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Recording CPD

What has changed with recording my CPD?

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There are now two new points of entry in recording your CPD in addition to starting at the existing points of Reflection and Action. These two new points are Planning and Evaluation.

Why have these changes been made to the recording system?

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The key change of allowing you to start your record of entry at any point in the learning cycle is to provide you with greater flexibility in recording your CPD. This recognises that peoples experience in learning and professional development occurs at different points in the learning cycle and in turn should make it easier for you to make entries of relevant CPD within your CPD record.

The cycle remains consistent in that all learning entries that you make, no matter at what point you enter the cycle, must end with evaluation. Consequently your CPD entries will cover the stages of the CPD cycle as follows:

  • For learning that starts at Reflection: Reflection » Planning » Action » Evaluation
  • For learning that starts at Planning: Planning » Action » Evaluation
  • For learning that starts at Action: Action » Evaluation
  • For learning that starts at Evaluation: Evaluation

When do I start an entry at Planning?

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Whilst determining an objective as a result of reflection is often the precursor for developing a learning plan, there will be instances where you will have no specific learning objective in mind. For example, you might decide to read the news section of the PJ every week, you are not looking for a specific piece of information or to develop specific new knowledge or skills, you are just looking stay up to date with what is going on in the profession. In most instances starting at planning will have a very broad scope where you are looking too improve your understanding across a range of issues or areas.

Having made this decision it is then possible to follow the rest of the cycle through, planning your learning, determining and monitoring your actions and evaluating the result.

When do I start an entry at Evaluation?

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As the CPD programme is designed to capture the continuous lifelong learning that constitutes professional life, it is recognised there are occasions that you will apply new knowledge, skills or attitudes that you have learnt incidentally. On these occasions, you may not recall what prompted you to learn the particular ability or knowledge. Or the ability or knowledge may have been gained with the intent of applying it in another area of your life. However you were able to recall and apply it in a relevant professional situation.

As you are at the end point of the learning cycle it is only necessary to record the evaluation of your learning.

How many entries should start at Reflection, Action, Planning and Evaluation?

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You should attempt to make entries from all points in the learning cycle. You are generally encouraged to start from reflection for CPD entries, however it is recognised that learning occurs at any point and consequently you are able to enter at any point.

How much CPD do I need to record?

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Our focus is on quality rather than quantity. Spending more time recording a selection of the CPD you undertake, rather than rushing to record all of it, may provide greater evidence of your ability to direct your own learning.

You may choose to record all your CPD, but if you include all the informal learning that you undertake you could spend an unrealistically large amount of time on this task.

As an indication, Pharmacists who participated in early pilots of CPD recorded about one CPD entry each month. We have for this reason made this pattern of recording (one CPD entry a month) one of our expectations of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. It may be that you record two every other month and this is fine, so long as your CPD and its recording is continuous. Aim for about 12 entries a year.

What if I am on a career break or am not practising for some other reason?

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If you choose to remain on the practising register during this time, you may take a break for up to year from undertaking CPD and recording it. You will need to account for this break when you submit your CPD record. If the break is for more than one year, you should change your registration to non-practising.

If you choose to remain on the practising register whilst on your break, we would advise you to do what CPD you can, for example, reading journals and keeping in touch with colleagues. This will make things easier for you when you do return to practice.

How long will it take to record my CPD?

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Experience from the Society’s CPD pilots suggests that it will take about 30 minutes to record one CPD entry (one entry relates to a single learning need). Initially it may take longer, but with experience the time will decrease. In most cases a sentence or two is enough to answer the questions in the recording format, and in several instances all that is required is that you tick a box, make a selection from a menu or give a date.

Can I keep my CPD record on computer?

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Yes. The Society has developed an online CPD recording facility. This offers you the benefit of being able to access your record from any computer with an internet connection. It also enables you to edit your records in a convenient way: no messy scribbles and worrying about whether someone can read your handwriting. Your CPD record is stored on a secured server, so you can be reassured that you can’t lose it.

Will I still be able to keep my CPD record on paper?

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Yes. Master copies of paper recording sheets are enclosed in the Plan and Record. The Society are currently updating the paper version and this will be available in mid-October for download from this website.

Do I need to collect evidence?

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There is no need to create paperwork or other documentation just for the sake of evidencing some of your CPD. It’s just about putting existing paperwork to one side. Inevitably, some of your CPD will have little by way of documentary evidence – but don’t let this put you off recording it.

We will not ask everyone to submit supporting documentation, but we will be auditing a small number of records in the future in order to check for fraudulent records.

What happens if I lose some or all my CPD record?

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It is your responsibility to keep copies of your CPD record. You will be expected to have a record when we ask you to submit it. Depending upon the circumstances, losing your CPD record may not be sufficient reason for not submitting a record, and you may ultimately, be removed from the register. If this concerns you, we advise you to keep your CPD record online, as this responsibility is then taken care of for you.

Given the fact that much of your CPD may be informal, it will be difficult to provide hard evidence for this learning. You should try to be as specific as possible, using colleagues’ and others’ names (with their permission) where possible and referencing any reading that you have undertaken. Do not record the names of those whose confidentially you must respect, such as patients. Evidencing formal activities should be more straightforward. Keep hold of attendance certificates and paperwork from any appraisals or audits that have fed into your CPD.

I currently use another recording system - can I continue using it?

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There are a number of approved recording systems in place, and they will each display the recognized approval logo shown below:

Recording systems need to be approved by us. This is because we have found from our pilots that it is more time consuming and costly to review records kept in alternative systems. Also, they often don't provide the information we are seeking.