The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is consulting on how to introduce a revalidation process for pharmacy professionals.

The GPhC has called their proposal an 'important change' to the annual responsibilities of pharmacists and technicians.

The GPhC has proposed that each year pharmacy professionals should have to:

  • Make CPD four records instead of nine
  • Record a peer discussion with someone who understands their work
  • Write a reflection on how they meet one or more of the regulator's standards for pharmacy professionals, using examples from their own practice.

[box type="shadow" ]Read what pharmacists think about the GPhC's proposals here.[/box]

The regulator conducted three years of research and development with pharmacy staff and members of the public before producing its revalidation proposal.

An independently-evaluated pilot on the proposed changes was run last year with over 1,300 volunteers.

All registrants will submit their records each year at the same time as their renewal of registration. Both a random and a targeted sample of the submissions will be reviewed. The targeted sample will be chosen using revised criteria and an improved review process, the GPhC said.

A minimum of 2.5% of registrants will be selected for review randomly each year. Targeted selection will also be made based on previous history of difficulty meeting requirements or late submission.

Doctors, nurses and midwives already have their own revalidation processes. The proposed pharmacy framework is 'similar in name', but is fundamentally different in design so that it works well for pharmacy, the GPhC said.

Maintaining confidence in pharmacy

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: ‘One of our core responsibilities as a regulator is ensuring that people using pharmacy services maintain their confidence in pharmacy professionals and revalidation for pharmacy professionals is an important step forward in achieving that.

‘People’s expectations of pharmacy professionals are continuing to increase as they take on new roles and responsibilities. It is time now for us, alongside the professions, to consider what we can do differently to provide further assurance to the public that the trust they have in pharmacy is well placed.

‘The evidence from our pilot and other research shows that the new approach makes better use of the time pharmacy professionals currently spend on recording CPD activities, by actively encouraging better reflection on their learning and practice and a greater focus on the benefits to the people using pharmacy services.’

The consultation is open until 17 July. The GPhC will then consider the feedback received and decide on its final approach to CPD, it said.

The GPhC plans to introduce revalidation for pharmacy professionals in stages, beginning from 2018, coming fully into effect in early 2020.