The Government’s White Paper Trust, Assurance and Safety (2007) directed all UK health and social care regulators to introduce a system of revalidation where ‘…registrants can periodically demonstrate their continued fitness to practise…’ and ‘…its intensity and frequency needs to be proportionate to the risks inherent in the work in which each practitioner is involved.’
In developing our continuing fitness to practise or revalidation proposals, the organisation is mindful that any approach should be proportionate to risk posed by practitioners and the areas practise. To build the evidence base for our intended approach the organisation commissioned two pieces of research.
- Research completed by University of Manchester in June 2011 provided an evidence-base to support the development of a risk-based continuing fitness to practise model by:
- mapping the risks associated with different areas of pharmacy practice
- investigating the risks associated with return-to-practice and how these could be minimised, and
- understanding perceptions of risk and models for risk management in continuing fitness to practise.
- Research completed by Prime Research UK in January 2014, gave an overview of the processes for continuing fitness to practise and revalidation of other professions, the healthcare regulators in the UK, and the pharmacy profession worldwide, to provide a greater understanding of the nature, scale and effectiveness of the different approaches to managing continuing fitness to practise. A copy of the research report is provided here Assuring Continuing FtP report 2014
Alongside this, the Pharmaceutical Society NI works collaboratively with the other healthcare regulators in the UK to learn and share best practice. It is envisaged that our proposed model will build on the current CPD process and incorporate two new components of peer discussion and reflective account. All our proposals will be tailored to the needs of the pharmacy profession in Northern Ireland and be subject to formal consultation.
A Continuing Fitness to Practice Advisory Group (CFtP AG) has been established with pharmacy stakeholders, and the group met in March and November 2017.
It is intended that the current CPD process and supporting IT system will be the platform upon which we will build an enhanced CPD process to assure the continuing fitness to practise of registrants in Northern Ireland.