across all pharmacists for all patients.
For patients, the health service and the wider public
The Institute will seek to assure the competence of pharmacists as frontline health professionals serving all members of the public. It will provide a platform for pharmacists to share ideas, information and learning and draw on international evidence to ensure that practice is continually improved across services. The Institute will promote collaboration across the various healthcare professions and will facilitate inter-professional learning in the interests of service improvements. The development of the profession will facilitate more accessible, cost-effective and integrated delivery of healthcare and will ensure that patient needs are met in the local environment in a more timely manner. Specialised and advanced services will become increasingly available from the local pharmacy and the Institute will help to ensure that provision responds to the emerging needs of the health system and the wider public. The focus of the Institute will be on improving patient outcomes and patient safety, by ensuring patient needs are the focus of developing practice.