As a result of the globalization of access and provision of continuing education and continuing professional development (CE/CPD), the national CE/CPD accreditation organizations of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States formed the Global Forum on Quality Assurance of Continuing Education and Continuing Professional Development (GFQACE) to investigate and develop means of recognizing CE/CPD across boundaries. Two priorities were identified at their first meeting in 2016: (1) the development of an accreditation framework and (2) the identification of models and approaches to mutual recognition. The GFQACE approved an accreditation framework and facilitated review approach to mutual recognition in 2018 and is currently working on implementation guides. As background to the work of the GFQACE, this article provides a brief history of continuing education (CE) and continuing professional development (CPD) and discusses the value and benefits of CE/CPD to professional development of pharmacy professionals, innovation of pharmacy practice and the provision of quality patient care. Due to the essential role of CE/CPD accreditation in enabling recognition across boundaries, the nature and role of accreditation in defining, assuring and driving quality CE/CPD is described. Four conclusions regarding the broad sharing of perceptions of quality CE/CPD, the potential for expansion of the GFQACE and the benefits to pharmacy professionals, providers and pharmacy practice are discussed.
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