Two papers on advanced pharmacy practice initiative, understaken on behalf of the Australian pharmacy profession, have been published in peer-reviewed journals, the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee reports.
In the latest edition of Pharmacy, the Committee outlines the collaborative, profession-wide efforts of ten pharmacy organisations which culminated in the development of an agreed framework of advanced level competencies relevant to Australian pharmacists.
This group, formerly known as the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee, examined and adapted existing advanced practice frameworks in Australia which had been developed for specific areas of hospital pharmacy practice and modelled on a UK advanced practice framework.
An Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework for Australia was formally released in 2012.
The framework aligns well with the Domains of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia and is sufficiently flexible to customise for recognising advanced practice in any area of professional practice, the Committee says.
“The primary purpose of the framework is to assist the development of the profession to meet the changing health care needs of the community.
“However, we agree it also serves as a valuable tool for assuring members of the public of the competence of an advanced practice pharmacist and the quality and safety of the services they deliver.”
Following the release of the APPF, the group planned to develop an advanced practice recognition model for Australian pharmacists.
In this context it was desirable to gauge the perspectives of the pharmacy profession on advanced practice to help inform the design of the recognition model, the Committee says.
“This was done by administering a survey, the content of which was based on findings from a review of national and international initiatives for recognition of advanced practice in pharmacy and other health disciplines, including medicine and nursing.
“This paper reports on the outcomes of the survey which showed that a high proportion of respondent pharmacists considered they were already working at, or working towards achieving, an advanced level of practice.
“The responses relating to the assessment methods showed a clear preference for ‘submission of a professional portfolio’.
“A ‘written examination’ had low level of support and in relation to an ‘oral examination by a panel’ there was a marked preference for a panel of multidisciplinary health professionals over a panel of pharmacists.
“The survey outcomes also demonstrated that there is scope to further enhance the application of the advanced practice framework in the development and recognition of advanced practitioners, and to build greater awareness of the breadth of competencies encompassed by advanced level practice.”