Australia’s new pathway for objectively measuring practitioners’ influence on pharmacy practice and impact on medicines management and patient care has arrived, with Advancing Practice opening for applications this morning. 

Applications to be a part of Round 1 of the program, are open until Thursday 15 March; applicants will then have four months to submit their portfolios, peer assessments and impact statements for evaluation.  

In the program, practice portfolios will be assessed against five domains: Professionalism and ethics, Communication and collaboration, Medicines management and patient care, Leadership and management and Education and research. 

Successful applicants will be awarded recognised credentials as Stage I Advancing Practice, Stage II Advancing Practice or as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist. 

Associate Professor Ian Coombes, Chair of the Advancing Practice Advisory Board, which oversees the new program, says “Advancing Practice recognition is for all pharmacists, regardless of their practice base and scope of practice. 

This process is a key component of collaborative efforts to build a more skilled, flexible and adaptable Australian pharmacist workforce. 

‘Advancing Practice provides independent recognition of career progression and achievement, with each portfolio of evidence assessed against five domains by expert evaluators.’  

‘In the longer term, an Advancing Practice credential should be used in employment models and as a basis to support and recognise workforce development in order to improve and expand pharmacy services.’  

‘Ultimately, the process assures the Australian public and colleagues in the healthcare team that improving outcomes for patients is absolutely central to all pharmacists’ work.’ 

Dr Chris Freeman, a fellow member of the Advisory Board, says Advancing Practice is suitable for all pharmacists across all sectors.  

‘It is important for pharmacists and employers to consider the Advancing Practice credential, as a confident signal to the Australian community that the profession is practising at a high level.’ 

Deirdre Criddle, who participated in the Australian Pharmacy Council’s 2015 Advanced Practice pilot, says Advancing Practice comes at the perfect time for Australian pharmacy. 

‘The healthcare landscape is definitely changing – Advancing Practice gives us the perfect vehicle to move our profession forward.’

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