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'Don’t worry' – RPS message for pharmacists ahead of proposed revalidation changes

With the General Pharmaceutical Council’s proposed updates to revalidation due to come into force next year, Beth Ward, head of professional development with the RPS’s Professional Development and Support team, asked delegates at the 2017 Scottish National Seminar to be prepared for the changes.

Beth Ward, head of professional development with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Professional Development and Support team

Source: Mark Ferguson / Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Beth Ward, head of professional development at the RPS, assured delegates that the Society would help them through proposed changes to revalidation

With the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) proposed updates to revalidation due to come into force next year, delegates at the 2017 Scottish National Seminar were told that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is ready to support them through the new continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

“Our key message to you is: don’t worry. Be reassured that the RPS has been working on this for some time to make sure that everything is in place”, Beth Ward, head of professional development with the RPS’s Professional Development and Support team, said on the second day of the biennial event, which took place in Stirling on 31 September and 1 October 2017.

Current revalidation requirements call on pharmacists to complete nine CPD activities each year, and to submit proof of these activities every five years. Under the new proposals, the number of CPD activities needed each year would be reduced to four, but evidence of these will need to be submitted annually. The GPhC also proposes changes to the nature of CPD activities, including new requirements for peer discussion and reflective accounts: written statements showing how the pharmacist has met standards for pharmacy professionals, using examples from their practice.

“The RPS has developed tools to support this peer discussion element, helping you to focus and tailor it. We also have a mentoring service — if you would like a mentor, please get in touch and we will find someone who can help you,” she said.

Ward said that any evidence members submitted as part of their Faculty Advanced Practice Portfolio would count towards the GPhC’s CPD requirements.

Ward also reminded delegates that the Professional Development and Support team had a one-to-one support service in place, and asked any member with any concerns about the revalidation proposals to get in touch: “We will talk you through the changes, and answer any questions you have,” she said.

“My advice to you would be: start getting ready now. The sooner you get involved, the better prepared you will be.”

Also speaking at the event was Helena Rosado, research manager with the Professional Development and Support team. Expanding on the theme of revalidation, Rosado said that the RPS were “trying to embed research within CPD”.

“Pharmacists do a lot of research, including service evaluations and clinical audits,” she said. “But they often don’t disseminate or publish that research, and so nobody knows about it.”

Some barriers to undertaking and publishing research, Rosado said, were lack of time, lack of funding, or uncertainty around how to navigate the grant application and publication processes.

The skills that define successful researchers overlap strongly with skills that that pharmacists use on a daily basis, Rosado told delegates: particular, the ability to research literature and analyse results, as well as to manage projects and communicate effectively.

“If you’re thinking about doing research but don’t know where to start, come to us: we know it can be quite daunting, so we run a one-to-one support service. We can help you put grant applications together, for example. And if you want to use research for professional development, we have tools to help support that.”

The RPS revalidation hub and the RPS research and evaluation hub can be accessed on the RPS website.

To contact the Professional Development and Support team, email support@rpharms.com.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203674

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