Archive 2010

Pharmacy Regulator to Introduce New Model of Pharmacy Training and Education to Ireland

October 15, 2010

New Undergraduate Education System and Compulsory CPD Model to be implemented

The PSI (Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland), the pharmacy regulator, has today announced details of the introduction of a new framework of education and training for pharmacists in Ireland, including a new undergraduate education system and a new model of compulsory CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

The announcement was marked by two new reports, the Pharmacy Education and Accreditation Reviews (PEARs) project and the Review of International CPD Models, which were launched by the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD.  

The new framework will mean a five-year Masters-level fully integrated programme of education, training and assessment as the basis for application for registration as a pharmacist in place of the existing ‘4 + 1’ model.  It will also mean that all pharmacists on the register held by the PSI must be compliant with a new CPD system of lifelong learning by 2014.      

The PSI Registrar and CEO, Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, said the aim of the reform agenda is to bring pharmacy education and training in Ireland in line with international best practice.   “Following the passing of the Pharmacy Act in 2007, the Council of the PSI prioritised a programme of reform in pharmacy education and training.  These two new reports commissioned by the PSI constitute major reviews of the programmes that currently exist both domestically and internationally.  The aim of the reform agenda is to support improvements in professional practice and patient care leading to enhanced patient safety and public protection.  Today marks the commencement of the implementation of these major changes in Ireland.”

Dr McLoughlin continued: “For the vast majority of pharmacists, pharmacy has changed from an absolute focus upon the preparation, formulation and supply of medicines to a clinical role involving advice and the provision of an increasing range of clinical services to patients.  There was general agreement amongst those contributing to the PEARs project, supported by international trends in pharmacy education, that a fully integrated period of education and practice-based learning is the optimum way of ensuring the achievement of a clearly defined set of common educational outcomes at registration.”

Professor Paul Gallagher, Chair of the Professional Development & Learning Committee of the PSI Council, said that the new CPD framework should become an integral part of a healthcare professional’s practice experience.  “The new system has been determined by the Council of the PSI,” said Professor Gallagher, “on the basis of best international practice and experience and following a thorough consultation with pharmacists and other key stakeholders.  There is no doubt that there is solid support for this new CPD system.  Pharmacists are anxious to expand on the services they provide and to provide the best possible care to their patients and to the public.”

Deanna Williams, Registrar of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, was also present at the announcement and outlined the merits of the new CPD model, which is based on a template that has existed in Ontario since 1997, for Irish pharmacists.  Ms Williams highlighted that the effectiveness of the Ontario CPD model for pharmacists is reflected in its roll out across other healthcare professions in that region.

Mr Paul Fahey, Vice-President of the PSI, said: “In essence, the overall aim of what we are formally setting in train today is to embed a culture of patient safety into the core of pharmacy education and training at all levels, from the entry level graduate all the way through a pharmacist’s professional career. And on behalf of the PSI Council I wish to assure all of our ongoing commitment to deliver on this aim, in the interests of the patients we all serve.”

The PSI also unveiled its new Tutor Training and Accreditation Programme (TTAP), an innovative programme which has been developed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) on behalf of the PSI to train and accredit tutor pharmacists who oversee the workplace training of pharmacy interns.

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