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Professional Development

As valuable health professionals, pharmacists are accountable to the patients they care for by ensuring their knowledge and skills are kept up-to-date and they remain competent to practice. One of the ways that pharmacists, like other professionals, ensure their competence to practice is by being involved in continuing professional development (CPD).



1. What is a Contact Hour?

A unit of measurement that describes 60 minutes of organized learning activity.

2. What is a CEU?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit and is the accreditation value assigned to an accredited learning activity. In most situations 1 CEU is equivalent to 1 contact hour. Learning activities that have been submitted to organizations such as the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP) for accreditation have a panel of practicing pharmacists review the program to determine an appropriate CEU value, the program’s relevancy to Canadian pharmacy practice and the value of the learning experience. Once the CEU value for the accredited learning activity has been assigned, it is not possible to adjust that value depending on the length of time a pharmacist actually spends on the learning activity.

3. What if another organization has already accredited the program/learning activity I participated in?

The College recognizes accredited learning activities that have been accredited by:

  • The Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP)
  • The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba
  • The Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPhA)
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • The American Medical Association (AMA)
  • Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs accredited by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (MOCOMP) or The College of Family Physicians of Canada (Mainpro)
  • Courses and programs from a Canadian University



1. Why are pharmacists required to complete a Learning Portfolio?

As valuable health professionals, pharmacists are accountable to the patients they care for by ensuring their knowledge and skills are kept up-to-date and they remain competent to practice. One of the ways, pharmacists, like other professionals, ensure their competence to practice is by being involved in continuing professional development (CPD). A learning portfolio is simply a tool to support pharmacists as they plan, record and reflect on their learning activities.

This model for CPD has been adopted by pharmacists across this country, in the U.S. and U.K. and in many other countries in the world as an effective system to support pharmacists as they are involved in CPD. Many other professions such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, accounting and engineering have also adopted learning portfolios to support their CPD.

The Learning Portfolio does not measure a pharmacist’s competence, it is a system to support pharmacists as they are engaged in CPD. The Learning Portfolio also provides the public with necessary documentation of the pharmacist’s involvement in CPD in an effort to maintain their competence to practice.

2. What documents do I need to submit for my Learning Portfolio?

At license renewal, pharmacists submit:

Online Professional Development Log (PDL) by logging into the website through Member Login button (found on the home page.) All learning activities must be entered by November 30th of the following PD year (each PD year spans from November 1 to October 31 of the following year.) If all learning activities are not received/entered into the online PD Log by November 30th, the fee for licence renewal will increase by 50%.

Every January, approximately 20% of practicing licensed pharmacists will be randomly chosen for review of their PDLs. These pharmacists will be asked to submit the CEU certificates and/or other supporting documents for the accredited learning activities listed on their PDLs. All pharmacists are required to keep a three year past record of learning activities in their online professional development profile (through the College’s website) and the necessary supportive documents, regardless if they are chosen for the annual learning portfolio review or not.

3. Can a pharmacist complete all the reading materials for an online accredited Continuing Education Program and not take the post-test?

A pharmacist who does not complete the post-test and therefore, does not receive the CEU certificate cannot claim the program as an accredited learning activity. They can, however, document this activity as a non-accredited learning activity.

4. I participated in an accredited continuing education program that was accredited for 2.0 CEU’s. I actually spent 4 hours on the program. Should I document 4 hours or 4 CEUs in my Professional Development Log?

No. Since the program was accredited for 2 CEUs this is the maximum number of CEUs that may be documented on your PDL regardless of the actual time you spent on the program.


1. Can hours towards pharmacy student preceptorship be counted as an accredited learning activity for the Professional Development Log?

Yes. Pharmacists participating as a preceptor for a recognized Canadian Faculty of Pharmacy may document their significant learning experiences gained through involvement in the preceptorship as an accredited learning activity on their Professional Development Log. One contact hour of the pharmacist’s significant learning experience is equivalent to one CEU. For more information, please see the Preceptorship section under Program Accreditation .

2. How is my preceptorship documented?

Each type or year of pharmacy student preceptorship has been assigned a unique File Accreditation Number and corresponding accreditation or CEU certificate. For details, please see the Program Accreditation webpage. Each significant learning experience for the preceptor pharmacist, during the course of the preceptorship, is documented as an accredited learning activity on their PDL referencing the corresponding File Accreditation Number. At the completion of the preceptorship, pharmacists may calculate the total number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) obtained by adding up the time spent in all individual accredited learning activities designated as occurring within that preceptorship. The corresponding CEU value may then be entered in on accreditation certificate for that preceptorship.

3. I am interested in becoming a preceptor. Who can I contact for more information?

Contact the University of Manitoba, College of Pharmacy - Office of Experiential Education through email at oee@umanitoba.ca. For additional information on preceptor responsibilities and resources, please see Preceptors .


1. How do I sign up for live PD programs?

For  a list of upcoming live programs sponsored by the College, call the office: 204.233.1411.

2. If I can't attend the live presentation, can I view the program at a later date?

The College attempts to record all live programs it sponsors. Many programs are available at www.sbrc.tv for viewing. Click on "Published Events" then choose "College of Pharmacists of Manitoba" in the list of folders. The password is "CPhM" and is case sensitive. You can then choose the program that you would like to view. To receive your certificate, you must fill in an evaluation form and email it to profdevelopment@cphm.ca

Videos or DVD's are also available for many programs and can be borrowed free-of-charge from the College office by emailing profdevelopment@cphm.ca