Under the strategic objective in our Corporate Strategy 2021-2024, Advancing the Role of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in the Future Integrated Healthcare System, we committed to reviewing our current model of CPD to ensure it supports future pharmacist practice in all settings, that it is agile, adaptive and sustainable, and that it delivers value for money.

The review was carried out with the independent, external support of Mazars, and by seeking the input and experience of our registrants and others. The focus of the project was: 

  • To identify the key drivers that will inform the future development of the CPD model and the setting of our key objectives and responsibilities in the further development of the system;
  • To examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the current CPD governance and management structures in the performance and delivery of the CPD system; 
  • To make recommendations about how the current CPD model can be adapted, changed or improved;
  • Examine the viability, resourcing, and sustainability of any proposed model, with consideration to the size of the register of pharmacists and the size of the register of retail pharmacy businesses.  

The culmination of the review was a report on the Review of the CPD Model for Pharmacists (The Mazar's Report) which sets out the outcome and recommendations from the review process. At the PSI Council meeting of 14 December 2023, the Council accepted the findings of the Mazars Report and approved the recommendations therein. The following are the recommendations within the report:

Recommendations 

  Key Drivers
 
Recommendation 1                 Investigate opportunities to incorporate intra and inter-profession collaboration into the CPD Model.

 
Systems for CPD Review
 Recommendation 2 Reduce the CPD review cycle period from 5 years, in line with international practice, including also removal of the restriction on the eligibility period during which newly qualified pharmacists become subject to the defined requirements.
 Recommendation 3  Remove the Practice Review element from the CPD Model.
   Governance & Management Arrangements 
 Recommendation 4 Update the scope of the CPD model desired based on the information in this and related reports. The mechanism by which that scope is best delivered should then be considered.
 
  Risk Assessment
Recommendation 5 Incorporate enhanced risk-based approaches to the sampling of practitioners for CPD review processes.
 
Recommendation 6 Develop a flexible, administrative process to couple annual registration with satisfactory CPD compliance.
   Self-Reflection
Recommendation 7 Incorporate peer feedback – or discussion – into the self-reflection process.

Update April 2024 

At the PSI Council meeting of 25 April 2024, the Council approved an implementation proposal for the revised CPD model for pharmacists. The purpose of the proposal was to further inform and elaborate on the Council’s consideration on the scope of the revised CPD model for pharmacists and to provide an evidence-based framework to implement the recommendations contained within the Mazar’s report.

How was the proposal developed?

The proposal was developed following the analysis and synthesis of supplementary desk-based research, stakeholder engagement and stakeholder consultation conducted by the PSI between January and April 2024.

1. Desk-based research: Ten CPD models both nationally and internationally were reviewed and analysed.

2. Stakeholder engagement: The desk-based research was verified, and quality checked through meetings and/or by email with other national and international organisations.

3. Exploratory workshops: Two exploratory workshops were held with the IIOP to capture their knowledge and expertise.

4. CPD Review Working Group: This group comprised of representatives from the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland (HPAI), Pharmacists in Industry, Education and Regulatory (PIER), a practising pharmacist and a PSI Council member. The group was established to support, inform, and advise on the development of the proposal.

5. Regulatory and Professional Policy Committee: The proposal was considered, discussed and approved by this advisory Committee of the PSI Council.

6. PSI Council: The proposal was considered, discussed, and approved by the PSI Council.

What is changing?

The proposed changes set out in the proposal include the following:

  • Greater inclusion of intra and inter-profession learning opportunities as part of CPD requirements, through inclusion in the ePortfolio Review Policy and/or ePortfolio Review Standards
  • Submission of CPD records on an annual basis
  • Removal of Practice Review
  • A preference for the continuation of the outsourced CPD model delivered by the IIOP
  • Random and risk-based selection of pharmacists for ePortfolio Review
  • Introduction of a process whereby a pharmacists ongoing registration is linked with the requirement to engage with the CPD requirements.

When will these changes take effect?

The changes approved by the PSI Council will need to be underpinned by changes to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2015 (S.I. 553 of 2015) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Registration) Rules 2008 (S.I. 494 of 2008)(as amended).

We will be undertaking a public consultation during the Summer as part of progressing the proposed changes to these rules, where all interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the CPD system for pharmacists.

What does this mean for pharmacists CPD requirements now?

No changes will be made to the existing CPD system for pharmacists, until the proposed changes have been approved in revised rules.

For now, you are expected to engage with CPD in the usual way. You can find out more about the current CPD requirements of pharmacists on the PSI website and IIOP website

Any changes to the CPD system for pharmacists will be communicated widely through direct email communications to registrants and via the PSI website and PSI Newsletter.