The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee (APPFSC) is a profession-wide collaborative forum of 11 organisations which commenced work in March following a review of the competency standards for pharmacists. The Committee has issued a communiqué updating progress on a number of projects being undertaken.
Among the work in progress is the mapping of the 2010 competency standards to the revised health, medicine and veterinary science (HMVS) threshold learning outcomes of the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards project.
In addition, APPFSC is articulating the contributions of pharmacy school courses and intern training programs (ITPs) to the subset of competency standards which apply at initial registration. After receiving stakeholder feedback of the need for clarity, a customised competency tool has been developed where all relevant Performance Criteria were mapped to articulate the contributions of pharmacy schools and ITPs.
The other exciting task is the development of an advanced practice framework for the pharmacy profession.
“The Committee uses the term ‘advanced practice’ to describe practice at a performance level which is beyond a level that is usually observed
The APPFSC is aware that pharmacists often use the terms “advanced practice” and “specialisation” interchangeably and says to avoid confusion it prefers to describe professional practice in terms of two dimensions — scope of practice and performance level.
“Specialisation generally relates to the scope of practice which is narrowed or focussed and this is not necessarily associated with an enhanced level of performance,” the communiqué reads.
“The use of the term ‘advanced practice’ is also the preferred path given the use of the term ‘specialist’ is strictly controlled under the National Law (ie. the legislation affecting health practitioner registration).”