The General Pharmaceutical Council is seeking views on changing its approach to the quality assurance of pharmacy education and training.

Pharmacy education and training providers have to meet GPhC standards through a quality assurance process. This gives patients and the public the confidence that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians joining the register are skilled and knowledgeable, and that they demonstrate appropriate professional behaviours as a result of their education and training. It also ensures pharmacy education and training takes place safely for all involved and is conducted in a way that is fair and provides a positive experience for students and trainees. 

Key changes being proposed 

There are four key changes to the quality assurance of pharmacy education being proposed:  

  • Introduce yearly monitoring with greater use of data we collect before the approval event which will enable us to identify and address concerns together with the providers in a more timely, proportionate, and systematic manner. 
  • Define clear lines of responsibility and criteria for making decisions about whether or not to re-approve a course or qualification, including decision-making routes based on the level of assurance we get from providers and whether there is an identified need to intervene. 
  • Adopt a more flexible approval and intervention process so that, as well as continuing to monitor on a regular basis, we will also have the flexibility to intervene more quickly where concerns are identified. 
  • Achieve greater scrutiny by applying our quality assurance processes across all pharmacy education and training which will mean that the same arrangements will apply to all providers. 

The consultation closes on 13 June 2024.

UK Fitness to Practise News

Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar, Mark Voce, said:

“Pharmacy education and training sets a foundation for the knowledge, skills, understanding and professional behaviours a pharmacy student must demonstrate in order to become fully qualified and join the professional register.

“As such it is vital that we check that training providers are meeting our standards through a quality assurance process. By doing this we are ensuring trainees are getting the right level of education to become competent practitioners of the future.

“The changes we are proposing will help us identify issues more effectively, act more quickly if necessary and be fairer to all providers.

“I would encourage those with an interest in pharmacy education to take part in the consultation.”

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