GPhC launches discussion paper on draft Hearings and Outcomes Guidance

The updated guidance has been strengthened to clarify definitions of discrimination, bullying and harassment

We are seeking views on our proposal to strengthen decision-making guidance for fitness to practise committees, to help eliminate any potential discrimination in the outcomes of hearings. 

The guidance makes clear what we mean by discrimination, bullying and harassment, and how seriously concerns of this nature will be taken. 

The guidance also points out that committee members need to carefully consider cultural sensitivities during a hearing and consequently when making decisions about a pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise. This includes a consideration of any cultural or individual characteristics such as the way people communicate depending on their background or whether English is their first language or not.

This is part of our wider commitment to taking a person-centred approach that is fair, inclusive and free from discrimination and bias as set out in our Managing concerns about pharmacy professionals: Our strategy for change 2021-26

We will be seeking feedback from stakeholders on the proposed revisions to the guidance, and to reflect on whether there are any further changes we need to consider.

GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:

“We want to update our hearings and outcomes guidance to reflect how seriously we take racism and other forms of discrimination. This new guidance will help committee members to make decisions on what action should be taken in fitness to practise cases involving discrimination, or where cultural sensitivities need to be taken into account. We would encourage people to let us know their views on this guidance to help make sure the right outcome is reached in each case.” 

We welcome responses from anyone with an interest in fitness to practise. We are particularly interested to hear the views of patients, the public and pharmacy professionals – especially people who have been involved in a fitness to practise concern – and individuals and organisations representing professionals and patients.


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