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University of Colorado Denver

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Continuing Professional Development

You may have heard the term “continuing professional development” (CPD) and wondered what it means. CPD is an emerging paradigm for professional learning, maintenance of competence and skill development. It focuses on improved outcomes for the professional and, ultimately, the patient. The CPD concept is not unique to pharmacy, but is practiced by pharmacists in the United Kingdom, Ontario and New Zealand.

The process of CPD involves the pharmacist setting personal goals for his or her learning and achievement, and developing a plan to accomplish those goals, including learning outcomes or objectives related to the goals. The pharmacist then works through the plan, evaluates accomplishments and sets new goals. Traditional continuing education is one component that can be incorporated into the process, but other experiences may be included, such as independent study, academic courses and working with a mentor.

You can find many resources and view a short presentation about CPD on the ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) website.

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