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Continuing Professional Development for Healthcare Professionals

As a healthcare professional, you will most likely have come across the term 'Continuing Professional Development' at some point throughout your career. If you're a student or a recent graduate, you may be unfamiliar with the term, and that's why Clarity Locums recruitment agency is here to help. The following guide will give you an overview of CPD and how it will affect you during your career.

What is Continuing Professional Development?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a commitment made by healthcare professionals to ongoing lifelong learning that goes beyond formal education. It involves:

  • maintenance and improvement of existing knowledge,
  • development of new skills,
  • keeping up-to-date with the latest advancements in the industry.

Doing all this prepares you for greater responsibilities and enables critical thinking, which leads to better decision-making. It is an integral part of providing safe and effective services and patient care.

The practice of CPD involves tracking and documenting new skills, and keeping a record of the new knowledge and experience you gain throughout your career.

CPD Workshop

There are many methods of CPD for healthcare professionals

Who Needs to Complete CDP?

  • Pharmacists: Under the Pharmacy Act 2007, CPD is a mandatory requirement for pharmacists in Ireland in order to continue their annual registration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). Both full-time and locum pharmacists are required to keep a record of their CPD and be able to demonstrate evidence of this to the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) on request. The IIOP have a CPD portal for pharmacists to record their CPD learning.
  • Nurses: CPD is not a mandatory requirement for paying your annual retention fee to maintain your registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). However, it is a mandatory component for full-time and agency nurses under the nursing code of conduct. Every nursing facility you work for in Ireland will have a mandatory list of CPD certificates they require in order to work there.
  • GPs: Under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, all general practitioners in Ireland who are registered with the Irish Medical Council (IMC) are legally required to engage in CPD by enrolling in professional competence schemes. This obligation applies to both full-time and locum doctors.

The Importance of CPD

As mentioned, CPD is a mandatory requirement for most healthcare professionals. However, that is not the only reason one should engage in it. There are a number of benefits to maintaining CPD, including:

Career progression

Engaging in CPD activities can significantly enhance your career prospects. In a competitive job market, having a robust CPD portfolio can set you apart from your peers. Employers value candidates who are committed to self-improvement and growth.

A well-documented CPD record demonstrates your dedication to personal and professional development, making you a valuable asset to any organisation.

Maintaining competence

As industries evolve, staying up-to-date is essential. Engaging in CPD activities ensures that knowledge and skills learned in formal education do not become obsolete or outdated, and allows individuals to refresh their knowledge and upskill, regardless of age or education level.

At the end of the day, the goal of any healthcare professional is to provide the best possible care to patients, and CPD facilitates this.

Personal reflection

Through documentation, CPD can help you reflect and review your learning to date. This is a great way of reminding yourself of your achievements and professional progression throughout the years. It also reveals gaps in your knowledge and helps to set goals and direct your career.

Woman smiling at her laptop

Clarity Locums account holders can access our CPD Hub

Different Methods of CPD

There are several ways in which you can complete CPD. Depending on your regulatory body, your CPD may have to meet specific guidelines in order to meet requirements. The most popular methods of CPD include:

  • Attending webinars, lectures, or workshops
  • Completing training courses
  • Practice-based learning including feedback from audits, analysis and review of critical incidents
  • Writing, reading or undertaking research

We have a number of CPD courses that can be accessed through the CPD Hub on the Clarity Locums app or website.

Med iLearning is a great resource for pharmacists, nurses, and doctors to access a range of CPD courses online. You can access the website here.

HSeLanD is a database nurses can use to update their mandatory training certificates. They have a wide range of courses to choose from. You can access the website here.

Overall, it's important for healthcare professionals in Ireland to stay informed about the specific CPD requirements and guidelines set forth by their respective regulatory bodies to maintain their professional status and provide the highest level of care to patients.

Ready to Learn?

If this article has you excited about the prospect of continuing your professional development, now is the time to start. If you’re already registered with Clarity Locums, you can access the CPD Hub through your Clarity Locums account. Simply log in, locate the CPD course from the menu bar, and pick a course!

Not Registered?

If you haven’t signed up for Clarity Locums yet, what are you waiting for? Register on our website or download our app below.

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Posted on 10 October 2023
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