How do I learn the ABPI Code of Practice for my ABPI exam?

ABPI Code of Practice 2019The other day an ABPI Exam Toolkit user got in touch to ask how other exam candidates go about studying the ABPI Code of Practice for the ABPI exam. Ideally, he wanted me to put him in touch with others to chat about it (by giving him their email addresses).

It’s a great question that made me realise you too might find the answer helpful.

But to be clear, no can do on the sharing other Toolkit users details with him, or anyone else.

Remember 25th May 2018 and all the hoo-ha in the press and on TV and the internet about GDPR? It’s not like privacy laws didn’t exist beforehand, but this was a doozy that had everyone in a tizz. I even switched website hosts because my previous host hadn’t a clue about its implementation let alone its implications, and duly enforced a non-compliant cookie notice on my site. That was despite my having worked hard to research and install code that delivered the same lovely notice you’re served here on the Toolkit. The only cookies you’re served here are those needed to make this site work. Anything else is your choice, which is the whole point of GDPR i.e. you choose to opt-in rather than opt-out. Read my Privacy Policy if you really want to, which covers the use of cookies and the like, as well as what happens to any of your data that you share (i.e. when you sign up for lessons etc. with your email address) here on the Toolkit.

The upshot is – neither I nor this site can act as a conduit to put Toolkit users in touch with each other. There’s a Facebook group for that. So, if you want to ask questions of other ABPI exam candidates, then consider joining it.

So, back to the question:-

How do people study the ABPI Code of Practice in preparation for the ABPI exam?

Hopefully, you were introduced to the Code from Day 1 of your induction course. Thereafter, it should become part and parcel of your daily life, guiding your approach to medical sales practice. It’s a good idea to keep a copy (or the link to it) handy at all times so that you can refer to it if there’s an issue you encounter in the field that doesn’t feel right, or if you need to check how it fits with the Code of Practice.

In terms of what you need to know for the ABPI exam, you need to be familiar with the introduction and clauses 1-4 and 7-29 of the 2019 Code of Practice, as well as the supplementary info. The ABPI state that: “the supplementary information should be studied as well as the actual clauses of the Code” and that  “questions in this exam with regards to the Code of Practice should be answered according to the Code of Practice, rather than individual company policy.”

But, how can you study all of this material in the Code of Practice?

I’d suggest organising it into its key principles to make it a bit easier to digest and to get a handle on what it all means. You’re not expected to know it verbatim, but you are expected to understand how to apply its general principles.

For example, the core philosophy of the ABPI Code of Practice is based on four main pillars, namely:-

  1. Promoting the appropriate use of medicines
  2. Ensuring high standards of conduct
  3. Transparency
  4. Sanctions

In essence, the Code sets out what is – and what isn’t – acceptable in terms of all promotional and non-promotional activity in 29 clauses underpinned by 7 core principles. I’ve outlined these in my ABPI Code of Practice Overview, a mind map that summarises the Code’s core principles, what it covers and how it works.

So, if you’d like to save yourself some time  (and aggravation), I’d also suggest that using this mind map makes it much easier to understand what you need to know about the ABPI Code of Practice, whether it’s for your exam, or as an everyday on-the-job reference. As far as I’m aware, that’s how candidates who like to work smarter rather than harder study the ABPI Code of Practice.

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