CPD records for revalidation: assessing fitness-to-practise using ‘revalidation standards’ and an Outcomes Framework
Donyai, P., Alexander, A. and Denicolo, P., (2010) CPD records for revalidation: assessing fitness-to-practise using ‘revalidation standards’ and an Outcomes Framework. Project Report. The General Pharmaceutical Council, London. pp245.
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Background: Currently, all pharmacists and technicians registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain must complete a minimum of nine Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record (entries) each year. From September 2010 a new regulatory body, the General Pharmaceutical Council, will oversee the regulation (including revalidation) of all pharmacy registrants in Great Britain. CPD may provide part of the supporting evidence that a practitioner submits to the regulator as part of the revalidation process. Gaps in knowledge necessitated further research to examine the usefulness of CPD in a pharmacy revalidation Project aims: The overall aims of this project were to summarise pharmacy professionals’ past involvement in CPD, examine the usability of current CPD entries for the purpose of revalidation, and to examine the impact of ‘revalidation standards’ and a bespoke Outcomes Framework on the conduct and construction of CPD entries for future revalidation of pharmacy professionals. We completed a comprehensive review of the literature, devised, validated and tested the impact of a new CPD Outcomes Framework and related training material in an empirical investigation involving volunteer pharmacy professionals and also spoke with our participants to bring meaning and understanding to the process of CPD conduct and recording and to gain feedback on the study itself. Key findings: The comprehensive literature review identified perceived barriers to CPD and resulted in recommendations that could potentially rectify pharmacy professionals’ perceptions and facilitate participation in CPD. The CPD Outcomes Framework can be used to score CPD entries Compared to a control (CPD and ‘revalidation standards’ only), we found that training participants to apply the CPD Outcomes Framework resulted in entries that scored significantly higher in the context of a quantitative method of CPD assessment. Feedback from participants who had received the CPD Outcomes Framework was positive and a number of useful suggestions were made about improvements to the Framework and related training. Entries scored higher because participants had consciously applied concepts linked to the CPD Outcomes Framework whereas entries scored low where participants had been unable to apply the concepts of the Framework for a variety of reasons including limitations posed by the ‘Plan & Record’ template. Feedback about the nature of the ‘revalidation standards’ and their application to CPD was not positive and participants had not in the main sought to apply the standards to their CPD entries – but those in the intervention group were more likely to have referred to the revalidation standards for their CPD. As assessors, we too found the process of selecting and assigning ‘revalidation standards’ to individual CPD entries burdensome and somewhat unspecific. We believe that addressing the perceived barriers and drawing on the facilitators will help deal with the apparent lack of engagement with the revalidation standards and have been able to make a set of relevant recommendations. We devised a model to explain and tell the story of CPD behaviour. Based on the concepts of purpose, action and results, the model centres on explaining two types of CPD behaviour, one following the traditional CE pathway and the other a more genuine CPD pathway. Entries which scored higher when we applied the CPD Outcomes Framework were more likely to follow the CPD pathway in the model above. Significant to our finding is that while participants following both models of practice took part in this study, the CPD Outcomes Framework was able to change people’s CPD behaviour to make it more inline with the CPD pathway. The CPD Outcomes Framework in defining the CPD criteria, the training pack in teaching the basis and use of the Framework and the process of assessment in using the CPD Outcomes Framework, would have interacted to improve participants’ CPD through a collective process. Participants were keen to receive a curriculum against which certainly CE-type activities could be conducted and another important observation relates to whether CE has any role to play in pharmacy professionals’ revalidation. We would recommend that the CPD Outcomes Framework is used in the revalidation of pharmacy professionals in the future provided the requirement to submit 9 CPD entries per annum is re-examined and expressed more clearly in relation to what specifically participants are being asked to submit – i.e. the ratio of CE to CPD entries. We can foresee a benefit in setting more regular intervals which would act as deadlines for CPD submission in the future. On the whole, there is value in using CPD for the purpose of pharmacy professionals’ revalidation in the future.