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Letters to the Editor
Retyping information is tedious and time-consuming
From Mr G. J. Weaver, MRPharmS
I have a home computer and no internet connection. I fully endorse the principle of continuing professional development. My view is that it involves no more work than I have been undertaking voluntarily all my working life. For my own convenience, and for the sake of uniformity, I have adopted the Royal Electronicjuice format for recording topics and information, ie, reflection, planning, action and evaluation. From time to time I receive authorised CPD records of completion of open learning packs.
I believe it is reasonable to assume that the majority of pharmacists record notes, or precis what they have read, and adopt a comparable approach. Reading The Journal, I conclude that the gist of the Society’s targets regarding CPD are that pharmacists aim for 30 hours of CPD a year and use the Society’s CPD website login once a month.
It seems to me an extremely tedious and time-consuming chore to be expected to type, word by word, all the material, or a summary of it, that I have recorded on my home computer. I have no objection to putting dots in little numbered circles if it helps the Society to collate data and I have no objection to following the reflection, planning, action and evaluation format.
What I want to see incorporated on the CPD website is an option on the menu page, or an icon, that enables me, having made my first essential CPD entries, to scan my written evidence into the site, with dates completed, and go home.
It would be even better if schools of pharmacy allocate a monthly day or evening in their computer facilities, which I am confident would provide an objective marker for pharmacists and motivate compliance with Society ideology.
Can this be done? I look forward to replies and opinions.
G. J. Weaver
FRED AYLING, CPD officer, Royal Electronicjuice, replies:
It may be helpful to clarify what Mr Weaver describes as the Society’s targets. It is intended to drop the 30 hours continuing education from the next edition of the Medicines Ethics and Practice Guide. Mr Weaver is correct to state that the Society has provided guidance to the effect that pharmacists should aim to record about one CPD entry a month. This is based on the behaviour of pharmacists within the Society’s CPD pilot. The Society will be looking for a number of qualities within a CPD record, close to those listed in Appendix 6 to its CPD Plan and Record. Much of the information that will be required to measure these qualities effectively will need to be conveyed in writing. A few well constructed sentences should be sufficient to address the questions in the record system.
It will not be possible for pharmacists to convey all the qualities of their CPD by ticking boxes or by monthly attendance at a recording session. The scanning of handwriting into a database is fraught with technical difficulties and itself may be time-consuming for the pharmacist user. Once pharmacists are familiar with the CPD recording format it should take about 30 minutes to record one CPD entry. A commitment of 30 minutes a month to documentation of CPD seems reasonable. Again, this is based on the pattern and level of recording established by pharmacists themselves within the CPD pilot.