Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has met three out of the five standards of good regulation.

The report arises from the annual performance review by the Professional Standards Authority of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and covers the period from 1 November 2019 to 31 October 2020.

Fitness to Practise

The PSA review concluded that the PSNI had not met Standard 3 because the PSNI does not collect or analyse data on the diversity of its Council and Committee members, and had not met Standards 15 and 18 because we have not yet seen tangible evidence of the impact of improvement actions taken by the PSNI in response to concerns we reported last year.

The PSA concluded that PSNI did not meet its standards for processing “for examining and investigating cases is fair, proportionate, deals with cases as quickly as is consistent with a fair resolution of the case and ensures that appropriate evidence is available to support decision-makers to reach a fair decision that protects the public at each stage of the process.”

We are concerned by the PSNI’s decision to not document its weekly compliance checks, particularly in light of views we expressed last year about the importance of accurate and contemporaneous record-keeping. The PSNIconsiders that, with a small fitness to practise team of two conductingboth the investigations and the compliance checks, documenting the checks would be disproportionate and addno orlimited value.It does not intend to change its approach. We do not agree that it would be disproportionate to record the checks contemporaneously in some way.In our view, documented checks would serve to provide internal and external assurance that processes and policies are being adhered to.

On the standard relating to all parties to a complaint being supported to participate effectively in the process, the PSA concluded:

It is clear that the PSNI has made improvements during the period under review, buthaving balanced thiswith the timing of the changes made and the limited evidenceavailableof the impact those changeshave had, we have concluded that this Standard is not metthis year.

The PSNI disagreed with the outcome in Standard 3, in relation to Council recruitment, and in relation to Standards 15 and 18 on all counts. It has published a response to the PSA report on its website.

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