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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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A Resized Pharmacist Image cbAugust 1 2017

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has supported plans to change the way pharmacists continue to be registered to practice. However, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association has criticised the proposed framework, saying the new system would not constitute revalidation.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has supported plans to change the way pharmacists continue to be registered to practice. However, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association has criticised the proposed framework, saying the new system would not constitute revalidation.

In its response to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s consultation on a new revalidation system, the Society has indicated its commitment to the principle of revalidation to support patient safety and confidence in the profession.

In a joint statement, RPS President Ash Soni and Professor Peter Kopleman, Chair of the RPS Faculty Board, said the proposed new system “should enable pharmacists to demonstrate their capabilities and be recognised for excellence in healthcare provision.

“As new models of care develop, revalidation must be future ‘proofed’ and flexible enough to support pharmacists in newer roles such as pharmacists in general practice and ensure patient safety wherever the clinical setting.”

The pair added that “revalidation must meet the needs of pharmacists working across a wide range of roles including those in non-patient facing roles.”

The Society has welcomed the proposed simplification in CPD recording. “We additionally endorse the principles of a reflective account and peer discussion but are concerned that this does not become a ‘tick-box exercise’ that doesn’t deliver assurance or professional development.”

The PDA’s criticism arises from the view that the new system will not be a sufficiently rigorous process, as it will lack any formal appraisal by a senior pharmacist. However, the new system is intended to include a peer discussion and a reflective account. Record keeping will also be reduced from the current expectation of nine continuing professional development records a year to four, or which two must cover planned learning activities.

“Amongst other things, we said that the proposed revalidation framework and processes should be renamed to ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD),” said the PDA. “The framework and process do not constitute revalidation or an assessment of fitness to practise; they do not include any formal appraisal, by a senior pharmacist, of a registrant’s practise, will not detect impaired performance at an early stage and are otherwise not sufficiently rigorous.

“They do not meet the definitions of revalidation given by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, the Professional Standards Authority or the Department of Health and are different in principle to the legal definition in the Medical Act 1983 (though the Act itself does not apply to pharmacists).”

Changes to the current re-registration process are expected to be introduced in stages from 2018 and coming into full effect by 2020.

Links:
RPS announcement        
PDA announcement        
GPhC consultation     

 

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