British pharmacy professionals' beliefs and participation in continuing professional development: a review of the literature

Int J Pharm Pract. 2011 Oct;19(5):290-317. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2011.00128.x. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


OBJECTIVES Continuing professional development (CPD) has potential to be useful in pharmacy revalidation but past uptake and attitudes to CPD in Great Britain (GB) need to be mapped. This review examines published literature to chart the participation and beliefs of pharmacy professionals towards CPD in GB in a decade that had seen a formal transition from continuing education to CPD. METHODS A comprehensive review of the published literature was conducted to identify studies of the uptake of, or attitudes towards, CPD cross different sectors of pharmacy in GB from 2000 to 2010. KEY FINDINGS Twenty-two studies were included and analysed, including 13 research papers, six conference papers, two news items reporting survey outcomes and one commissioned study. Eight barriers to CPD were identified as: time, financial costs and resource issues, understanding of CPD, facilitation and support for CPD, motivation and interest in CPD, attitudes towards compulsory CPD, system constraints, and technical problems. Pharmacy professionals on the whole agreed with the principle of engaging with CPD but there was little evidence to suggest widespread and wholehearted acceptance and uptake of CPD, essential for revalidation. CONCLUSIONS If CPD is to succeed, people's beliefs and attitudes must be addressed by recognising and modifying perceived barriers through a combination of regulatory, professional, work-related and personal channels. A number of recommendations are made. Direct experience of effective CPD in the absence of perceived barriers could impact on personal development, career development and patient benefit thus strengthening personal beliefs in the value of CPD in an iterative manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing / trends*
  • Humans
  • United Kingdom