Transformative Education
for Health Professionals

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Registration renewal every six years with a credits/points system

Arijana Meštrović

The following is extracted from International Pharmaceutical Federation – FIP (2014). Continuing Professional Development/Continuing Education in Pharmacy: Global Report. 


3,070 registered pharmacists; Pharmacists’ licenses are renewed every six years via the competent authority (Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists) based mostly on points collected through organised education events; Credits/points system.

Full project description: 

Full project description: To download the FIP Global Report click here 

Croatia is a Central – Eastern European country, member of the European Union, and has a population of 4.4 million. Pharmacies are a part of the primary health care system, and various forms of ownership are permitted. Some pharmacies are state-owned (20.4%), others independently owned by pharmacist individuals (27.6%), while pharmacy chains can be owned by pharmacist or non-pharmacist individuals (50%). 

In summary:

  • The CPD approach is starting to spread in Croatia and the neighbouring countries;
  • Croatia is a local leader in implementing global standards in pharmacy education;
  • A learning portfolio is not required for pharmacists nor students;
  • Many changes and initiatives come from the private sector;
  • The main focus areas in education are: pharmaceutical care protocols, competency development, communication skills, and pharmacy interventions.

Current drivers

  • Private sector initiatives (both education, industry and practice) are expanding;
  • The Global Competency Framework (FIP version 2012) is in use in more than 30% of pharmacies;
  • The Croatian Pharmaceutical Chamber is producing standards and protocols for educational activities;
  • The Croatian Pharmaceutical Society is designing educational activities according to the main principles of Quality Assurance suggested by FIP;
  • Regional collaboration is growing;
  • The University has started to organise CE activities for pharmacists.

Croatia is at the beginning of the process to transform CE to CPD activities and is a leader in the region, currently implementing internationally recognised global tools for competency development and education. Since the Zagreb workshop in January 2013 on planning learning activities (individual, organisational and national level), almost 30% of pharmacies have started the competency evaluation process and initiated educational activities based on their needs.

Challenges facing implementation

  • There is inconsistency in the quality of educational activities;
  • No national education plan has either been accepted or published so far;
  • A learning portfolio is neither required nor frequently used in pharmacy practice;
  • It is very easy to acquire points for license renewal;
  • There is lack of collaboration between stakeholders in education at the national level;
  • There are limited opportunities for practitioner engagement  as speakers/lecturers in University educational activities.

Lessons learned

  • Documentation is essential for the CPD approach;
  • All stakeholders have to be willing and ready to collaborate;
  • A call to “Commit to change” is useful to include during educational activities;
  • SMART objectives are helpful to achieve desired outcomes.

Key tools that helped in each stage

Global Competency Framework first used in Croatia is currently spreading into Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro and was used in the planning and evaluation phases of CPD.

Plans for the future

The Croatian Pharmaceutical Chamber is working on several levels to foster the changes in pharmacy education; practitioners and educators are included in this work. The FIP Global Competency Framework is about to be adapted on a national level. The CPD approach to pharmacist learning will be more promoted among pharmacists in individually tailored education activities. Implementing new services requires development of the pharmacy workforce and that is the main message to understand in the future.

This case study relates to:

Case study addresses: