International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Cover image for Vol. 24 Issue 5

Edited By: Christine Bond, University of Aberdeen, UK

Online ISSN: 2042-7174


This special virtual issue of IJPP brings together a selection of 5 papers that have been previously published in the Journal over the last 3 years. We chose them on the basis that each has made a contribution to a wider understanding of continuing professional development for pharmacists, a theme which is our area of particular interest. They cover work that has been conducted nationally and internationally. Within each we identified experiential/work-based learning as being a key factor for successful continuing professional development, whether as a predominant learning method or part of a mixed learning methods course. This provides the common thread for the papers presented.

A Review Article by Donyai et al, first published in 2011, begins this special issue.

British pharmacy professionals' beliefs and participation in continuing professional development: a review of the literature
Parastou Donyai1, Rebecca Z. Herbert, Pam M. Denicolo, Angela M. Alexander

It reports on the comprehensive review of published literature that they conducted to chart the participation of pharmacists in continuing professional development and their perceptions and beliefs of it. The review covers publications during the first decade of the 21st century. Included among their recommendations for supporting pharmacists to engage with continuing professional development, and enabling them to overcome perceived barriers to participation, is the involvement of the workplace. Opportunities for learning in the workplace and application of learning in the context of the individual pharmacist’s daily professional activities are highlighted as having a positive impact on perceptions of the value of continuing professional development.

The three Research Papers that follow, from researchers in Canada (Bungard et al, 2011), Australia (Kamarudin et al, 2012) and the UK (Sadler et al, 2013) provide further evidence of the importance of work-based, experiential learning for the professional development of pharmacists.

Evaluation of a multi staged professional development course for practising pharmacists in anticoagulation management
Tammy J. Bungard, Theresa J. Schindel, Sipi Garg, Cynthia Brocklebank

Preparing hospital pharmacists to prescribe: stakeholders’ views of postgraduate courses
Gritta Kamarudin, Jonathan Penm, Betty Chaar, Rebekah Moles

Training pharmacists to deliver a complex information technology intervention (PINCER) using the principles of educational outreach and root cause analysis
Stacey Sadler, Sarah Rodgers, Rachel Howard, Caroline J. Morris, Anthony J. Avery, on behalf of the PINCER Triallists

These papers give a mere snapshot of professional and career development activities aimed at up-skilling pharmacists to take on a new professional role or attain a new professional qualification. But, the experiential, work-based learning component, or simulation of such as role play, identified and discussed in each is fundamental to successful design, delivery and outcomes in terms of building confidence and competence.

The final paper is a Personal View by Pezzolesi et al (2013).

Is Mindful Reflective Practice the way forward to reduce medication errors?
Cinzia Pezzolesi, Maisoon Ghaleb, Andrzej Kostrzewski, Soraya Dhillon

It introduces the concept of Mindful Reflective Practice and proposes that it could be a potential strategy for pharmacy practitioners to use to enhance their professional practice. As researchers and publishers ourselves in the use and success of reflection in the workplace for learning and professional practice development we feel that this paper provides an interesting and thought-provoking conclusion to this special issue of IJPP and provides, arguably, a new thread of research for future exploration and publication within the theme experiential/work-based learning.

Professor Patricia Black, Professor of Pharmacy Professional Development & Education;
Dr Elizabeth Mills, Academic Programme Manager and Postgraduate Team Lead.
Postgraduate Pharmacy, Medicines Management and Prescribing, Keele University, UK.