New group to quality assess training for registered pharmacists and PTs

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New group to quality assess training for registered pharmacists and PTs

A new group has been established to oversee the quality of post-registration training offered to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in a more “consistent” way. 

In a statement last Friday, the General Pharmaceutical Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland said they had met with “key stakeholders” from across the UK last week to discuss the makeup of the group, its remit and how it will approach its task.

This follows recommendations from a working group concerning how the GPhC can play a “leadership and quality assurance role” in education and training aimed at qualified pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

The two regulators will develop the terms of reference for the new group, as well as its structure and membership.  

Outgoing chief pharmaceutical officer for England Keith Ridge spoke on behalf of the UK’s four CPhOs to emphasise the need to maintain patient safety and public confidence through ongoing training, and how this work “creates a continuum with and builds on” the overhaul of initial education and training that is taking place in the UK.

‘No consistent approach’

GPhC chair Nigel Clarke said: “We know there is already a wide range of activity in the post-registration sphere for pharmacist and pharmacy technicians.

“Governments, statutory education providers, the professional bodies and others are already taking forward plans to further improve and develop post-registration education and training.

“But we also recognise that currently there is no consistent approach to quality assurance of post-reg education and training and lack of clarity about what is provided where and why.

“We heard from stakeholders at the meeting that a formal group would help to make sure there was a joined-up approach to post-registration practice of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, with a clear focus on patient safety.”

PSNI president Jim Livingstone said that pharmacy education and practice were “going through a period of positive and exciting change,” adding that it was “extremely important” to bolster this through effective post-registration training.

‘Need to assure public’

In a joint statement, the UK’s four chief pharmaceutical officers said: “High public, patient and NHS expectations of pharmacy professionals working in multi-professional teams across rapidly developing areas of professional practice means we need to further assure patient safety and public and professional confidence.

“New initial education and training standards are now being implemented for pharmacists, but practitioners also require better support to develop beyond registration to higher levels of practice.

“Consistent standards for professional development pathways will support advancement through key career stages, minimising the risk of patient harm and improving outcomes.”

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