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What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development is the way in which pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals not only maintain their professional competence, but also broaden and enhance their competence throughout their working lives.

Do I HAVE to do CPD?

All pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel have an ethical and professional obligation to engage in CPD activities. It is also a requirement in terms of Good Pharmacy Practice rules.

Don’t I have to get CPD points?

Not at all. The Health Professions Council of South Africa has a CPD system that includes collection of CPD points by health professionals, such as doctors, registered with it. The South African Pharmacy Council has adopted a totally different approach to CPD.

What is the SAPC approach to CPD?

The SAPC has chosen to follow the CPD cycle, which has four stages – reflection on practice, planning, implementation and evaluation. It’s all about you – you need to decide what it is that you need to know, decide on how to do it, actually do it, and then evaluate whether or not the knowledge or skills that you acquired is applicable in your practice.

So do I need to attend a course to do CPD?

It’s up to you. Formal courses are obviously useful but so are other activities, such as reading journal articles. The PSSA CPD events are great opportunities not only to improve your knowledge but also to interact with colleagues and learn from them too. Be aware of opportunists who want to enroll you in formal programs advertised as ‘the only way to comply with CPD’.

What do I do with Certificates of Attendance at PSSA CPD events?

They are very useful as supporting documentation because they are evidence that you attended the event. They may be required in future, but at the moment it isn’t necessary for you to submit the certificates to Council.

Do I need to record my CPD activities anywhere?

Record your activities, either on the SAPC website or in a file, showing how the CPD cycle applies to your activity, your evaluation of how you will use the knowledge and the evidence of the activity.

But Pharmacy Council told me that I must record my CPD on the website. Why?

You are probably either an intern tutor or an intern. At the moment, interns must show that they are competent in recording CPD activities on-line. This must be verified by the tutor, so obviously the tutor must also show competence in this!

When will it become law for me record my CPD on-line?

The CPD Regulations was published on 17 May 2019 for implementation. However, the regulations clearly state that the South African Pharmacy Council must first develop an implementation and roll out plan for the implementation of compulsory CPDs. This plan will be published by SAPC for comments in the second half of 2019.

What must I do in the meantime?

You should continue to maintain, broaden and enhance your professional knowledge as you always have. Once the SAPC implementation plan is published, it will state which categories of registered persons must start formal recordings of the CPD activities together with the required amount of entries per calendar year.

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