A Resource for Faculty and Staff Developing Accredited Continuing Education Activities
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) defines continuing education as “a structured educational activity designed or intended to support the continuing development of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians to maintain and enhance their competence. Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) should promote problem-solving and critical thinking and be applicable to the practice of pharmacy.” Continuing pharmacy education activities must follow and outcomes-based educational model. Each step of the model is associated with particular planning activities, and the model as a whole calls for accredited programs to be improved over time based on their performance in achieving their stated educational goals. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Adapted from the Continuing Education Administrator Workshop in Nashville, TN on July 15, 2017.
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy Office of Continuing Education (ACPE) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to provide continuing education for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The faculty guidance is intended to help faculty meet the program planning requirements. See the accreditation standards here
Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis
A needs assessment is a systematic process used to identify the educational gap/need between an individual’s current level and the desired level of knowledge, skills, or attitudes. The educational gap/need that is identified guides the development of the educational activity, including the educational need it fills and its objectives. Separate needs assessments are required for pharmacist and technicians. For the needs assessment to be effective it must be completed prior to planning the CPE activity. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Adapted from the Continuing Education Administrator Workshop in Nashville, TN on July 15, 2017.
Relative to taxonomies of learning, ACPE CPE activity types fall along a continuum of learning, starting at Knowledge, moving through Application, and ending with Certificate
2011 CPE Conference Presentation by Sarah Jane Faro and Theodore Bruno. Pulled from ACPE Continuing Education Provider Accreditation Tools
Identifying the Activity Type
Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) activities are categorized into three types: knowledge-based, application-based, and certificate programs. Prior to educational program planning and accreditation, each educational activity will be reviewed by CPE Office faculty and categorized into one of the activity types based on the activity objectives, purpose, content, desired learning outcomes, and activity length. All accredited activities will align with the office’s mission and goals and will meet the educational needs of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Types of CPE Activities
- CPE activity: These CPE activities are primarily constructed to transmit knowledge (e.g., facts).
- The facts must be based on evidence as accepted in the literature by the health care professions.
- The minimum amount of credit for these activities is 15 minutes or 0.25 contact hour.
Application-based CPE activity:
- These CPE activities are primarily constructed to apply the information learned in the time allotted.
- The information must be based on evidence as accepted in the literature by the health care professions.
- The minimum amount of credit for these activities is 60 minutes or one contact hour.
Certificate Program (previously named Practice-based CPE):
- These CPE activities are primarily constructed to instill, expand, or enhance practice competencies through systematic achievement of specified knowledge, skills, attitudes, and performance behaviors. The information within the certificate program must be based on evidence as accepted in the literature by the health care professions.
- The formats of these CPE activities should include a didactic component (live and/or home study) and a practice experience component (designed to evaluate the skill or application)
- The provider should employ an instructional design that is rationally sequenced, curricular based, and supportive of achievement of the stated professional competencies.
- The minimum amount of credit for these activities is 15 contact hours.
Continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities are categorized into three types: knowledge, application, and certificate. The CPE activity type(s) conducted should be consistent with the provider’s mission and appropriate to meet the identified pharmacist and/or pharmacy technician needs.
Developing Learning Objectives
Learning objectives should be written after the completion of the needs assessment and should describe what the speaker wants the learner to be able to do upon completion of the activity. The type of learning objective you develop will be determined by the type of activity you are preparing (knowledge-based, application-based, or certificate programs). Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) activities are categorized into three types: knowledge-based, application-based, or certificate programs. Prior to educational program planning and accreditation, each educational activity will be reviewed by CPE Office faculty and categorized into one of the activity types based on the activity objectives, purpose, content, desired learning outcomes, and activity length. All accredited activities will align with the office’s mission and goals and will meet the educational needs of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Adapted from the Continuing Education Administrator Workshop in Nashville, TN on July 15, 2017.
Bloom BS (ed.). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: McKay 1956. Adapted from Phillips, L. The Continuing Education Guide. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, Iowa, 1994.
Guidance for Writing Objectives
Learn more about the framework for CPE activity types and learning objectives.
See the best practices and tips for writing Student Learning Objectives.
Use this generator to help you create learning objectives. This application uses Bloom’s taxonomy.
Teaching and Learning Methods
All CPE activities must incorporate active participation and involvement of the learner through the use of active learning strategies. Active learning strategies should be included in all types of CPE activities, including live presentations and home-study activities, and should be determined by the CPE activity planned. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Each educational activity must include a learning assessment to allow pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians to assess their achievement of the learning objectives and learned content. A learning assessment objectively validates what learners can and cannot do. The learning assessment must be consistent with the activity type and objectives. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
Alignment of Instructional and Assessment Strategies
|INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES||ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES||KNOWLEDGE-BASED ACTIVITY||APPLICATION-BASED-ACTIVITY||PRACTICE-BASED ACTIVITY
|Lectures, readings||MCQ questions that may be either embedded in the presentation or provided at the end of presentation. Another option is pre- and post- tests.||X||X||X|
|Lectures, reading assignments||Games and quizzes to practice recall.||X||X||X|
|Demonstration||Skills assessment using checklist/rubric.||X||X|
|Example of performance product followed by learner practice||Skills assessment using checklist/rubric.||X||X|
|Interactive case study||Assessment questions that are embedded in the presentation.||X||X|
|Interactive scenario||Assessment questions that are embedded in the presentation.||X||X|
|Role play||Skills assessment using checklist/rubric.||X||X|
|Simulation||Skills assessment using checklist/rubric.||X||X|
|Application exercise (online, classroom or lab-based experience)||Assessment questions that are embedded in the exercises or at the end of the exercise.||X||X|
|Practice exercise (in the practice setting)||Observation based assessment (eg. rubric) or assessment of products documenting performance (submission of progress note, patient workshop).||X||X|
Learning Assessment Guidance
Please see our checklist for writing multiple choice items.
Please see our guidance for writing multiple choice for UF CPE.
See a small sample of different learning assessment techniques.
Learning assessment feedback must be provided in an appropriate, timely, and constructive manner. It is important for the learner to be able to assess their achievement of the learned content. Please see the Faculty Guidance PDF for more information.
All materials that offer the opportunity to participate, purchase, or register for a CPE activity must include specific information as identified by the ACPE. Please review and use these criteria when composing your activity announcement.
As an important contributor to our accredited education, we would like to enlist your help to ensure that educational content is fair and balanced, and that any clinical content presented supports safe, effective patient care. Use the online document below to review the continuing pharmacy education material. Program content includes recorded lectures, required or supplemental readings, case scenarios, and assessment questions. Use a critical eye to determine if the content can be repurposed or whether new material should be developed. Indicate whether small edits would be appropriate to update the content to correct the issue. The goal of this document is to ensure high-quality, accurate, current and evidence-based educational material is being provided to the learner.
Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education
The Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education reflect the values of the continuing education community and have been adopted by six accrediting bodies, listed below, representing multiple health professions. The Standard and its guidelines were designed to ensure that accredited continuing education provides healthcare professionals with accurate, balanced, evidence-based information that supports safe and effective patient care.
- Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry ‘s Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (ARBO/COPE)
- Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education
The UF College of Pharmacy, Office of Continuing Education adheres to the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education as outlined in this standard and in our Policies and Procedures Manual.
The Standards are designed to:
- Ensure that accredited continuing education serves the needs of patients and the public.
- Present learners with only accurate, balanced, scientifically justified recommendations.
- Assure healthcare professionals and teams that they can trust accredited continuing education to
- help them deliver safe, effective, cost-effective, compassionate care that is based on best practice
- and evidence.
- Create a clear, unbridgeable separation between accredited continuing education and marketing
The tools and resources below are intended to help provide additional information regarding the integrity and independence in the development of accredited continuing education programs. Such programs must provide healthcare professionals, as individuals and teams, with a protected space to learn, teach, and engage in scientific discourse free from influence from organizations that may have an incentive to insert commercial bias.
Disclosure of Financial Relationships:
Presenters are expected to disclose financial relationships that are relevant to their activity content by completing the Disclosure Form listed below.
Presenters must also list their financial disclosures at the start of their slide presentation. If a presenter does not have any financial disclosures, they must state as such.
Conflicts of Interest & Resolution Process:
UF COP CPE reviews financial disclosures for conflict of interest.
If a conflict of interest exists, UF COP CPE staff or peer reviewer will review the content and work with presenter to resolve the conflict prior to the activity.
Unbiased & Evidence-Based Presentations:
Presentation slides must be non-promotional and use generic names of medications.
If the trade name of a medication must be used for the sake of educational purposes, the equivalent generic(s) must also be named alongside the trade name.
Presenters must base content on the best available evidence and state references.
Note to all Content Developers on Ensuring Valid Clinical Content for Accredited Education
As an important contributor to our accredited education, we would like to enlist your help to ensure that educational content is fair and balanced, and that any clinical content presented supports safe, effective patient care. This includes the expectations that:
- All recommendations for patient care in accredited CE must be based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning, while giving a fair and balanced view of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
- All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited CE in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
- Although accredited continuing education is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, these areas need to be clearly identified as such within the program and individual presentations. It is the responsibility of accredited providers to facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning.
- Content cannot be included in accredited education if it advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if the education promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of practicing healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients.
Consider using the following best practices when presenting clinical content in accredited CE:
- Clearly describe the level of evidence on which the presentation is based and provide enough information about data (study dates, design, etc.) to enable learners to assess research validity.
- Ensure that, if there is a range of evidence, that the credible sources cited present a balanced view of the evidence.
- If clinical recommendations will be made, include balanced information on all available therapeutic options.
- Address any potential risks or adverse effects that could be caused with any clinical recommendations.
Although accredited CE is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, resenting topics or treatments with a lower (or absent) evidence base should include the following strategies:
- Facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning
- Construct the activity as a debate or dialogue. Identify other faculty who represent a range of opinions and perspectives; presentations should include a balanced, objective view of research and treatment options.
- Teach about the merits and limitations of a therapeutic or diagnostic approach rather than how to use it.
- Identify content that has not been accepted as scientifically meritorious by regulatory and other authorities, or when the material has not been included in scientifically accepted guidelines or published in journals with national or international stature.
- Clearly communicate the learning goals for the activity to learners (e.g., “This activity will teach you about how your patients may be using XX therapy and how to answer their questions. It will not teach you how to administer XX therapy”).
Diversity and Inclusion Health Care Education
When developing/delivering your activity, please be inclusive of all patient populations in regards to race, age, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic factors, cultural considerations, or any other demographics.
Be sure to address special populations that are disproportionately affected and/or may require modified treatment approaches.
Also consider social determinants of health outcomes and health equity as they relate to your topic.
Developing Education that Support the Practice of Pharmacy
Presenters are encouraged to develop content that prepares pharmacists for the delivery of patient-centered collaborative care. For more information, visit The Pharmacist’s Patient Care Process on the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners website.
Preparing and Recording a Lecture
It is required that the following accreditation components are presented to the learner prior to the educational content:
|Slide 1 - Presentation Title and Presenter Information||Presenter name, credentials, and affiliation should be listed along with the presentation title.
John Doe, Pharm.D
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Florida College of Pharmacy
|Slide 2 – Disclosure Statement(s)||Disclosure Statements must be presented for all speakers using the disclosure language below:
Jane Doe, Pharm.D (speaker) has disclosed that she has no relevant financial disclosures. No other speaker, reviewer, or planning committee member in a position to control content has any financial relationships to disclose.
John Doe, Pharm.D (advisor) has disclosed that he is a former stockholder of Company X, Inc., a company which no longer exists. Dr. Doe receives financial or material support from the University of XXX for being named as a co-inventor on a pending patent for a genomic prescribing system. All of the relevant financial relationships listed for Dr. Doe have been mitigated. No other speaker, reviewer, or planning committee member in a position to control content has any financial relationships to disclose.
|Slide 3 – ACPE Official Statement and Logo||The following ACPE statement must be present along with the ACPE logo:
“The University of Florida is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.”
|Slide 4 – ACPE Approved Learning Objectives||Final, approved activity objectives must be listed.|
Presenters may use this PowerPoint presentation example as a template to ensure required accreditation components are included. Presenters are also welcome to use the PowerPoint templates linked below or may create their own template ensuring the final presentation contains the required accreditation components.
There are a range of formats that can use based on what method best fits your teaching strengths, subject matter and time constraints. Check out the various media production styles that are available to create content for your course.
Faculty can take advantage of the Video Production teams’ studio to capture their lectures at a high-quality, and professional level. See their guidelines on how to best prepare for your recording.
How your slides look is important to a good presentation. See the variety of templates the college has to offer. Faculty must use these for their videos.
Need to make a reservation? Find the studio you would like to reserve on the Video Production website. Please use your GatorLink credentials to login.
See all of the College of Pharmacy’s Video Production Services at their website.
Please check out and review these 5 accessibility tips, we recommend reviewing these prior to creating your PowerPoints.
This self-paced online offering provides instruction on how to design online course materials with accessibility in mind. Learn how to make your online course more accessible for all students.