In October 2022, the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) sent an email to approximately 1300 pharmacists who have been selected for the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review. The IIOP also sent a reminder email to pharmacists in early December. In January 2023, these pharmacists will be required to submit evidence of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to the IIOP via their ePortfolio.
Here, Mary-Claire Kennedy, ePortfolio Review Project Lead, gives an overview of the process. We talk about the key dates, the process and where you can get more support.
So Mary-Claire, how will pharmacists know whether they are selected for the 2022/2023 ePortfolio Review?
In addition to the email communications that pharmacists have received from the IIOP, at this point selected pharmacists will also notice a Pending sign on their ePortfolio. This sign will remain in place until the submission period is closed (29 January) and will not change when you have submitted cycles. When the first submission period closes this will change from Pending to Active. This means that the review process is happening and is not specific to a particular pharmacist. The Active sign will remain in place until the ePortfolio Review process is complete in early May.
If I’ve been selected, when will have I have to submit my ePortfolio extract?
On Monday 9 January 2023 an email will be sent from the ePortfolio System (firstname.lastname@example.org) to your IIOP registered email address inviting you to submit CPD cycles from your ePortfolio for review. You will have until Sunday 29 January to submit your extract. You may submit cycles at any stage during the three-week submission window, and you may make more than one submission. Pharmacists must have their current, active email address registered on their IIOP profile in order to ensure they receive communications from the IIOP about the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review. Should you need help in accessing the website, retrieving your password or editing your details contact the IIOP at email@example.com.
How does the ePortfolio Review process work?
The ePortfolio Review process incorporates two elements:
• A System Based Review – Each extract (i.e. the cycles you choose to submit) will be automatically reviewed against the System Based Standards which are pre-set within the IIOP ePortfolio system.
• A proportion of the ePortfolio extracts submitted will be reviewed against the Review Standards. This will include; o All ePortfolio extracts submitted in the first submission period that do not meet the System Based Standards.
• A random sample of ePortfolio extracts submitted in the first submission period that do meet the System Based Standards
• All ePortfolio extracts submitted in the second submission period
How will I know which cycles I should submit as part of my ePortfolio Review?
To help pharmacists ensure the cycles they submit as part of their ePortfolio extract meet the System Based Standards the IIOP developed the Ready Reckoner tool. The Ready Reckoner will be available to pharmacists selected for ePortfolio Review when the submission period opens in January. Pharmacists can use the Ready Reckoner in two ways;
• Before submission – Pharmacists can use the ‘Check readiness’ function before submission to identify cycles to submit which collectively meet all of the System Based Standards.
• After Submission – The Ready Reckoner automatically appears when one or more cycles are submitted for review and uses green and red lights to show progress against the System Based Standards. In the event that one of the standards has not been met, a red light and a warning icon are shown, and pharmacists can click on the warning icon for an overview of the action they need to take to meet this standard.
I can’t find the “Ready Reckoner” on the IIOP website, where is it?
The Ready Reckoner will only become available to pharmacists included in the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review when the submission period opens on Monday 9 January. It can be found within the Completed Cycles section of the ePortfolio.
I have undertaken CPD but not yet had the opportunity to record it in my IIOP ePortfolio. Can I ePortfolio backdate these records to reflect when the work was completed?
Yes, you can backdate cycles to reflect the date the CPD was undertaken. Simply choose the relevant date when entering the ‘Cycle Start Date’. You can find further information on recording your CPD retrospectively in the How to meet the cycle from previous four years standard support resource which can be found on the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review Support page on the IIOP website. Since I began using the IIOP ePortfolio, I have been recording entries in my ePortfolio but I haven’t completed all of my CPD cycles.
I have been selected for the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review, if I completed a cycle now will it count as CPD from the year I created it?
Yes, it will count from the date it was created. We understand that people work in different ways, and the IIOP ePortfolio has been built to reflect this. While some people may like to complete a cycle and finish it right away other people may like to work on them over time.
Do I have to complete the Core Competency Self-Assessment Tool (CCSAT)?
The 2022/23 ePortfolio Review Standards require that pharmacists submit at least one CPD cycle which has originated from their self-assessment against the Core Competency Framework for Pharmacists in the current year (i.e. 2022 to the end of the submission period in January 2023). For this 2022/23 ePortfolio Review there are two ways that you can demonstrate evidence of this self-assessment;
• By selecting the tick box under the Self-Appraisal stage of the relevant cycle ‘Completing self-assessment against the Core Competency Framework’
• By undertaking a CCSAT selfassessment, exporting the suggested cycle topics into your ePortfolio then completing and submitting at least one cycle for review I completed the CCSAT in December 2021, and completed a CPD cycle based on the outcome in 2022.
Can I submit this as a cycle which originated from my self-assessment against the PSI Core Competency Framework for assessment in the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review?
The 2022/23 ePortfolio Review Standards require that you submit one cycle created following self-assessment against the PSI’s Core Competency Framework in the current year, therefore the cycle submitted to meet this standard must have a creation date in 2022 to the end of the submission period in January 2023. This is in line with the legislative requirement to regularly self-assess against the Core Competency Framework. A cycle created in 2021 will not meet this standard, however, you may wish to submit this cycle as evidence of one of the cycles that you created in the previous four years.
I have completed some of the CPD courses available through Irish Pharmacy News (IPN) and I have also completed IIOP online courses, are there other activities that I could record in my portfolio?
Many pharmacists are surprised to realise the breadth of what counts as CPD. Traditionally, many pharmacists focus their CPD on their clinical expertise. The PSI Core Competency Framework indicates that pharmacists must be competent across a range of domains. It’s important to aim to keep upskilled across all domains – not just those domains relating to medicines. This requires engaging in a breadth of learning. Consequently, there are many different types of activities that can be recorded in your ePortfolio as CPD. Completing the IPN CPD modules, for example, is a very valuable means of undertaking CPD. Other examples of activities that can be recorded in your ePortfolio as CPD include:
• Attending a live learning course
• Reading an article
• Having a discussion with a colleague
• Attending a conference
• Researching a new drug that has been prescribed for a patient
It’s important to remember that recording any learning activity may be appropriate as long as you can demonstrate how it has contributed to your professional development. It may be helpful to refer to the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review Standards to see types of criteria within the scope of the Review.
How much information should I record in my CPD cycles?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. Each pharmacist will have their own style; some choose to use bullet point information, while others prefer to be more detailed. What’s important, however, is that you sufficiently outline what you have learned and how that learning has contributed to your understanding, benefited your practice, improved patient outcomes or advanced your continuing professional development. You will find some sample CPD cycles on the IIOP website, in IIOP newsletters or by attending ePortfolio Review information events. You should write in a way that works for you and allows you to reflect on what you have done.
What happens if my ePortfolio extract does not meet the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review Standards?
The ePortfolio Review enables pharmacists to demonstrate evidence of appropriate and ongoing engagement with CPD, in the interest of outcomes-focused professional development. All pharmacists’ ePortfolio extracts are reviewed against the specific standards, mapped to the legislative requirements, which have been set for that year’s ePortfolio Review. All pharmacists who submit their cycles within the submission period in January 2023 will be provided with feedback on their ePortfolio extract, should one or more of the standards not be met in the first instance. They will then have an opportunity to resubmit cycles based on this feedback to meet the standards. In the event that a pharmacist does not meet the standards at the end of their first ePortfolio Review process, they are automatically entered into the following year’s ePortfolio Review. The PSI is not informed at this stage. However, if at the end of the second ePortfolio Review the pharmacist does not meet the standard or does not reengage with this process in year 2, the IIOP is obliged under the terms of the ePortfolio Review Policy to refer the pharmacist to the PSI.
Will the PSI be aware of how I perform in the ePortfolio Review process?
The IIOP undertakes the ePortfolio Review process to enable pharmacists to demonstrate evidence of CPD, in line with the legislation. Whilst the PSI is responsible for selecting pharmacists for ePortfolio Review, the IIOP undertakes the review process itself, at arm’s length from the PSI. The IIOP will not share any aspect of a pharmacist’s ePortfolio with the PSI. In the event that the IIOP cannot ascertain that a pharmacist is meeting his or her CPD obligations (i.e. if the standard is not met at the end of two years ePortfolio Review, or if the pharmacists fails to submit an ePortfolio extract for review within the timeframe provided) then the IIOP has a statutory obligation to refer the pharmacist to the PSI. No information from your cycles is communicated to the PSI.
When I was selected for ePortfolio Review, I didn’t apply for an exemption due to extenuating circumstances but my circumstances have now changed and I will be unable to submit my ePortfolio. Is it too late to apply for an exemption?
The PSI manages the selection process for ePortfolio Review including all applications for exemptions from ePortfolio Review under its Extenuating Circumstances process. If circumstances apply to you which would have an impact on your ability to submit an extract from your ePortfolio, you should contact the PSI. The PSI’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy and the relevant application form are available on the PSI website. All applications submitted will be managed by the PSI on a confidential case-by-case basis.
Where can I get more information?
The ePortfolio Review Support Page can be accessed via the IIOP homepage and is the main source of information relating to the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review including information on communication from the IIOP, timelines and ePortfolio Review Information Events. The ePortfolio Review support resources are also hosted on this page. You may also wish to attend an Information Event. The IIOP hosted a series of Information Events from September 2022 until January 2023 to support pharmacists selected for the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review. All events are facilitated by a Peer Support Pharmacist and will specifically focus on the key requirements of the 2022/23 ePortfolio Review so that pharmacists will know exactly what to expect at each point in the process. Pharmacists who took part in previous ePortfolio Review processes consistently highlight the IIOP Information Events as a key source of support in their preparation. They felt more confident in participating in ePortfolio Review and had a clear understanding of what the standards were and how to access support if needed, following attending an event. There are two information events scheduled on 10 and 24 January 2023. You can book via the IIOP website, under the Courses & Events tab. There is also a recorded version of the information event available to view in your own time on the IIOP website. The IIOP team are always happy to hear from you with any queries you may have.