The Government’s White Paper Trust, Assurance and Safety (2007) directed that all health and social care regulators in the UK introduce a system of revalidation where ‘registrants can periodically demonstrate their continued fitness to practise’ and ‘that its intensity and frequency needs to be proportionate to the risks inherent in the work in which each practitioner is involved.’
Since then, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has chosen to use the term ‘continuing fitness to practise’ rather than ‘revalidation’. This is the term currently used widely by other UK healthcare regulators with the exception of GMC and NMC.
In developing our continuing fitness to practise proposals, the organisation is mindful that any approach should be proportionate to risk and targeted towards those areas of practice which pose the greatest risk. To build the evidence base for our intended approach the organisation has commissioned two pieces of research.
The first piece of research was commissioned in May 2010 from University of Manchester. This research aimed to provide some evidence-based guidance to support the development of a risk-based continuing fitness to practise model.
The research focused on:
1. mapping the risks associated with different areas of pharmacy practice
2. investigating the risks associated with return-to-practice and consider how these can be minimised
3. understanding perceptions of risk and models for risk management in continuing fitness to practise.
The second piece of commissioned research was provided by Prime Research UK Ltd and this was reported to Council in January 2014. This research gave an overview of the continuing fitness to practise processes of other professions, the healthcare regulators in the UK and the pharmacy profession worldwide to produce an increasing understanding of the nature, scale and effectiveness of the different approaches to managing continuing fitness to practise. Acopy of the researchreport is provided here Assuring Continuing FtP report 2014 .
Alongside this, the Pharmaceutical Society NI is working in partnership with the other healthcare regulators in the UK to progress the development of a suitable continuing fitness to practise model. It is envisaged that our proposed model will build on the current system for CPD.
Any proposals that are developed for a new continuing fitness to practise model will be tailored to the needs of the pharmacy profession in Northern as well as meet the regulatory requirements of the organisation. All proposals will be subject to consultation.