Judgement days: Niamh reflects on GPhC’s eight-month pilot

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Niamh reflects on a trustworthy pilot that really seems to fly


The end of 2016 marked the conclusion of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) eight-month pilot of ‘Continuing Fitness to Practice’ (CFtP). This is the proposed new arrangement, which provides further assurance to the wider community that pharmacists meet certain professional standards.

Indeed, I have personally taken part in the pilot, which involved recording four CPD (continuing professional development) entries, in a simplified recording format, and carrying out a peer discussion. An additional element required the production of a case study documenting a change to the practice that benefitted patients or service users.

The GPhC are introducing the system so that members of the public are reassured that health professionals – including pharmacists – are safe and effective beyond their initial registration. After considerable research it concluded that encouraging a more ‘reflective practice’ would be the most compelling way to do this.

CFtP will reaffirm that registrants meet the code of standards, ethics and performance, while accounting for the full range of roles and settings in which registrants practice. As a result, it will be based upon common standards, flexible processes and evidence-based requirements. In addition, registrants will be required to receive declarations from external sources related to the individual’s current context of practice.

This will mean that the processes to record and review evidence must be flexible in regard to the diversity of roles and settings within pharmacy practice.

The GPhC are currently collating feedback on the pilot which, in my opinion, has been great! I’ve loved the new recording format, which is so much easier to use. I’m also delighted that it took on previous feedback, which indicated that – while we do generally enjoy CPD – we didn’t appreciate the ‘old’ system, which was somewhat laborious.

The new version allows for increased self-reflection, by the introduction of peer interactivity, and that’s a much more dynamic and personal way of carrying it out.

The evaluation began in mid-December 2016 and will continue into 2017. It will be followed by consultation and preparation for an official launch in 2018.

I genuinely enjoy learning and developing, and believe this is the case with the majority of pharmacy professionals. Providing us with user-friendly platforms to do this can only be a good thing.  


Niamh is Clinical Development Manager at Superdrug. Please note, these are Niamh’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the Superdrug business.