Microcredentials training in pharmacy practice and education: an exploratory study of its viability and pharmacists’ professional needs

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BMC Medical Education


Background: Microcredentials (MCs) are short courses that certify/recognise an individual’s achievement of specific skills or knowledge. Schools of pharmacy could be well-placed to contribute to the continuing professional development (CPD) of pharmacists through the inclusion of MCs training in their programs. This study aimed to explore pharmacy professionals’ views on the need and viability of MC courses globally. Methods: Eleven semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with pharmacy practitioners, policymakers, and academics across seven countries. The participants were selected using purposive sampling to explore information from varying pharmacy disciplines. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using a general inductive approach. Results: Participants regarded MCs in pharmacy as an innovative idea, well-suited to the increasingly technology-driven world. They believe MCs provide easily accessible means of skills and knowledge acquisition that fulfils the needs of the pharmacy profession. MCs were also perceived as an alternative pathway of meeting the requirements of traditional CPD programmes. Many participants believe universities are well-suited to provide MCs; however, numerous challenges such as recognition, time and resources have been identified as potential barriers to enrolment and implementation. Conclusions: This study provides an insight into the views of pharmacy practitioners and academics on MCs, and their potential utility in pharmacy education and practice. The findings should help in the development of MCs that could be utilised by pharmacy practitioners around the world for CPD purposes. This study comes at a time when alternative models of teaching and learning are being explored as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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