ICHP Position Statement - Continuing Professional Development

The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) recognizes pharmacy as a profession. Pharmacists are obligated to maintain their professional competence by keeping their knowledge and skill set current.  With the ever changing world of health care delivery and increasing demands of patients, pharmacists must commit to maintaining professional competence through lifelong learning, or “Continuing Professional Development”. 

In addition, pharmacy support personnel must develop and maintain skills necessary to support pharmacists in their current roles as well as those that develop over time.

According to Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Continuing Professional Development is a “self-directed, ongoing, systematic and outcomes-focused approach to lifelong learning that is applied into practice.  It involves the process of active participation in formal and informal learning activities that assist in developing and maintaining competence, enhancing professional practice, and supporting achievement of career goals”1

Continuing professional development can be achieved via myriad means.  The following are adapted from the ACPE Guidelines on Continuing Pharmacy Education and Continuing Professional Development for the Profession of Pharmacy1:

  • Continuing Education
    • Participation in continuing education activities by accredited providers (i.e. knowledge, application, or practice based activities).
    • Participating in continuing education activities by accredited providers from other disciplines, e.g., Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, (ACCME), American Nurses Credential Center (ANCC), and American Optometric Association (AOA).
  • Academic/Professional Study
    • Participating in conferences, workshops, retreats
    • Undertaking academic coursework or postgraduate education
    • Completing certification courses (e.g., advanced cardiac life support, certified diabetes educator)
    • Completing an independent study (e.g., directed studies with defined objectives, outcomes, assessment)
    • Reading and reflecting on healthcare articles and literature
    • Leading or participating in journal clubs
  • Teaching and Precepting
    • Developing, presenting, and/or authoring educational content (e.g., academic course, seminar / webinar, publication)
    • Teaching and precepting students, residents, or other healthcare professionals
    • Peer coaching or mentoring programs (e.g., mentor or mentee)
  • Workplace Activities
    • Engaging in point-of-care (PoC) learning, i.e. self-directed learning on topics relevant to clinical practice
    • In-service training to learn a new skill
    • Job shadowing (e.g., observing experienced professional for a defined period of time with assessment of impact on one's professional role)
    • Preparing for or participating in external review, accreditation, or certification process.
    • Implementing performance improvement projects (e.g., current practice assessment, implement PI changes, evaluate impact / change)
    • Consultation with peer and healthcare experts to address a practice problem or learning need or goal
    • Serving on committees (self-study, institutional review boards, pharmacy and therapeutics, medication safety, medication therapy management)
  • Scholarly Pursuits
    • Conducting research in one’s professional field
    • Preparing or writing grant proposals
    • Presenting and/or publishing scholarly works
    • Serving as content reviewer for publications, dissertation, or other scholarly works
    • Test-item writing (e.g. high stakes examinations, peer-reviewed self-assessment activities, or researching, drafting, and defending questions)
  • Professional/Community Service
    • Serving on a committee or holding office in a professional association
    • Active involvement in professional associations/organizations
    • Training for or involvement in Advocacy
    • Volunteer experiences or special interest groups (e.g., emergency preparedness, Red Cross)
    • Developing Interprofessional and / or outreach initiatives for health professionals and students

In conclusion, ICHP recognizes that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have an obligation to maintain and enhance their competence through continuing professional development and continuing pharmacy education. Therefore, ICHP encourages pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to exceed the minimum continuing pharmacy education requirements of relicensure or recertification.

1Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Guidance on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the Profession of Pharmacy.  ACPE Board of Directors, January 2015.

Revised by Educational Affairs 10/16/2016; reviewed & approved 2/2019