From next week, you could be called on by the RPSGB to submit your CPD record. Haven't got one? Don't panic. Follow this guide to getting started.
Q Why do I need to make a CPD record?
A Mandatory CPD standards came into force in March that require all practising pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to keep their CPD records either electronically or on paper, and in a format published or approved by the RPSGB and carrying the Society's CPD logo. You can log onto the Society's CPD website to keep your record online (www.uptodate.org.uk) or, by installing the plan and record system, keep your record on your PC. You can also use the Society's plan and record paper record sheets.
The CPD standards require you to make a minimum of nine entries in a 12-month period. You must record how your CPD contributes to the quality or development of your practice and you must submit your CPD record to the Society when you are asked to do so - call and review.
Q I have had no time to start CPD - how can I prepare for call and review?
A Even if you think you have not undertaken CPD, you will no doubt have taken part in a wide range of learning activities during your career. You could have done this through practice-based learning, reviewing SOPs, conducting quality assessments and audits, reviewing critical incidents, or discussing work with your managers, colleagues, patients and other professionals.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians regularly set their own agenda, when it comes to learning, such as by reading, writing reports, taking part in research, and giving lectures and presentations. All of these could form CPD entries. You may have also undertaken formal learning through continuing education by attending short courses, taking part in e-learning and studying for higher qualifications.
Q How do I record my CPD?
A The Society's plan and record system leads you through the four points of the cycle - reflection, planning, action and evaluation - with simple prompts. The system was relaunched earlier this month to make it more user-friendly.
While you can start the CPD cycle at any point in the process, CPD good practice advises you reflect on your practice at least once a month and to make some entries starting at reflection. If you don't know where to start the CPD cycle, the online plan and record system has a tool - Wizard - which appears when you select a new entry. Wizard takes you through a series of questions to identify the best starting point.
* Reflection means thinking about your learning needs and identifying your learning objectives. This may be done through your staff appraisals, personal development planning process, local audits, peer reviews or feedback you receive from other users such as patients or clients.
You may wish to use the personal development plan template provided in the recording systems to document your reflections. When making an entry you must clearly describe what you want to learn.
* Planning helps you decide how you intend to meet the learning identified during reflection. This could be by undertaking specific study programmes, web-based learning, through case studies, discussions with peers and by undertaking research. You will need to decide which form of learning will best help you achieve what you want to learn.
* Action means it's time to implement the learning you have identified and planned. Don't worry if you find yourself in a learning situation without any prior reflection or planning - in these cases, you can start your CPD entry at action.
* Evaluation comes at the end of the learning cycle when you assess whether or not you have achieved your learning objectives. You may find you didn't learn what you hoped to and need additional time.
If this happens, you can re-visit the learning to make a new entry and complete your CPD cycle. But if if you have fully or partly completed your learning, you'll have the opportunity to relate this learning to your practice and development.
If you have partially met your learning requirements, you would need to think about what you still need to do and what your next steps will be. You can then continue through the CPD cycle to meet these requirements.
Where can I get help and information on CPD?
* The RPSGB's CPD website (www.uptodate.org.uk) provides CPD materials, case studies and answers to FAQs. There are four case studies specifically for community pharmacists on asthma treatment, medication reviews, Cox-2 inhibitors and the less clinical change management.
* On the Society's main website you can access the CPD standards, answers to FAQs on call and review and a five-minute guide to CPD (www.rpsgb.org.uk/registrationand support/continuingprofessional development).
* The Society will provide CPD facilitators free of charge to run support sessions on CPD for groups of 12 or more members. The course will be tailored to the needs of the group and adapted to cover different levels of experience as required, and can be provided at evenings or weekends. To request a facilitator fill in a form at www.rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/ cpdfacrequform.pdf), email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7572 2602.
* If you need further information from the RPSGB contact the CPD helpdesk on 020 7572 2540 or email email@example.com. For technical queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01225 383663.