Advancing practice credentialling, mentoring program launched at Medicines Management Conference 2017

As delegates gathered in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Friday morning for the start of SHPA’s Medicines Management Conference 2017, the Advancing Practice website went live – a move that marks the return of advanced pharmacy practice credentialing to Australia, says the SHPA.

The new Advancing Practice organisation and online portal will provide a centralised mechanism to assess pharmacists’ career achievements and impacts across five domains:

  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Medicines management and patient care
  • Leadership and management
  • Education and research

Under the auspices of an Advisory Board comprising leaders from across academic, community, general practice and hospital pharmacy, Advancing Practice carries the independent authority to credential pharmacy professionals with post-nominal ‘Adv. Pract. Pharm.’

Associate Professor Ian Coombes, Chair of the Advancing Practice Advisory Board, says the timing is perfect for the reestablishment of advanced practice credentialing in Australia.

“Our healthcare landscape is changing and more Australians are using more medicines than ever before, and the roles, scope and impact of pharmacists continue to expand.

“In this complex environment, Advancing Practice will provide a vehicle that can move the profession forward.”

A new committee called the Advanced Practice Collaborative has also been formed this week to examine and progress pharmacist careers in Australia.

As part of the collaborative, representatives from the SHPA, PSA and Pharmacy Guild of Australia will meet quarterly to progress Advanced Practice in Australia.

SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley says the timing is right to facilitate the return of an Advanced Practice process in Australia.

“It has been a strong year for all three organisations—at SHPA, our new partnership with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society [GB] means the Advanced Practice Collaborative can draw directly on international research and experience to hit the ground running,” Prof Dooley says.

New mentoring program

Professor Dooley also announced the opening of applications for a limited-placement pilot year of the program in 2018, at the morning plenary of the SHPA conference.

While introducing the mentoring program, Professor Dooley emphasised the importance of advancing practice early.

“It’s not just about those who are at the end of their career or the pinnacle of their career. This journey starts as a student,” he says.

“It continues as an intern, it continues when you register, and continues until you stop practising. As pharmacists, we are always on a journey of advancing practice.

SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley announces SHPA's new mentoring program.

SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley announces SHPA’s new mentoring program.

“We are advancing practice, but we need to embrace it. We need to embrace the components around supporting individuals who are going through this journey.”

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the development of the SHPA Mentoring Program was driven by members.

“The need for an SHPA-guided mentoring program aimed at mid-career hospital pharmacists was confirmed as part of members’ recommendations made at the 2016 SHPA Future Summit,” says Ms Michaels.

“When members talk, we listen, and it is fantastic to see a program – targeted at all hospital pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy assistants – up and running one year later, ready to empower mentors and mentees to fulfil their potential.

“The SHPA Mentoring Program will help pharmacists – whether their careers are just beginning, changing shape, or at a fork in the road – navigate this environment to ensuring they can have the strongest impact on excellent medicines management and patient care.”

Find out more here about the mentoring program here.