CPD review

Research to review and critically assess continuing professional development (CPD) models, the associated assessment and audit systems was carried in order to guide the Council in developing an appropriate and effective system of mandatory CPD for pharmacists in Ireland. This review produced the report on the International Review of CPD Models.

The recommended model of mandatory CPD for pharmacists in Ireland, includes the following features;

  • It maintains the focus of improving patient safety, by assuring competency across the profession, as well as providing opportunities for both personal and professional development.
  • The recognition of CPD activities will offer a flexibility that should meet the needs of all pharmacists, and the needs of the wider health services as well as supporting engagement with other healthcare professionals
  • It is a reflective model that allows for all learning activities to be acknowledged and that provides a system for standards, accreditation and assessment.
  • The establishment of an institute-type structure to oversee the management and delivery of CPD, with the PSI controlling the regulatory processes and defining the competency standards against which the CPD system would be framed.
  • Funding support for the model should be based on; funding from the PSI, existing funding of the HSE for pharmacy educational activities, third parties (such as the pharmaceutical industry) and from pharmacists and the profession itself.

PEARs project

A review of the five year programme of education and training for the pharmacist qualification in Ireland and a review of accreditation models and accreditation criteria was carried out in 2008. This review produced the Pharmacy Education and Accreditation Reviews (PEARs) report.

The PEARs report contains a number of recommendations including;

  • The introduction of an integrated 5-year Masters level programme  of education and training for pharmacists in line with international best practice, to replace the current 4 year Bachelor + 1 year in-service practical training programme.
  • The establishment of a National Forum, led by the PSI and comprising all relevant stakeholders, to oversee the successful development and delivery of the new integrated programme of education, including the development of “practice-educators” (building on the teacher practitioner role) to support the interface between teaching, learning and assessment within the schools and the workplace.
  • New educational standards and an accreditation process to be developed, which reflect best international practice in health professional regulation.