Get set for changes in your CE requirements

January 8, 2007

Until now, pharmacy faculty authoring continuing education programs had only to disclose if they had any conflicts of interest to program participants. However, under new standards the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is planning to implement this year, CE authors will also have to resolve any conflicts in order for their programs to pass muster. Conflicts can be resolved by requiring the CE content to be reviewed by a committee beforehand or presenting both pro and con sides to any given debate.

This was what Dimitra Travlos, Pharm.D., BCPS, assistant executive director of ACPE, told attendees of the ASHP midyear meeting in Anaheim, Calif., last month.

According to Travlos, other CE changes are coming or are under consideration. For instance:

So are there too many pharmacy schools in development? Vlasses said he really doesn't know. ACPE's job, he commented, is only to accredit pharmacy schools, not to control supply and demand.

What is certain is that, based on stakeholder feedback, ACPE will be implementing new accreditation standards for pharmacy schools starting this July, Vlasses said. Designed to ensure consistency in the accreditation process, the standards will have some new wrinkles, such as requiring regional accreditation, meaning that not only must pharmacy schools be accredited but the institutions in which they reside must have corresponding approval as well.

Complying with these new standards will be challenging enough, but that's not all. Vlasses added that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), which surveys ACPE once every five years, has asked for some changes, such as new documentation requirements that schools must meet. He reassured the audience that ACPE will offer training to help schools meet both the ACPE and USDE requirements.