University-based continuing education (CE) fulfills an important role to support the professional development of pharmacists, advance the practice of pharmacy, and contribute to societal needs for research and healthcare services. Opportunities for pharmacists to engage in new models of patient care are numerous worldwide, particularly as pharmacists’ scope of practice has expanded. Approaches to CE have changed to address the changing needs of pharmacists and now include a variety of approaches to support development of knowledge and skills. There is emphasis on the learning process as well as the knowledge, with the introduction of the concept of continuing professional development (CPD).
As institutions of research and education, universities are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between academic and practice environments, providing opportunities for translation of knowledge to practice. The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta is a provider of CE in Alberta, Canada, where an expanded scope of pharmacy practice includes prescribing, administering injections, accessing electronic patient records, and ordering laboratory tests. In this paper, the Faculty offers views about future directions for CE, including the integration of CE with core faculty activities, expanding the audience for CE, areas of focus for learning, and partnerships. Finally, we hope to ignite dialogue with others in the profession about the role and function of university-based CE.