The Toolkit
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The Toolkit

Defining CPD

"CPD is an ongoing learning process undertaken throughout one’s professional career aimed at acquiring, maintaining and improving knowledge, skills and professional behaviour in line with evolving standards. CPD ensures quality in practice, as well as personal development, which are best achieved through reflective evaluation of each CPD activity. Professional expertise is centred on providing an optimal Health Care Service."

This is essentially the definition that the Pathology CPD Committee formulated for its vision of what CPD means and this definition will be guiding the Malta Team in its efforts to improve the quality of CPD activities in Malta.

The Toolkits

The project will take place in five major toolkits or phases between the years 2013 and 2015.

As locally delivered hospital CPD activities are not currently subject to quality standards, the consortium has recognised that there is a pressing need for this situation to be resolved. Motivation to ameliorate this derives from a requirement for a standardised approach to quality provision including accreditation of locally delivered hospital CPD events. Current disparity and lack of quality is emphasized by CPD systems in different partner countries including; a purely output driven system, a system whereby the same activity is awarded different points by different interview panels in the same country and a more input focussed system.

Implementation of a common CPD quality framework is necessary to solve inconsistencies. A common quality framework, the second section of the toolkit, including a harmonised accreditation system along with common evaluation of CPD activities will go some way to realising recognition of transferable locally delivered hospital CPD activities for biomedical scientists across the EU.

Reflecting effectively on CPD activities is a key skill that all Biomedical Scientists should possess as reflective practice is known to lead to enhanced competence. However, reflective practice is currently an underused skill with doubts among laboratory scientists around using reflection as part of their CPD stemming from uncertainty, inexperience and lack of confidence (Wilson, 2010). This consortium will address this need by providing EU hospitals with a framework (section 3 of the toolkit) for including CPD activities within their locally delivered CPD events and thus making reflective practice accessible within all CPD events. Guidelines for hospital laboratories (section 4 of the toolkit) on managing and organising quality CPD activities for laboratory staff will complete the toolkit which will be translated into all partner languages. A CPD providers’ network will be an on-going means for an EU-wide Community of Practice for EU-hospital laboratories.

This project addresses the priorities of ET 2020 which recognises ‘that high-quality VET are fundamental to Europe's success’ and that ‘lifelong learning needs to be a priority’. The consortium aims to support the long-term strategic objectives of EU education and training policies by improving the quality of biomedical scientists’ CPD training. Whilst the goal of the project is to develop a common quality framework toolkit for locally delivered hospital pathology CPD activities, the project will be carried out in accordance with Article 149 of the EC Treaty by ‘encouraging co-operation’ and respecting the prohibited ‘harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States’.

The project supports the EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and the free movement of professionals, with associated future economic success via a more mobile workforce as biomedical scientists are already motivated to practice in different EU countries and are among the top 25 most mobile of the regulated professions. As a mobile profession there is a need for recognition of an individual’s CPD across the EU which will be achieved in part by harmonisation of locally delivered hospital based CPD activities within a common EU quality framework. The accomplishment of this project will dramatically change the way in which CPD is organised, managed and delivered by EU hospital laboratories. Thus competence to practice and EU-citizen patient safety, the heart of the profession is ensured.

Specifically, host meetings will be focussed around the expertise of partners and each section of the toolkit will result from the combined efforts of the partner organizations with one partner having overall responsibility for completion of one section pertinent to their area of expertise. 

Toolkit 1

This consists in the understanding of the similarities and differences in the CPD requirements of different European countries.

Toolkit 2

This consists in the identification of different types of CPD activities including the identification of core elements of good practice.

Toolkit 3

This consists in the identification of which core elements of good practice do to currently incorporate within the design of CPD activities.

Toolkit 4

Worked Example: How to incorporate online learning into a CPD activity.

Toolkit 5

Identification of which core elements of good practice one could incorporate within future design of CPD activities.​