Survey of pharmacist continuing professional development/continuing education needs in Commonwealth countries
In 2014 CPA conducted a survey designed to collect information on the training and development needs of registered/licensed pharmacists in Commonwealth countries, with a view to providing access to wider professional development/continuing education opportunities, particularly through distance learning. The survey also aimed to understand these needs relative to national government policy for healthcare and where pharmacists can particularly contribute by applying their training and skills.
A brief synopsis of the key findings of the survey can be found below. These are grouped across the six Commonwealth regions, although it is recognised that there are individual differences within regions. That said, there was substantial consistency in the critical medicines and pharmacy themes reported across regions. These are also reflected in the key CPD topic areas but importantly also include the interpersonal communication dimensions of practice, professional ethics and management. Respondents cited their preference for internet based training facilities and there was a general enthusiasm to offer support to professional colleagues in a variety of ways.
No consistency was observed, even within individual countries, as to what level of course accreditation would be required, if any, of courses being offered through CPA. It also proved difficult to gain a consistent picture of the key healthcare policies or challenges pertaining in individual countries or regions.
The results of the survey do, however, provide a good foundation for future planning for the provision of education and training initiatives through CPA. We have, as a first step, been able to secure for our members, free of charge, two online courses from the Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development. These will be on the topics of Diabetes Management and Medication Safety and will be accessible within the next 2 months.
While this survey was designed to collect information across the Commonwealth, the CPA Executive felt that the survey questionnaire (with local adaptation) could be utilised by member Associations and individual members to collect information specific to their own context and planning needs. We are therefore making the questionnaire available to you for this purpose should you wish to use it.
In using the questionnaire we would be most grateful if you would provide brief acknowledgement of its source but, more importantly, share with us your findings as they will also further inform future CPA planning and provision of support.
CPA would like to express thanks to all those who took part in the survey. A wealth of information was received that will be
invaluable to our on-going planning and service provision.