Irish Institute of Pharmacy

The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP), established by the PSI in 2013, is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a system of continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists in Ireland. The IIOP is responsible for ensuring that these developments meet the emerging needs of patients and the wider healthcare system. It oversees the management and support mechanisms for CPD, and accredits and commissions education and training programmes in line with national policy, evolving healthcare needs and the needs of the profession. The IIOP also progresses the development of pharmacy practice in line with international best practice and ensures that it continues to maintain and build upon its position at the forefront of healthcare delivery. The IIOP is funded by the Department of Health and the PSI.

Crowe Howarth Review

In January 2017, the PSI commissioned a review of current outsourcing arrangements with respect to the IIOP. The review was carried out independently by Crowe Howarth. The purpose of the review was to review the operation of the IIOP since its commencement in August 2013, to inform the ongoing development of the CPD model. The review examined, evaluated and assessed the governance, operational, functional, contractual, management and delivery arrangements in place in respect of the IIOP outsourced service arrangement, and considered the experience in the context of quality, efficacy and value-for-money.

The key elements of the review comprised:

  • Stakeholder consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders, including the PSI, the IIOP, the IIOP Steering Group, RCSI, the Department of Health, training providers, pharmacists, and others.
  • Review of key documentation relating to the establishment and functioning of the IIOP.
  • Functional analysis of the operation of the model of CPD.
  • Consideration of the financial model in terms of sustainability and value for money.
  • Comprehensive analysis of the IIOP, using a “logic model” structure.

Current Operation of the IIOP 

The recommendations of the Crowe Howarth report contributed to the development of the current outsourcing arrangements of the IIOP with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). These arrangements are in place since May 2018.

The current contract agreement with the RCSI places the IIOP in the lead role with respect to the development and implementation of the CPD system for pharmacists and the development of pharmacy practice, in line with international best practice and evolving healthcare needs.

As part of the governance arrangements under the current contract with the RCSI, an Advisory Group oversees the work of the IIOP. This Advisory Group are appointed by the RCSI, with its purpose being to advise the IIOP on the annual work programme, review and advise on performance, and generally advise the Executive Director of the IIOP on relevant matters pertaining to the execution of the work plan and achievement of performance targets. The PSI continues to advise and support the IIOP in its role.

Outline Governance Structure for the IIOP

Outline governance structure for the IIOP

Review of the CPD Model for Pharmacists 2022/2023 

Under our current Corporate Strategy 2021 - 2024 one of our strategic objectives is Advancing the Role of Pharmacy and Pharmacists in the Future Integrated Healthcare System. Under this strategic objective we have 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. Our Service Plan 2023 includes our continued commitment to this project.

The review of the CPD model for pharmacists is being carried out using independent, external support from Mazars. A report will be drafted taking into consideration the outcome and recommendations from the review. Once any changes proposed to the model have been agreed by the PSI Council, we will begin a process of implementing the revised model. Any changes that require amendments to the CPD rules will involve a public consultation process where all stakeholders will be able to provide feedback. We will continue to update our website with relevant updates on this project.