The pharmacy profession has long been asking for a programme which enables practitioners to demonstrate their level of practice and capability and provides support and resources to advance in their career. The forthcoming launch of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty is therefore very much welcomed by UKCPA.
Until now, this provision has not been provided by the professional body for pharmacy. In order to fill this gap, specialist interest groups, like UKCPA, developed their own support tools and professional recognition programmes.
Over a decade ago, the Competency Development and Evaluation Group (CoDEG) was formed by leading pharmacy practitioners in order to develop what are now known as the General Level Framework (GLF) and the Advanced to Consultant Level Framework (ACLF). UKCPA has been instrumental in the support of these frameworks, with many UKCPA leaders being involved in their initial development, piloting and implementation. UKCPA welcomed the recent Modernising Pharmacy Careers (MPC) recommendations to support the use of the CoDEG frameworks in the future.
Alongside the development of the CoDEG frameworks, UKCPA, with other specialist pharmacy groups, spearheaded the initiative to develop curricula for advanced practitioners in specialist areas over recent years. The curricula allow practitioners to easily identify what is required to advance in their area of practice.
However, pharmacy practitioners still required a way to provide evidence that they had attained a certain level of practice, with associated knowledge and competencies. To address this, the UKCPA Critical Care Group received UKCPA funding to develop and pilot a quality assured process, based on professional peer review, which recognised a practitioner’s attainment of the required knowledge and skills at a particular level of practice. The resulting credentialing process consists of an expert panel which reviews a portfolio of evidence mapped against the ALF.
Since its de-merger with the regulator in 2010 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has worked closely with UKCPA and other pharmacy groups to understand and further support the development of practitioner development tools and resources such as the ACLF, professional curricula and the credentialing process. The direction, form and structures necessary for the establishment of the RPS Faculty have been informed by UKCPA and other pharmacy bodies alongside other Royal Colleges and Societies, to ensure the creation of an organisation that meets the needs of the profession. In February 2013 UKCPA formally agreed and signed a commitment to continue to work on this, in partnership with the RPS.
Now, the RPS Faculty will be adopting the ACLF as the method for supporting and recognising practitioners’ level of practice adapted for all sectors and nations. The Faculty will also be recommending the use of the professional curricula to guide practitioners to the evidence and experience needed to demonstrate advancement and progression.
To date, all these leading initiatives have been used primarily in hospital pharmacy but UKCPA have always maintained that they are equally as applicable, when appropriately adapted, for use in community pharmacy. The RPS Faculty will enable these tools to be used by all pharmacy practitioners, regardless of their sector or specialism.
The vision of UKCPA is, and has always been, to promote expert clinical pharmacy practice through excellence, leadership and partnership. The RPS shares this vision, and by working together in partnership with the RPS Faculty, UKCPA will bring clinical pharmacy to the profession.