In a bid to provide signification information around the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), the six health regulatory bodies with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through BRIDGE-U: at the weekend held a brainstorming forum with several District Health Officers and other health practitioners drawn from across Montserrado County in attendance.
The activity by the six regulatory boards, namely; Liberia Medical and Dental Council Board, Liberia Environmental Health Board, Liberia Board of Nursing and Midwifery, Liberia Pharmacist Board, Liberia Board of Laboratory and Liberia Board of Physician, is one of many that is being supported by USAID through the BRIDGE-U: project at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Liberia.
CPD, according to a 2016 definition by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, is the means by which members of the profession maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise, and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.
Speaking at the opening of the training and subsequently to reporters, Mr. Joseph Coleman, Medical and Research Director at the Liberia Medical and Dental Council or LMDC, indicated that CPD aims to promote the quality of services provided by healthcare professionals.
According to him, the acquisition of CPD certificate will be one of the prerequisites for license renewal for health practitioners, noting that this will force employers to send their employees for training.
“CPD helps to improve the quality of health services within our area. This will improve our clinical skills. CPD will give us the capability and capacity to deliver more,” he stated.
According to Mr. Coleman, dissemination of CPD information will also be taken to rural parts of the country, beginning with Rural Montserrado as the main activity will be rolled out by 2025.
In brief remarks, Dr. Yatta Sackie Whapoe, County Health Officer of Montserrado County, lauded the College of Health Sciences and the regulatory bodies for their effort, which according to her, is geared to bring Liberia on par with other countries.
For their part, Mr. J. Nathaniel B. Woart, Deputy Registrar at the Pharmacy Board and Mr. Zayzay S. Yekeh, Chairman of the Physician Assistant Board, also outlined the significance of CPD and the need for health workers to attain more professional development certificates.
“CPD is one of the most important aspects for health professionals to refresh themselves. The implementation of professional training is good for a good health delivery system. By the end of this year, you might have complete CPD. I encourage all of you to support the project,” stated Woart.
Accordingly, one of the important reasons for CPD is that it continues to update professional practice to reflect the best available evidence of ensuring the best possible care for patients, the community and the environment to addressing the health priorities of the Liberian people.
Key principles behind CPD for Liberia health professionals include: it is self-directed and it builds on an individual’s existing knowledge and experience; it is driven by best available evidence and delivered by qualified trainers –individual’s learning to their current and future practice; it is provided in an environment conducive for effective learning, with all health professionals benefitting from CPD regardless of their work location. Also, CPD is documented with each health professional maintaining an up-to-date and accurate record of all CPD activities in which they participate.