The Pharmaceutical Society NI has today launched a consultation on the concluding part of the CPD framework. We are seeking views on how we will manage applications for extenuating circumstances and procedures relating to restoration to the register following non-compliance with CPD requirements.
We are also inviting comments on a proposed change that will allow registrants the option to record some or all of their learning activity in the evaluation stage of the CPD cycle, as either ‘future application of learning’ and/or ‘simulation’.
Jacqui Dougan, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI explained the proposed change:
‘Mandatory CPD came into operation on 1 June 2013 and early indications show that registrants are undertaking CPD and are engaged in the process as nearly 600 have already begun completing their CPD records.
‘To ensure that the framework remains relevant and appropriate we keep it under regular review.
‘An issue that has come to our attention is the difficulty or limited opportunities for some registrants to apply their learning in their practice and thereby complete or ‘close’ the CPD cycle within a CPD year.
‘As a consequence, the regulator is proposing to remove the 25% ‘cap’ on recording learning activity in the evaluation stage of the CPD cycle as either ‘future application of learning’ or ‘simulation.
‘Whilst we strongly encourage you to close cycles by applying to your area of practice we realise this may not always be possible. Therefore we propose that there is an opportunity for all CPD cycles to be closed using simulation and/or future application of learning within the same CPD year as the learning has occurred.
‘We strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to make your views known on this proposed change by engaging and responding to this consultation.’
The CPD framework part 1 was published in May 2013 and this reflected the CPD regulations made by the Assembly in August 2012. However, it was immediately recognised that within the regulations no provision had been made to allow a registered person to request an appeal hearing.
To address this, in February 2013 the DHSSPS published amendments to the regulations which were consulted upon.
The CPD regulations were amended and these came into operation on 31 May 2013 and have informed the CPD framework part 2, which flows from these legislative requirements.
In this exercise we are consulting on:
- How the Pharmaceutical Society NI will manage application process for extenuating circumstances
- Requirements necessary for restoration to the Register after non-compliance with CPD requirements.
- Where it is not possible to close a CPD cycle by applying to practice, the CPD cycle can be closed using simulation and/or future applied learning.
An appeals process is in place for those not satisfied with our decisions. Normally, and unless an Appeals hearing is requested by the registrant, appeals will be processed on paper or can be considered at a hearing if requested. Information on the Appeals process is detailed in the statutory CPD regulations and is not part of this consultation.
Commenting on this specific issue, Registrar Brendan Kerr said:
‘Before and during the DHSSPS consultation on the CPD regulations, concerns were expressed with regards to the inability of a registrant to seek a hearing following CPD non-compliance.
‘The amended legislation positively addresses the issue of appeals and the right of a pharmacist to submit an appeal in writing or to seek a hearing with the Statutory Committee.
‘I would encourage people to read and familiarise themselves with this process which is covered extensively in the CPD regulations 12-29.’
How to get involved
To help explain the CPD framework part 2 we will be holding a series of information events. We encourage pharmacists to attend these events and information about dates, venues and how to sign up is available on the website. A webcast can also be accessed on the website to explain the proposals.
Jacqui Dougan President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI concluded:
‘This consultation is about ensuring our processes work efficiently and achieve our primary aim of protecting the public whilst being fair and proportionate to the profession.
‘We were delighted with the level of engagement with the first consultation and would strongly encourage people to engage in this consultation process and tell us what you think.
‘We want to receive as many responses as possible from pharmacists, patients and the public and others with an interest in pharmacy regulation to help us to put the right procedures in place.’
The consultation runs from 14 November 2013 to 23 January 2014, and full details of this consultation can be found by following this link – consultations
 594 have begun the process of completing their CPD records (at 14 November 2013)
 The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (Continuing Professional Development) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013