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CPD for Pharmacists


This summary outlines CPD activities that allow the requirements of the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Australian Pharmacy Council to be met. The standards discussed are in accordance with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act.

CPD Cycle

The CPD cycle runs for 12-months, for all pharmacists. When applying for the renewal of registration, pharmacists must advise the board that CPD requirements have been met.

CPD Requirements

All registered pharmacists (general, provisional and limited) are required to complete 40 hours of CPD activities annually. Of these 40 hours, activities can fall within the following three categories:

1. Didactic presentations and activities with little or no attendee interaction.
2. Activities which improve knowledge or skills and include an assessment element.
3. Activities which improve the quality of existing practice as an individual or within a pharmacy practice.

Additional Considerations
• Activities can be either accredited or non-accredited.
• A maximum of 20 hours can be attained from activities in Category 1.
• It is recommended that CPD hours are attained from all three categories in order to broaden exposure to different learning methods.

CPD Approval

The Board has authorised the Australian Pharmacy Council to accredit providers of pharmacy CPD activities. However, the Board acknowledges that pharmacists may not have access to accredited CPD across various activity groups or that cover the scope of pharmacy practice. For this reason the Board does not determine what proportion of CPD activities have to be accredited (please check subsequent reviews of these guidelines because it is possible that the Board may change these restrictions in the future).

Where non-accredited activities are undertaken, it is the pharmacists’ responsibility to assess potential activities for suitability and relevance, and to determine whether individual learning needs will be addressed by undertaking these activities.

CPD Activities

CPD is divided into there categories:

1. Activities in Category 1 are didactic presentations and activities with little or no attendee interaction. No assessment component is included in these activities. They include but are not limited to:

• Attending or listening to continuing education (CE) presentations.
• Attending conferences or seminars.
• Reading journals.

2. Activities in Category 2 are aimed at improving knowledge or skills and include an assessment element. They include but are not limited to:

• Undertaking an assessment (e.g. multiple choice questions or other types of structured assessments related to CE events or journal reading, either formal or self-assessment).
• Gaining credentialing by assessment or examination.
• Undertaking formal postgraduate courses or a case study.
• Participating in an interactive workshop.
• Preparing for an external review.
• Maintaining a log or journal in relation to an activity to demonstrate achievement.

3. Activities in Category 3 are aimed at improving the quality of existing practice as an individual or within a pharmacy practice. They include but are not limited to:

• Presenting a conference presentation (paper or poster) that involves changed practice or will promote practice change.
• Publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed journal.
• Leading workplace quality or practice improvement activities through an activity such as a drug utilisation review, a redesign of procedures to improve workflow/standard of service or a research project.
• Researching and preparing material for a tutorial, publication, in-house/external continuing education.
• Undertaking a National Prescribing Service Audit/Pharmacy Practice Review in your workplace and use this to facilitate practice change.
• Active involvement in a special interest group leading to demonstrated practice change.

CPD Documentation

Pharmacists are required to keep records of participation in CPD activities, to be available for an audit by the board. The purpose of this documentation is to show compliance with the CPD requirements.

The following records are required:

• Details of CPD activity (date, activity time, provider, participants, number of hours spent in each activity and resources).
• Topics covered during activity.
• Accreditation status (accredited or non-accredited).
• Pharmacy Board of Australia CPD credits.

For more information about these CPD guidelines click here.
Date of Issue: 1st July 2010
Last reviewed: 1st December 2015
These guidelines will be reviewed every 5 years.