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Consultations

The Pharmaceutical Society NI is keen to hear the views of our stakeholders in relation to all aspects of our work. This is most valued as we prepare standards and guidance. Below we list the current consultations we are engaged in, details of previous consultations that we have held and details of our responses to consultations held by others.

We are most keen that all our stakeholders: members of the public, pharmacists and advocacy groups, engage with us in our consultations and we encourage all interested parties to note the current consultations and to respond, should they be of interest. If you have any questions or issues not raised in the formal consultation process please contact us at info@psni.org.uk.

CURRENT CONSULTATIONS

 

None at present.

 

PREVIOUS CONSULTATIONS

 

This consultation is now closed.

Consultation on the Pharmaceutical Society NI Code (Professional standards of conduct, ethics and performance for pharmacists in Northern Ireland)

The consultation will run from 23 October 2023 to 18 December 2023.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland has today launched a consultation on a new Code of Professional standards of conduct, ethics and performance for pharmacists in Northern Ireland to replace its previous 2016 Code.

The primary responsibility of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is to protect and maintain public safety in respect of the profession of pharmacy. We do this by ensuring that registered pharmacists in Northern Ireland are fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver high quality safe care to patients.

The Code of Conduct is the single-most important document the Pharmaceutical Society of NI produces. It sets out the professional standards, behaviour and conduct the public can expect from a pharmacist when accessing pharmaceutical care. It underpins the regulatory functions of the organisation and is intended to guide and support pharmacy registrants in their area of practice, professional development and decision making.

In the proposed Code, we have taken a different approach from the previous Code. In the draft we ask that pharmacists give an affirmation to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care by abiding by seven Standards. For each of the seven Standards we have listed behaviours which pharmacists must demonstrate to meet these Standards.

Much of the content of the Code is unchanged as the fundamental principles of good patient care remain as relevant today as they did in the past. However, the emphasis and language used in the Code has changed. We have tried to make the Code more accessible and relevant to both the profession and the public by establishing clear and unequivocal Standards that are applicable across all areas of pharmacy practice in the Northern Ireland.

Following an initial public call for evidence and discussions with stakeholders to update the current Code, we are now seeking people’s views on the results of this work.

We would therefore encourage feedback from patients and the public, pharmacy registrants and potential registrants, employers, professional and representative bodies, and other stakeholders who may have an interest in pharmaceutical care.

All responses to this consultation should be sent to consultations@psni.org.uk and will be considered by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

The Consultation closes on the 18 December 2023.

Code Consultation papers

  1. Guidance on the Code Consultation
  2. Draft Code
  3. Code Equality Screening document
  4. Code Consultation response form Word
  5. Code Consultation response form PDF

 

Consultation on Knowledge of English Regulations and associated Guidance

This consultation is now closed.

Following several requests for additional time to submit a response to this consultation the closure has now been extended to Tuesday 10 October 2023. 

26 July 2023 – Now 10 October 2023  

The Council of Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched an 8-week public consultation on proposed Regulations and the associated Guidance in respect of the Knowledge of English for pharmacists.

The Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (‘the 1976 Order’) is the main legislation governing the regulation of pharmacists in Northern Ireland.  This legislation was amended by the Health Care and Associated Professions (Knowledge of English) Order 2015 (the ‘2015 Order’) to ensure that pharmacists in Northern Ireland have adequate knowledge of English to safely and effectively perform their roles.  The 2015 Order is UK-wide legislation and applies to a range of healthcare professionals including pharmacists, nurses and dentists.  Similar legislation has also been introduced in respect of doctors.

As a result of these amendments, the 1976 Order now provides that a person is not entitled to be registered as a pharmacist in Northern Ireland unless they satisfy any conditions as to their knowledge of English which are prescribed in regulations by the Society.

The Pharmaceutical Society of NI is now consulting all stakeholders on draft Regulations and Guidance which, in the view of the Society, will introduce fair and proportionate language controls for pharmacists in Northern Ireland.  All applicants and registrants will be required to have the necessary knowledge of English for safe and effective practice.

As this is a key requirement for registration, we would encourage all stakeholders to consider and respond to this consultation.

The proposed Regulations and Guidance should be of interest to the public and to patient representative bodies in Northern Ireland as they outline what level of proficiency in English they can expect from pharmacists.  It should also be of interest to pharmacy owners, superintendents, pharmacists and unregistered pharmacy staff.

The Consultation closes at 12 noon on 26 September 2023.

All responses to this consultation should be sent to consultations@psni.org.uk and will be considered by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

Knowledge of English Regulations consultation documents

  1. Consultation Paper on Knowledge of English Regulations
  2. Statutory Rules – Draft KOE Regulations 2023
  3. Knowledge of English Regulation -Equality screening
  4. Knowledge of English Rural Screening
  5. Consultation response form_KoE Regulations

Knowledge of English Guidance consultation documents

  1. Consultation Paper on Knowledge of English Guidance
  2. Knowledge of English Guidance – Draft
  3. Knowledge of English Guidance – Equality Screening
  4. Consultation response form – KoE Guidance

 

Consultation on Pharmacy Staffing Levels Guidance

This consultation has now closed

Opened 13 October 2022 – Closed 9 December 2022

The Council of Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched an 8-week public consultation on proposed Guidance on Pharmacy Staffing Levels within registered premises. The public consultation follows proposals made to the Council in September 2022 based on engagement with stakeholders.

This principle-based Guidance seeks to assist Pharmacy Owners and Superintendents to ensure that each pharmacy has enough appropriately skilled and qualified staff to provide safe and effective pharmacy services to the public. All registered pharmacies will have to meet the standards set out in the Premises Standards, when commenced. The proposed Guidance should also help ensure a working environment that will facilitate pharmacists to meet their professional obligations under the Professional Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance for Pharmacists in Northern Ireland (2016).

Whilst other health regulators have primary responsibility for systems regulation outside of regulated premises, we consider that the principles outlined in this Guidance, will be helpful for managers working with pharmacy teams in different settings.

The proposed Guidance should be of interest to the public and patient representative bodies in Northern Ireland, as it outlines what they may expect in relation to the staffing levels in pharmacies. It should also be of interest to pharmacy owners, superintendents, pharmacists, and unregistered pharmacy staff.

The Consultation closes on the 9 December 2022.

All responses to this consultation will be considered by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

Consultation documents

Consultation Guidance on Pharmacy Staffing Levels

Draft Guidance on Staffing Levels

Equality Screening Pharmacy Staffing

RESPONSE-FORM-Pharmacy Staffing Levels – Word

RESPONSE-FORM-Pharmacy Staffing Levels – PDF

Press Release

 

Consultation on changes to requirements for training as a pharmacist independent prescriber and being annotated as an independent prescriber on the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists

This consultation has now closed.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched an 8-week public consultation on changes to requirements for training as a pharmacist independent prescriber and being annotated as an independent prescriber on the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists. The Consultation will close at 12 noon on 30 May 2022.

Council is primarily seeking views on the following proposals, which are outlined in the consultation:

  • to decide in principle to remove the requirement set out in the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994, (the Regulations), that a pharmacist must be on the Register for two years or more before they can be annotated as an IP;
  • to remove the two-year requirement for entry onto stand-alone pharmacist independent prescribing courses, contained in the Standards for the Education and Training of Independent Prescribers, replacing it with an assessment, by course providers, of competence to enter the course; and
  • to remove the requirement to have relevant experience in a specific clinical or therapeutic area and to replace it with the requirement to have relevant experience in appropriate clinical setting(s).

Consultation Documents

 

Draft Guidance on the Provision of Services

This consultation has now closed.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched a 12-week public consultation on draft Guidance on the Provision of Services for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. The consultation will close at 12 noon on 30 September 2020.

The proposed guidance primarily provides help to pharmacists when considering their obligations under Principle 1 of the Code – Always put the patient first – and Standard 1.1.5 – If, for any reason you are unable to provide a professional service, you have a professional responsibility to take reasonable steps to refer the patient or service user to an appropriate alternative provider for the service they require.

The proposed guidance covers the following three main areas relating to the provision of services:

  • the impact of a pharmacist’s religion and/or beliefs on their willingness to provide a specific service;
  • a patient or service user is violent, threatens violence or is verbally abusive; and
  • the medicine, service or medicinal device is not currently in stock or available.

Consultation Documents

Revised Threshold Criteria

This consultation has now closed

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched a public consultation on revised Threshold Criteria. This is an 8-week public consultation which closes at 12 noon on Wednesday 11 March 2020.

The Registrar of the Pharmaceutical Society NI must apply the Threshold Criteria when deciding on whether to refer fitness to practise allegations to the Scrutiny Committee or close an investigation.

In order to protect the public, we must take all fitness to practise allegations and issues extremely seriously. We must also, however, be proportionate in our investigations and decision making.

The Threshold Criteria is designed to provide a decision-making framework to assist the Registrar in the delivery of consistent, proportionate and reasonable decisions on whether to close an investigation or refer a fitness to practise allegation to the Scrutiny Committee.

The Council is committed to periodically reviewing the Threshold Criteria.

Consultation documents

Proposed 2020 Continuing Professional Development Framework

The Council of the Pharmaceutical society NI is consulting on a proposed 2020 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework for pharmacists which, if adopted, would replace the current CPD Framework. This consultation will run for 12 weeks from Tuesday 29 October to 12 noon on Tuesday 21 January 2020.

The Pharmaceutical Society NI is required by its legislation to outline the ‘form and manner’ by which pharmacists can meet the requirements for CPD. This means that the Pharmaceutical Society NI must define what CPD a pharmacist must do and how this is submitted for consideration and assessment.

In considering the issues raised in the consultation, please read the Proposed 2020 CPD Framework in conjunction with the Consultation Document.

There are five supplementary draft guidance documents associated to the proposed 2020 CPD Framework supplied with this consultation.  These are to aid the understanding of the operation of the CPD processes.  The supplementary draft guidance documents are not being consulted upon in this exercise and are subject to change to reflect the final CPD Framework adopted by Council.

Consultation documents

Documents to aid understanding – these documents do not form part of this consultation

Proposals for a Joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI 4-Country Registration Assessment

This consultation has now closed

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI (Council) is consulting on Proposals for a Joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI 4-Country Registration Assessment . This consultation will run for ten weeks from Friday 02 August 2019 to 12 noon on Friday 11 October 2019.

In January 2019 Council completed a review of the current registration examination. 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.

Council wants to test its approach to establish whether the public, pharmacists and our stakeholders in Northern Ireland agree with the proposal. Council also wants to ensure the proposals include appropriate governance, quality and content oversight measures to meet their obligations.

Draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance 2018 

This consultation has now closed.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is consulting on new Indicative Sanctions Guidance for its Statutory Committee. This consultation will run for eight weeks from Thursday 30 August to 12 noon on Friday 26 October 2018.

The Statutory Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society NI considers and adjudicates on serious Fitness to Practise allegations made against pharmacists in Northern Ireland. It is independent of Council and its decisions are based on the merits of the case in front of it. When a pharmacist’s Fitness to Practise has been found to be impaired, the Statutory Committee must pay proper regard to the Indicative Sanctions Guidance when deciding upon sanction and must provide sound reasons if it chooses to depart from the Guidance.

Council wants to ensure that the draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance developed is appropriate and will ensure the public is protected, whilst being proportionate. The draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance also seeks to support consistent, proportionate and fair decision making, which reflects current case law and best regulatory practice.

Having carried out a review of the current Indicative Sanctions Guidance, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is consulting on new draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance. Comments and views are being sought from members of the public, service users, registrants and other interested stakeholders.

Draft Premises Standards for a Retail Pharmacy Business at or from a Registered Pharmacy 2017

This consultation has now closed.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is consulting on new Premises Standards for a retail pharmacy business at or from a registered pharmacy, and its associated premises. This consultation will run for eight weeks from Monday 2 October 2017 to 12 noon on Monday 27 November 2017.

With commencement of The Pharmacy (Premises Standards, Information Obligations, etc.) Order 2016 the Pharmaceutical Society NI will:

  1. be obliged to set new Premises Standards for the safe and effective practice of pharmacy, at a retail pharmacy business at or from a registered pharmacy, and its associated premises; and
  2. have new powers to enforce these new Premises Standards, in the interest of public protection.

This new legislative framework supports high quality patient care, improved patient safety and promotes the development of pharmacy practice. These new legislative provisions have yet to be commenced in Northern Ireland.

In preparation for commencement of this legislation we are making changes to the regulation of pharmacy retail pharmacy business at or from a registered pharmacy and its associated premises.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is therefore consulting on new Premises Standards for a retail pharmacy business at or from a registered pharmacy. Comments and views are being sought from registrants and other stakeholders particularly members of the public and service users.

Consultation on Pharmacist Prescribers Regulations 2017

Following our recent communication to all Independent Prescribers, the Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched a consultation on proposals for amendment to the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994, in respect of “Pharmacist Prescriber” annotations.

This was an eight week consultation which closed at 12 noon on Monday 9 January 2017.

Consultation on Fees for 2016/17.

In the letter to registrants of 17 September 2015 the President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI indicated that a fees consultation would be launched for the registration year 2016/17.

Today (30 Nov 2015) the Pharmaceutical Society NI has launched that consultation, which will run for 8 weeks and will close at 12 noon on 25 January 2016.

A copy of the consultation and the response form can be found below:

 
Consultation New proposals on pharmacy dispensing errors and standards.

This UK-wide consultation, issued on behalf of the four UK Health Departments, seeks comments and views on two pharmacy related draft Orders being made under the powers in section 60 of the Health Act 1999. Section 60 orders are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny through the affirmative resolution procedure. The requirement to consult is provided for in the Health Act 1999, in paragraph 9 of Schedule 3.

Because the regulation of pharmacy technicians is a devolved matter as regards Scotland, the draft Orders must be laid before the Scottish Parliament, as well as the UK Parliament. While there is no legislative requirement for the draft Orders to be laid before either the Northern Ireland Assembly, or the National Assembly for Wales, the policy proposals have the support of the Ministers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the outcome of the consultation will be reported to all UK health ministers.

Details can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pharmacy-legislation-on-dispensing-errors-and-standards

Consultation on proposed Code of Conduct opens on 16 February 2015 and closes at 12 noon 11 May 2015.

This consultation issued by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, seeks views and comments on the proposed Code of Conduct 2015. This document, once adopted, will replace the Code of Ethics 2009 and will underpin the functions of the pharmacy regulator and be an integral part of maintaining patient safety. Comments and views are being sought from registrants and other stakeholders particularly members of the public and service users.

Consultation on proposed amendment to the Registration of Pharmaceutical Chemists (Exempt Persons) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008. Consultation closed on 27 April 2015.

This was a joint consultation exercise by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

In order to ensure the Pharmaceutical Society NI could fully implement the policy aims of the Associated Professions (Knowledge of English) Order 2015, which applies on a UK-wide basis, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI and the DHSSPS consider it necessary to amend the Registration of Pharmaceutical Chemists (Exempt Persons) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008.

Consultation on Fees closed on 22 December 2014

Consultation on MDS Standards closed on 10 September 2014

Consultation on Draft Guidance on Professional Indemnity Insurance for Pharmacists in NI – closed on 2/04/14

Consultation on CPD framework part 2 closed on 23/01/14

Consultation on the Draft Disclosure and Publication of Fitness to Practise Information – Please note the Closing date for this consultation has been extended to 14/5/13

Introductory letter from the President – Disclosure

Consultation Document on the Disclosure and Publication of Fitness to Practise Information

RESPONSE FORM disclosure

Consultation on Draft Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers closed on 18/12/12

Introductory letter from the Registrar

Consultation document on Draft Standards for Pharmacist Prescribers

Consultation on the Draft Continuing Professional Development Framework  – closed 22/2/13

Introductory letter from the Registrar

Consultation on the draft CPD framework and standards

Response form

See the CPD Framework Presentation, explaining the details of this consultation

Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI (Continuing Professional Development) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

CONSULTATION OUTCOMES

Consultation on the Pharmaceutical Society NI Code (Professional standards of conduct, ethics and performance for pharmacists in Northern Ireland)

The detailed responses to this consultation which ran from 23 October 2023 to 18 December 2023 are being considered and a report is being prepared for Council.

Consultation on Knowledge of English Regulations and associated Guidance

Council on 05 March 2024 decided to hold a separate meeting to consider the detailed report and to allow legal opinion and submissions from the Department of Health.

Update on the Outcome report on the Consultation on Pharmacy Staffing Levels Guidance

The Council of Pharmaceutical Society NI is considering the outcome report on this 8-week public consultation held between 13 October 2022 and 9 December 2022 on proposed Guidance on Pharmacy Staffing Levels within registered premises.  The report will be published in due course.

Outcome of the consultation on changes to requirements for training as a pharmacist independent prescriber and being annotated as an independent prescriber on the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists 2022 – Report on the public consultation on on changes to requirements for training as a pharmacist independent prescriber and being annotated as an independent prescriber on the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists, held between 04 March 2022 and 30 May 2022. 

Outcome of the consultation on draft Guidance on the Provision of Services  2020- Report on the public consultation on draft Guidance on the Provision of Services, held between 08 July and 30 September 2020.

Equality Screening Assessment – Phase 2 – Guidance on the Provision of Services – January 2021

Outcome of the consultation on Revised Threshold Criteria 2020 – Report on the Public Consultation on a Revised Threshold Criteria held between 15 January and 11 March 2020

Outcome of the consultation on Consultation on the Proposed 2020 Continuing Professional Development Framework – Report on the public consultation on the Proposed 2020 Continuing Professional Development Framework.

Outcome of the consultation on Proposals for a Joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI 4-Country Registration Assessment – Report on the responses to the Proposals for a Joint GPhC/Pharmaceutical Society NI 4-Country Registration Assessment consultation.

Outcome of the consultation on the consultation on the Draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance 2018 can be found here – Report on the responses to the draft Indicative Sanctions Guidance consultation.

Outcome of the consultation on the Draft Premises Standards for a Retail Pharmacy Business at or from a Registered Pharmacy can be found here – Report on the responses to the Draft Premises Standards for a Retail Pharmacy Business at or from a Registered Pharmacy

Outcome of the consultation on the Fees for 2016/17 as presented to Council can be found here – Report on the responses to the consultation on the Fees regulations 2016

Outcome of the consultation on the draft Code of Conduct 2015 can be found here – Report on the responses to the consultation on the draft Code of Conduct

Outcome of the consultation on Monitored Dosage Systems draft Standards can be found here – Report on the responses to the consultation on Monitored Dosage Systems draft Standards

Outcome of the consultation on the Disclosure  and Publication of FtP information 2014 can be found here – Report on responses to the consultation on the disclosure and publication of fitness to practise information June 2014

Outcome of the Professional Indemnity Guidance consultation 2014 – Report on the responses to the consultation on draft guidance indemnity cover for pharmacists in NI

Outcome of the CPD Framework Consultation 2014 – Report on the responses to the Consultation on the CPD framework 2014

Outcome of the CPD Framework Consultation – CPD Post Consultation Summary Report 2013.

CONSULTATION RESPONSES

On 19 April the following response was agreed to the Public Standards Authority’s consultation on Good Practice Guidance.

PSNI response to PSA’s Good Practice Guidance

On 8 March 2024 the following response was agreed to the Department of Health and Social Care Consultation on the proposed changes to supervision in pharmacy workplaces.

PSNI response to proposed changes to pharmacy supervision

On 11 October 2023 the following response was agreed to the Department of Health and Social Care Consultation on the proposal for the use of Patient Group Directions by Pharmacy Technicians.

PSNI response to the proposal for the use of patient group directions by pharmacy technicians.

At the Council Meeting of May 2023, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI agreed their response to the Department of Health and Social Care’s consultation on on regulating anaesthesia associates and physician associates. Below is a link to that consultation response.

PSNI Council response to regulating anaesthesia associates and physician associates

At the Council Meeting of September 2021, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI agreed that their response to the Department of Health’s (NI) consultation on the Duty of Candour and Being Open should be published.  Below is a link to that consultation response.

PSNI Council response to the Duty of Candour and Being Open Public Consultation

At the Council meeting of June 2021, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI agreed that their response to the DHSC consultation “Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public” should be published. Below is a link to that consultation response.

PSNI Council response to  “Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public”

At the Council meeting of 5 July 2016, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI agreed that their response to the Department of Health’s (NI) consultation “the Future of Pharmacy Regulation in Northern Ireland” should be published. Below is a copy of that response as delivered to the Department of Health on Friday 10 June 2016.

PSNI Council – Review of Pharmacy Regulation in Northern Ireland

CURRENT CALLS FOR EVIDENCE

None

 

CLOSED CALLS FOR EVIDENCE

Closed 16 January 2023

Call for Evidence 26/10/22 to 16/01/23

Review of the Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance 2016

To participate in this Call for Evidence, please complete the short survey by following this link: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/66G76KR

Introduction

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. It is our job to ensure that pharmacists and the services they deliver in an increasing variety of contexts from community pharmacies, hospitals and GP surgeries to industry, education and research, are safe and protect the wellbeing of those who use them.

We do this by:

  • setting and promoting standards for admission to and retention on the Registers.

We do this through a system of personal and premises registration, and we set the standards of pharmacists’ professional practice in the Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance 2016 (the Code), and ensure that practising pharmacists are fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver quality and safe care to patients;

  • maintaining publicly accessible Registers of pharmacists, Foundation Training Year Trainees and pharmacy premises;
  • handling concerns about the fitness to practise of pharmacists, acting as a complaints portal and taking action to protect the public; and
  • ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists and Foundation Training Year Trainees in Northern Ireland.

Every pharmacist is responsible for their conduct, personal behaviour and professional practice and must be able to justify their actions and decisions.

Following a review of our Corporate Strategy 2017-2022, which extended the current Strategy’s duration to 2023, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI set a new objective to complete a full review of the Code by May 2023. This is to be followed in next Corporate Strategy period by a phased review of all Standards and Guidance related to the Code.

The Code

The purpose of the Code is to guide and support registrants in their scope of practice, professional development and decision-making. The Code should facilitate innovation and development of pharmacy practice whilst ensuring the consistent delivery of professional standards. It puts patients’ interests first and reinforces the concept of patient-centred professionalism and care.

The Code is regarded as governing the conduct of all pharmacists both within and outside the practice of pharmacy. Breaches of the Code could form the basis of a complaint of misconduct and an appearance before the Statutory Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society NI. The Statutory Committee can determine to remove the registration of a pharmacist or apply another appropriate sanction.

The Code details five mandatory principles that explain the required standards of professional behaviour. These are:

Principle 1: Always put the patient first.

Principle 2: Provide a safe and quality service.

Principle 3: Act with professionalism and integrity at all times.

Principle 4: Communicate effectively and work properly with colleagues.

Principle 5: Maintain and develop your knowledge, skills, and competence.

The Purpose of the Review

The purpose of the review is to ensure that the Code, published in 2016, remains fit for purpose going forward, considering the changes in pharmacy practice and potential future developments across pharmacy, including increased independent prescribing, more interaction with patients and new technologies. The review will also consider the implications for the Code of Pharmacy Technicians in Northern Ireland coming under statutory regulation by the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

To inform the review and any proposals to revise the current Code, we are now making a Call for Evidence. The evidence will help inform our draft revised Code which will be the subject of a public consultation in early 2023. We are interested in hearing from members of the public, pharmacists, employers and those who work to provide pharmacy services in Northern Ireland, about how the current Code is working and how it may be improved or revised to ensure high standards and public protection moving forward.

How to participate in the review

Comments on any aspect of the Code will be welcome, However, we are especially seeking feedback in the following areas:

  • When is the Code being used and how?
  • How user friendly/accessible is the current Code?
  • Considering the changes in pharmacy practice including independent prescribing, more interaction with patients and new technologies and potential future developments across pharmacy, are there any gaps in the current Principles and Standards within the Code?
  • Is the Code pitched at the right level; for example, should it have less detail, focusing more on higher level principles, or does it require more detail?

We would also welcome any information or material you think the Pharmaceutical Society NI should consider when carrying out its review.

To participate in this Call for Evidence, please complete the short survey by following this link: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/66G76KR

The Call for Evidence will close on Monday 16 January 2023.