The end of 2021 is near, and this means that the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) submission deadline for the year is fast approaching. Registered and practising pharmacists are required to submit a minimum of six (6) CPD entries annually in line with the Regulations relating to Continuing Professional Development. These entries are to be made online on the SAPC CPD system. Furthermore, the pharmacist should keep a separate electronic portfolio of the evidence concerning their submissions.
While the CPD submission deadline is extended into the new year by 31 days, this should be used under special circumstances and not as a delaying tactic. Consequently, all practising pharmacists are encouraged to comply with the 2021 CPD requirements on or before 31 December 2021 as this will ensure a smooth transition between years of compliance.
Failure to comply with the CPD requirements will result in pharmacists being designated as non-practising pharmacists by Council. A non-practising pharmacist is prohibited from practising the prescribed scope of practice of a pharmacist; this includes but is not limited to working in direct non-clinical relationships with patients, any management or administration work, advisory and policy development roles, and any other roles that have an impact on the delivery of services within the pharmacy profession.
Annual Declaration of Practice Status
In terms of the Regulations relating to CPD, practising pharmacists are required to submit an annual declaration by 1 February each year, which states their degree of participation in the activities related to their scope of practice as a pharmacist. To be classified as a practising pharmacist, there must be an indication of participation in one or more activities related to the scope of practice. Failure to provide such information renders the pharmacist as a non-practising pharmacist who is then forbidden from practising any of the activities related to their scope of practice.
Submitting your CPD entries
There are two CPD cycles that a pharmacist may choose to use when submitting their CPD entries; there is the four (4) step cycle beginning with a reflection followed by planning, implementation, and evaluation. The second cycle is the two (2) step cycle which includes only the implementation and evaluation. To ensure that submissions are not rushed, delayed, or not thoroughly completed, pharmacists are encouraged to submit at least one (1) CPD entry bi-monthly as this will lessen the load towards the end of the year. This is also to avoid pharmacists feeling pressured and failure to fully comply or attempting to make manual submissions, which are not acceptable, at the last minute.
The purpose of CPD is to develop pharmacists both professionally and personally. Therefore, a good CPD submission reflects a pharmacist who has described what knowledge they have acquired after participating in the activities related to their scope of practice and how they have applied or intend to apply that knowledge in the future.
This pharmacist will also display an understanding of where they need to improve as a pharmacist and how they intend to do so using the appropriate learning method.
It is also imperative to note that while pharmacists are obligated to choose activities that are relevant to their scope of practice, this does not hinder them from also adding activities that may develop them in their capacity as this will ultimately improve them in their professional capacity. It must be emphasised that CPD is a cyclic process meaning that there is no definite beginning or end.
Tools for CPD success
Pharmacists are encouraged to access CPD resources, including the CPD Guidance Document, how-to articles and videos, among others, via the SAPC CPD Blog at www.sapc.za.org/CPDBlog
The OfficialSAPC YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/OfficialSAPC) has tutorials and recordings of previous CPD Masterclass sessions, which may be accessed at any time to learn and refresh your memory on the CPD requirements, submission steps and other insight. A full CPD playlist is available at this link: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjQFcZEBjnWjNGAnj_C08qC3Nch9QAikq