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Complaints about the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is committed to dealing with complaints about our service, which we call Organisational Complaints, in an impartial, proportionate, confidential, and timely manner.

When managing and investigating complaints about the Pharmaceutical Society NI, we follow the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Principles of Good Administration and Complaints Handling, which are:

  • Getting it right;
  • Being customer focused;
  • Being open and accountable;
  • Acting fairly and proportionately;
  • Putting things right; and
  • Seeking continuous improvement.

We investigate complaints thoroughly and fairly to establish the facts and we make decisions that are proportionate, appropriate, and fair. We ensure that complaints are reviewed by someone not involved in the events leading to the complaint.

We value all complaints as an important and useful source of feedback about how we have performed and how we can improve in the future. We will acknowledge mistakes and/or where things have gone wrong, and we will apologise where appropriate and try to put things right.

This complaints procedure aims to help us resolve complaints as quickly as possible and as close as is possible to the point where our service is delivered. For those complaints that can’t be resolved quickly, the procedure commits the Pharmaceutical Society NI to conducting thorough, impartial, and fair investigations. By adopting this approach, we can identify, and address service issues raised by complainants with the objective of continuously improving our service and preventing recurrences.

What this policy covers

 The purpose of this policy is to enable anyone who comes into contact with our service and is unhappy or dissatisfied to complain to us about:

  • Something that we may have done, or should have done;
  • Our policies or processes (including those linked to our statutory functions); or
  • How well our employees or others working on our behalf have treated them.

This guide is not for the following matters:

  • Concerns about pharmacy registrants or pharmacy premises. (If you want to make a complaint about a pharmacy professional or premises, please visit our ‘Reporting a concern’ webpage or contact our Raising Concerns and Fitness to Practise Department at or by telephone on 02890326927.  The Procedure for raising a concerns about a registered pharmacist or pharmacy premises can be accessed here Guidance-on-Raising-Concerns-about-a-Pharmacist-Pharmacy-or-Pharmacy-Owner-in-Northern-Ireland-1.pdf ;
  • Changes to the law, government standards or guidance over which we have no direct control;
  • Outcomes of Fitness to Practise proceedings or other legal decisions;
  • Situations where you have a statutory right of appeal;
  • Comments about Council policy in development or ongoing consultations unless the complaint is about a process matter. If you do have a comment about our policies, it will be considered as part of policy development. Please contact the Director of Business Operations;
  • Complaints about an education provider.  For such complaints, you should raise the matter with the provider through their complaints’ procedure;
  • Complaints about the conduct of a Council member or concerns in relation to the probity of staff or Council members. The process of raising a complaint in these instances is detailed in the Corporate Governance Handbook 2021; and
  • Concerns from staff about Pharmaceutical Society NI employees or Council members. In these instances, the procedures are detailed in the Corporate Governance Handbook or the internal grievance policy.

If you are not sure which policy to use, please tell us your concern and we will either direct you to the most appropriate team or let you know which organisations are better placed to investigate your complaint.

Our full policy, including, How do I complain and who do I complain to and an investigation flowchart, can be found here.