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Standards for registered pharmacies

Our standards for registered pharmacies are designed to strengthen the regulation of pharmacies and improve the quality of pharmacy practise.

They move away from a prescriptive or rules-based approach and focus on what pharmacies are achieving for patients and people who use pharmacy services.

Pharmacy owners and superintendents (when the pharmacy is company-owned) are accountable for how well the standards are being achieved. The standards recognise that owners and superintendents are responsible for creating and maintaining a physical and organisational environment in which pharmacy can be practised safely and effectively.

Everyone who works in a pharmacy should make themselves familiar with these standards – all play a role in keeping patients safe and helping to improve their health and wellbeing.  

The standards are set out under five principles which describe arrangements for safe and effective pharmacy care.

Principle 1 – looks at identifying and managing risks in your pharmacy

Principle 2 – looks at staffing issues

Principle 3 – is about the pharmacy premises

Principle 4 – is about delivery of pharmacy services

Principle 5 – is about equipment and facilities.


Standards for registered pharmacies

We will not have a full range of powers to enforce these standards before the end of 2014. This gives pharmacy owners, superintendents, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the standards  and how well they are achieving them.

We have also reviewed our approach to inspection. On 4 November 2013 we rolled out a prototype of our new inspection approach  which we will test and refine before finalising that approach.  Find more information about our approach to inspection here

We regularly update our governing council about progress on moderning pharmacy regulation, including the standards for registered pharmacies. You can read those papers here.


Guidance for registered pharmacies preparing unlicensed medicines 

We have published this  guidance to support the standards for registered pharmacies and to explain how pharmacies preparing medicines, including the preparation of extemporaneously prepared methadone, must mitigate risks to patients and meet our standards for registered pharmacies.


Supply of Pharmacy (P) Medicines 

We have published a background paper which outlines how we propose to support the safe and effective supply of Pharmacy “P” medicines. It  describes the key areas that must be adequately addressed by owners and superintendents that operate registered pharmacies and supply P medicines and can be found at