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Council Launches Public Consultation on Joint GPhC/PSNI Registration Assessment

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has today (02 August 2019) launched a consultation on its preferred option to develop a joint 4-country wide final registration assessment with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Speaking about the consultation launch, Dr Jim Livingstone, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI said:

“As one of the 9 UK healthcare regulators, we are tasked with maintaining patient safety, public confidence in the pharmacy profession and professional standards.  A key part of this work is setting the standards for and delivering the year-long pre-registration programme, the purpose of which is to ensure that we register only competent and safe pharmacists in Northern Ireland after they complete their training.

“In January 2019 we concluded a review of our current registration examination, which is the final assessment trainees must pass before they gain entry onto the professional register in Northern Ireland. The review concluded that, whilst the current examination remains fit for purpose, improvements are needed to bring it into line with best practice.

“Council considered three options for delivering on the review’s findings and after careful consideration decided that the most appropriate, cost effective and timely way to make the necessary improvements is to develop a joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI final assessment for gaining entry onto our respective registers. This is not least because the GPhC reformed its final assessment as recently as 2016, bringing it in line with best practice. We are pleased that the GPhC agrees with this approach and we are grateful for their support and assistance.

“While a joint final assessment is Council’s preferred option we want to test our approach to establish whether the public, pharmacists and our stakeholders in Northern Ireland agree with the proposal and the measures suggested to ensure we have appropriate governance, quality and content oversight to meet our obligations. We will not take a final view until all the responses have been carefully considered.

“As the practice of pharmacy evolves, regulation must evolve to ensure public safety and public confidence in pharmacy are maintained.  Council considers that developing a joint final assessment with the GPhC is the right option to deliver on our obligations in Northern Ireland. I encourage all interested parties and stakeholders to consider the detail outlined and respond to this important consultation on the future of our registration “examination” in Northern Ireland”.

Notes

  • The 10-week public consultation will close at 12 noon on Friday 11 October 2019.
  • The Consultation on Proposals for a Joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI4-Country Registration Assessment, information on how to respond to the consultation and relevant consultation documents can be found by following this link:   psni.org.uk/publications/consultations/