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The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland was established by the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Northern Ireland) 1925, and has been based at 73 University Street, Belfast Since 1933. Its primary purpose has been:
(a) to advance chemistry and pharmacy;
(b) to promote pharmaceutical education and the application of pharmaceutical knowledge;
(c) to maintain the honour and safeguard and promote the interests of the members of the Society in their exercise of the profession of pharmacy;
(d) to execute all such functions as may be entrusted to the Society under any enactment;
(e) to provide relief for distressed persons, being—
(i) members of the Society;
(ii) persons who at any time have been members of the Society or have been registered as either pharmaceutical chemists, or chemists and druggists, or druggists or apprentices to pharmaceutical chemists, or as students of the Society; or
(iii) surviving spouses, surviving civil partners, orphans or dependants of deceased persons who were at any time members of the Society or registered as aforesaid.
These objectives have been met by Pharmaceutical Society NI registering and regulating pharmacists and pharmacies in Northern Ireland as well as providing leadership to the profession, in the public interest.
Additional powers and responsibilities were confirmed on organisation by the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 and following the publication of the Government’s white paper “Trust Assurance and Safety” in 2007, further amendments were required and in 2012 these amendments were made under the Pharmacy (NI) Order 1976 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 .
This amending legislation modernised the structures and activities of the organisation, creating an appointed Council of seven lay members and seven registrant members. Details can be found in the Appointments and Procedure Regulations
The amending legislation also created new regulations enabling the formation a scrutiny committee, as well as a Statutory Committee. Full details can be found in the “Fitness to Practise” regulations.
As well as modernising the structures under the new “Fitness to Practise and Disqualification” regulations, the new fitness to practise committees have been given extended powers, widening the range of sanctions available to the committees, including the power to issue interim orders
The final additional power granted to the organisation, under the new legislation is the power to make Continuing Professional Development a mandatory requirement for continuing registration. Full details can be found in the “Continuing Professional Development” regulations 2012, which needs to be read in conjunction with the amendments made in 2013, “Continuing Professional Development (Amendments)“.
As the regulatory body, we seek to protect the public by:
- setting and promoting standards for pharmacists’ admission to the register and for remaining on the register;
- maintaining a publicly accessible register of pharmacists, and pharmacy premises, in Northern Ireland;
- handling concerns about the Fitness to Practise of registrants, acting as a complaints portal and taking action to protect the public; and
- ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists in Northern Ireland
In line with the sentiments of “Trust Assurance and Safety” 2007, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI devolved the leadership functions contained within the legislation, to the Pharmacy Forum NI Board.
This is an elected and representative body, made up of pharmacists representing all aspects of the pharmacy profession in Northern Ireland. As the professional body it seeks to develop the pharmacy profession in Northern Ireland, by representation and leadership, in the public interest.