Objectives. To develop and implement a postgraduate, workplace-based curriculum for community pharmacy specialists in the Netherlands, conduct a thorough evaluation of the program, and revise any deficiencies found.
Methods. The experiences of the Dutch Advisory Board for Postgraduate Curriculum Development for Medical Specialists were used as a guideline for the development of a competency-based postgraduate education program for community pharmacists. To ensure that community pharmacists achieved competence in 10 task areas and seven roles defined by the Canadian Medical Education Directions for Specialists (CanMEDS), a two-year workplace-based curriculum was built. A development path along four milestones was constructed using 40 entrustable professional activities (EPAs). The assessment program consisted of 155 workplace-based assessments, with the supervisor serving as the main assessor. Also, 360-degree feedback and 22 days of classroom courses were included in the curriculum. In 2014, the curriculum was evaluated by two focus groups and a review committee.
Results. Eighty-two first-year trainees enrolled in the community pharmacy specialist program in 2012. That number increased to 130 trainees by 2016 (a 59% increase). In 2015, based on feedback from pharmacy supervisors, trainees, and other stakeholders, 22.5% of the EPAs were changed and the number of workplace-based assessments was reduced by 48.5%.
Conclusion. Using design approaches from the medical field in the development of postgraduate workplace-based pharmacy education programs proved to be feasible and successful. How to address the concerns and challenges encountered in developing and maintaining competency-based postgraduate pharmacy education programs merits further research.