This month I turned my attention to unplanned CPD but first I must own up to a vested interest. As the author of September’s PM module on depression (see p25), I drafted an unplanned CPD entry template to go alongside it.
This is contentious, with some considering it spoonfeeding and taking away the reflective aspect of CPD, while others – myself included – regard it as providing pharmacy professionals with a steer in the right direction and therefore reassuring and confidence-building.
The logging process was straightforward. I went onto the myGPhC portal (although there was some mental swearing as I tried to remember my password), clicked on “revalidation” and then the plus symbol next to the “unplanned CPD” option in the “current submission” section.
There were just three fields to complete: for the record title, the activity or event that enabled me to learn something new or refresh my knowledge, and examples of how this has benefited the users of my services.
Had I been a “frontline” pharmacist, by which I mean someone out there in the community who deals with patients and customers, and had I completed this month’s CPD module on depression, it would have been very easy to cut and paste from the template CPD entry. Then I would have simply made a few tweaks so that my log reflected what I had done in order to best meet the needs of those patients who come into my pharmacy.
As it was, I decided that my writing should imitate my life and so I wrote an unplanned CPD entry on… making an unplanned CPD entry!
Bear with me here. As a writer, I have to make sure that my copy is up-to-date, relevant and informative. This means research is key and it takes many forms, from reading a Government policy announcement or ploughing through a NICE guidance document, to sitting in a session at a conference or interviewing someone face-toface or over the phone.
Sometimes, however, there is no replacement for reallife experience. By logging an unplanned CPD entry, I can write about it knowledgeably.
Logging the entry was just as I’ve come to expect from the revalidation system: fast and uncomplicated, while still causing me to think about what I had done and why. Better still, I am well on the way to completing the requisite number of records before I have to make my revalidation submission next month.
It also confirmed my belief that resources like template CPD entries are useful. Converting a big chunk of learning into a reflective snapshot doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so some suggested wording forms a good jumping-off point.
These materials should not be used verbatim and the GPhC would take a dim view of anyone who artlessly just copies and pastes. Think of it like doing a weekly grocery shop – far easier if you have a list than walking into the shop without one and then deciding what you want to eat for the next few days.
So try it – the CPD module, the template entry and logging it on myGPhC.org. Make it easy for yourself.