Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The quality of health care services provided to the public depends to a great extent on the expertise of health care providers. Continuous change in the health needs of the population; new technologies, treatments and medicines; and the re-occurrence of old diseases and the emergence of new diseases require health providers to expand their understanding and update their skills on a regular basis.
Continuing Professional Development (known by the acronym CPD in Tanzania) refers to continuing Professional Education for staff in the health sector to undertake from time to time. In Tanzania, CPD plays a large role in making sure health care workers can provide the necessary standards to ensure better quality health care within the country across various areas of clinical service delivery, including with respect to care of those with HIV, TB, or other infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. CPD has typically been deployed in the form of discrete in-service training as a response to workforce challenges or gaps in pre-service education. Almost all forms of CPD for health care providers are offered on an ongoing basis by various training organizations such as NGOs, professional organizations and governmental departments, however, few of these are formally linked to an individual’s learning needs.
I-TECH Tanzania assisted the Ministry of Health to develop a national CPD framework which was endorsed as national policy in December 2016. This framework is a tool for establishing a regulated and consistent system for CPD activities for health care providers and for facilitating its administration among relevant CPD stakeholders.
Regional Collaboration: The Treatment Research and Expert Education (TREE) Project
I-TECH worked in collaboration with the Treatment Research and Expert Education (TREE) project to conduct a landscape analysis of continuing professional development of health care workers in Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa. This project was commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of obtaining a practical understanding of priority CPD needs with respect to HIV and TB care delivery in these three focus countries.