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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.

The School of Pharmacy will be developing tools and programs for pharmacists to apply CPD to their own careers. You can read more about CPD by downloading the article What is CPD-Pfoertner and on the websites of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development (CIPD), a European human resources development organization.

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