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Policy on the publication of fitness to practise information launched

The Pharmaceutical Society NI has today launched a policy setting out how it will publish and disclose information relating to the fitness to practise of pharmacist registrants. This policy replaces the interim policy which has been in operation since October 2012, following a public consultation held in 2013.


As a result of consultation feedback, we have made the following changes, which we consider will enhance accessibility, is fair and proportionate and in the public interest.


The following fitness to practise information will be publicly available:


• The online register will indicate any current fitness to practise sanctions. Once a sanction has expired, this information will also be accessible on the online register for a set period of time. Conditions, undertakings and suspensions will remain on the register for 5 years. Warnings will remain on the register for 2 years.


• If someone is suspended this appears against the registrant’s name in the online Register and will remain accessible for 5 years. This will clearly show that a registrant is not able to continue practicing for a period of time which will avoid any possible confusion over the status of registrants.


• Presentational changes to our online register are planned in the future as is the provision of some further information which we consider will make the online register more readily understandable and more accessible.


• If a person is struck-off or removed from the Register, their entry no longer appears in the public online Register. This information will remain accessible to the public for five years in a searchable portal on the website but does not appear on the online register.


• Details of forthcoming Fitness to Practise Committee hearings will be available on the website.


• We will publish hearing outcomes in any case where a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired.


• Past hearing determinations in a case where a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired will also remain on the website. The length of time this information will be available on the website will be aligned to our published policy on the display of sanctions on the online register.


Brendan Kerr, Registrar and Head of Registration said;


‘We consider the new policy and the changes made following the consultation will provide additional protection for patients and the public by making information about any fitness to practise issues much more accessible, transparent and understandable.


‘The searchable online public register is an important tool for members of the public and employers to identify registrants that are appropriately qualified and fit to practise.


‘We encourage the public when appropriate to check that their pharmacist is registered, and we hope the current changes made will now make this easier for them to do so.


‘We also require that all pharmacists including employers to check the registration status of a registrant regularly using the online register online register.’

18 June 2014