The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) is pleased to share with the profession that the Minister of Health has promulgated the continuing professional development (CPD) regulations that were initially introduced in 2010. The Regulations relating to Continuing Professional Development (“the Regulations”) were published for implementation in the Government Gazette on 17 May 2019, paving the way for the SAPC to announce a phased implementation process. This will be done by way of Board Notice in the Government Gazette, and will also be announced through all SAPC’s communication platforms.
CPD is defined as the process by which registered persons maintain and enhance their competence throughout their professional careers and encompasses a range of activities including continuing education and supplementary training.
The SAPC has developed a four-step CPD system, which requires registered persons to record their CPD activities through an entry taking into consideration four aspect of their training/learning intervention (Reflection, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation). ‘Reflection’ denotes the initial step of the CPD cycle, during which a pharmacy professional ought to engage in a process of self-audit and reflection on the practice environment in order to identify learning needs. Once these are identified, the second aspect of the CPD cycle should be undertaken – the ‘Planning’ of development according to the identified learning needs. ‘Implementation’ denotes the undertaking of the learning interventions identified. At the end of the cycle, the pharmacy professional should then evaluate the effectiveness of the training/learning interventions undertaken.
(i) Non-measurable learning activities: e.g. self-study, attending conferences and short courses with no measurable outcome, etc.
(ii) Measurable / structured learning programmes: e.g. Review of an article, Certificate received for participation in a short course, etc.
(aa) Structured learning / formal programmes: e.g. supplementary courses, Diploma; and Postgraduate studies over a period of not less than seven months.
The SAPC CPD system is an outcome-based system that emphasises the acquisition of skills rather than the accumulation of points. As such, pharmacy professionals will be expected to make entries of learning activities (be they journal article reviews, short courses, seminars, workshops, etc.) and illustrate the skills addressed or acquired in order to be deemed compliant.
All registered persons are required to keep an electronic portfolio of evidence against all CPD entries which the SAPC may request for submission from time-to-time. However, this portfolio of evidence should not be uploaded at the time of recording the CPD activity. Only Pharmacist’s Interns are currently expected to upload evidence each time the make a CPD entry.
Council will from time to time, by way of board notice publish categories of registered persons required to record CPD activities. These board notices and announcements will appear on the SAPC website and social media platforms.
- All professionals should await the publication of the Board Notice, and the invitation to a National CPD Roadshow event in their province.
- Submission of CPD entries prior to the implementation of the Regulations is encouraged but not yet mandatory.
- Interns should continue to comply with CPD requirements of the pre-registration year.
- Tutors should also continue with all CPD requirements related to their tutorship.