Unleash the Power: Start Using the CPD Learning Portfolio at the ICHP Spring Meeting

by Travis Hunerdosse, PharmD
February 10, 2010

By Travis Hunerdosse, PharmD
Clinical Specialist, Drug Use Policy/Formulary Management
Rush University Medical Center

It is the start of a new year, a new decade, and another cycle of CE credits. Have you ever wondered how to retain and build upon knowledge learned at a lecture or a conference that you recently attended? If so, why not take the CPD tool kit for a test drive at the ICHP Spring Meeting.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the lifelong process of active participation in learning activities that assists individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and supporting achievement of their career goals.1 CPD is a framework that pharmacists can adopt to ensure lifelong learning. CPD does not replace traditional CE, but quality CE programs, such as those offered by ICHP, are an essential piece of CPD. CPD is usually described as a four-stage cyclical process, comprising the stages of reflection, planning, action, and evaluation.

Documentation is a key component of successful CPD. To assist you with this, ICHP has a tool kit available on the web. The Continual Professional Development (CPD) Learning Portfolio document is for your use courtesy of the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy.2 These documents aid in planning, recording, evaluating, and reflecting upon your continuous professional development. This tool kit includes worksheets that can be downloaded or printed when needed. The Education Action Plan and Learning Activities worksheets are to be used on a regular basis. The supplementary Practice Review and Professional Year End Summary are for preparing and evaluating your CPD activities.

Start this new learning cycle by using the Practice Review Worksheet to identify learning needs. This tool helps with self assessment of your interactions with other healthcare professionals, the population of patients that you serve, professional strengths, and opportunities for development. Completing this before the ICHP Spring Meeting will assist you with choosing sessions that fit your needs.

While you are at the meeting you can start to fill in the Education Action Plan. Consider the sessions you felt were most beneficial to form your goals for the cycle. Use this tool to document your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time based) goals, learning activities, resources, and timelines.

Once you start to complete your action plan by reading articles, discussing with colleagues, presenting at a journal club, discussing with students, and begin incorporating new knowledge into your practice, go to the Learning Activity Worksheet. This document is useful for self evaluation of your education activities. Use this for each activity completed.

Finally at the cycle’s end you will want to summarize your accomplished goals and objectives. You may even want to share this information with your peers or manager. The Professional Year End Summary is a place to document your accomplishments and identify areas for development with the next cycle.

This toolkit will be available in this year’s ICHP Spring Meeting packet for you to begin using. In addition, fellow ICHP members will be available at the meeting to help you get started. Grab a colleague and start this learning cycle off right; “spring” into CPD at the March meeting or next professional conference or lecture.

  1. Rouse M. Continuing professional development in pharmacy. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2004; 61:2069-76.
  2. North Carolina CPD Learning Portfolio. http://www.ichpnet.org/publications_resources/member_resources_and_toolkits/ Accessed January 3, 2010.

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