Q&A: CPD planning

CPD planning

How do I get the best out of my CPD for the upcoming CPD year?

CPD planning

There are five steps: plan, do, record, reflect and report. To get the most benefit from completing CPD and the time spent learning to ensure the required amount of credits are attained, pharmacists need to develop a plan for each CPD year.

The plan should maintain your competence as well as extend your scope through the identification of gaps in your knowledge and should be developed against the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia.1 The plan contains activities the pharmacist intends to complete during the CPD year and should include a variety of tasks with a mix of classifications, including interaction with other healthcare professionals or peers, where possible.

To start developing the CPD plan, pharmacists need to identify their current scope of practice. This can be done using the competency standards framework (referred to above). Some competencies are universally applicable for all pharmacists, whereas some are specific to certain domains of practice. For example, Domain 3 Medicines Management and Patient Care or Domain 5 Education and Research may not apply to all pharmacists.

The next step is to identify areas requiring professional development that are relevant to your current scope of practice and any potential changes to your future scope. This can include areas such as cardiovascular, biosimilars, genomic medicine, pathology, mental health, leadership and management.

Next, identify and record CPD options that are applicable to these areas, keeping in mind the number of credits required. Be practical when deciding what CPD to undertake and find offerings that are manageable and fit in with your lifestyle.

The CPD plan is designed to be a fluid document that can be adapted whenever CPD is identified to ensure professional development needs are being met. Keeping this in mind each time you are practising can help to ensure you easily meet the CPD requirements; the next time you are researching a condition you may be able to record this unplanned activity as CPD.

PSA has developed a CPD planning tool,2 available free to members, that intuitively helps pharmacists through each of the required steps and automatically records CPD to ensure you meet the board requirements. For more information visit www.psa.org.au/cpd/plan-your-cpd/  

CPD credits are attained from completing Group 1, Group 2 and/or Group 3 CPD activities.

Each group earns credits at a different rate (e.g. Group 2 = 2 credits/hr accessing information).

The allocated classification is based on the level of interaction required, whether the learning can be demonstrated by means of an assessment or if the activity facilitates quality or practice improvement. For more information, visit www.psa.org.au/cpd/about-cpd/


  1. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016. At: psa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/National-Competency-Standards-Framework-for-Pharmacists-in-Australia- 2016-PDF-2mb.pdf
  2. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Plan your CPD. At: psa.org.au/cpd/plan-your-cpd/

JACOB WARNER BPharm MPS is a PSA Professional Practice Pharmacist – Team Lead in Melbourne. Jacob has worked in both community and hospital settings and has been involved in guideline development.

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