The Continuing Competence Program: 7 Tips to Help You Complete Your Professional Portfolio

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The deadline to complete and submit your learning records and implementation record to satisfy the requirements of the Alberta College of Pharmacists’ (ACP) Continuing Competence Program (CCP) is drawing near. To help answer any last-minute questions you might have we’ve assembled 7 tips to help you complete your CCP professional portfolio.

  1. 1 hour of learning = 1 continuing education credit (CEU)

Remember this if you are submitting any non-accredited learning activities. For every hour you spend learning, you can claim 1 CEU. You may claim to the nearest quarter of an hour for the time spent on a learning activity. For learning that is accredited for pharmacy technicians, the accrediting body will determine how many CEUs may be claimed.

  1. Know where to look to find continuing education (CE) applicable to pharmacy technicians.

There are a number of websites you can visit to find useful and informative CE’s:

And of course, you can find CE opportunities by looking under both the Education and Conferences links on our website!

  1. You can claim CEs from American sources.

But keep in mind, there is a key difference in how CEUs are measured, so if you are claiming a CE accredited for pharmacy technicians by an American accreditation board you will have to convert the measurement to Canadian standards.

With the American system 1 hour of learning = 0.1 CEU. Therefore, 0.1 CEU in America = 1 CEU here in Canada.

You can also claim non-accredited learning from an American source as long as it is applicable to pharmacy technician practice.

  1. A unique role as a pharmacy technician will not limit your learning options.

Pharmacy technicians can be found filling a number of unique roles, including purchasing, clinical support, specialty compounding, and management. If your practice is specialized, or limited to specific duties, keep in mind that according to our code of ethics it is the responsibility of a pharmacy technician to:

  • Continuously improve your level of professional knowledge and skill,
  • Take responsibility for maintaining a high standard of professional competence,
  • Evaluate your individual practice and assume responsibility for improvement, and
  • Keep informed about new pharmaceutical knowledge.

So, while not every CEU you claim may directly impact or immediately pertain to your current practice, as long as it is supporting you in meeting the points outlined in our code of ethics you are on the right track. It is important to maintain your competency and to remain informed of new practice developments. After all, you never know when a new opportunity might come your way!

  1. A SMART goal is key to a successful implementation.

Many pharmacy technicians have reported feeling slightly intimidated by the implementation requirement of the CCP. Writing out a SMART goal can help you flesh out your plan. It will help you focus in on what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, when you will learn it, and how that learning will impact your practice.

Remember, you want your SMART goal to be:

S– Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve; think about how, what, and when?

M-Measurable: Identify exactly what you want to do.

A – Attainable: Is your goal something you can complete within your time line?

R – Relevant: Is your goal relevant to you and your job? Think about how you will apply this to your practice.

T – Timely: We all know that you will do something “tomorrow” but you must be specific, an actual date or time frame must be added.

  1. Double check your learning implementation and make sure it meets all the requirements set out by ACP.

Remember, your implementation must:

  • Directly involve the application of at least 1 CEU
  • Relate to one of the pharmacy domains (pharmacy practice, medical/medication/device knowledge, or systems-based practice)

As well, it must result in one of the following outcomes:

  • Improvement to your practice or organization
  • Transfer of knowledge, skill, or ability to others
  • Verification of your competence by one of your peers
  • Affect another individual (e.g., a patient, a co-worker, another healthcare professional)
  1. Don’t forget to hit submit!

During the online registration renewal period for pharmacy technicians (Oct-Nov 30) a submit button will be located on the home page of the CCP portal. It is only available during this time period, so it is important that you make sure you click it once you have met all the requirements of the Continuing Competence Program. Once your portfolio has been submitted you will no longer be able to make any changes or edits, so make sure you are satisfied with it before you click submit!

Once you click the submit button, you will be asked to complete a professional declaration that the information you are submitting is true and accurate. You will also be given the opportunity to complete a short survey to provide feedback on the program. Your thoughts and opinions are valuable; we encourage you to provide ACP with your feedback and any suggested modifications or changes to the program that you may have.

Many of these tips were originally generated as part of our “Tip of the Week” feature. You can find archived tips here, and a new tip is shared weekly.

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