Perceived barriers to participating in continuing education: The views of newly registered community pharmacists

P. R. Ward, E. M. Seston, P. Wilson, L. Bagley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - The main aim of this study was to explore newly registered community pharmacists' attitudes to the current provision of continuing education (CE) and to identify key factors that act as motivators and barriers to participation in CE. Method - Eight focus groups of newly registered pharmacists were set up. All focus groups were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The results presented in this paper focus specifically on the barriers to participation in CE. Setting - Four geographical areas of England. Key findings - The main barrier identified by the pharmacists was competing demands on their time, both in and out of work. Participants felt disillusioned with further study, describing this stage of their lives as a 'honeymoon period' in which they sought to make adjustments in both their professional and personal lives. They also felt disillusioned with the reality of community pharmacy and offered this as an explanation for their lack of involvement in CE. In addition, many pharmacists believed themselves to be at the peak of their pharmaceutical knowledge, thus not requiring CE. Rather, it was felt that they needed to develop their skills in other areas such as communication skills or applying pharmaceutical knowledge in practice. It was suggested that this could only be remedied through working with and learning from more experienced pharmacists, rather than undertaking formal CE activities. Conclusion - Non-participation in CE may be seen to result from a complex web of factors which do not easily map on to policies to increase participation of newly registered pharmacists in CE activities. Nevertheless, if newly registered community pharmacists are to achieve the continuity of learning necessary for continuing professional development, education providers will need to address their specific learning needs in the period following registration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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