Guide to pharmacy organisations

A guide to pharmacy organisations roles and responsibilities


Membership organisations for pharmacy professionals, students and trainees

Support organisations

Membership organisations for pharmacies

National negotiating bodies

Statutory education bodies

Resources to help with revalidation  


General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

What we do

We regulate pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in Great Britain. It’s our role to make sure people receive safe and effective pharmacy care and have trust in pharmacy. 


Registration (mandatory)

To practise in Great Britain, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be registered with us and have satisfied us that they meet our requirements.

Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists pay a fee to register and renew each year.

Any business or organisation (whether physical or online) selling Pharmacy medicines (medicines brought ‘over the counter’) or Prescription Only Medicines must register with us. Pharmacies pay a fee to register and renew each year.

More about us

We are independent of government and are work is funded through the fees our registrants pay.

Most healthcare professionals are regulated in a similar way. For example, doctors are regulated by the General Medical Council. Find out about who regulates which healthcare professionals.

Our work, and that of other healthcare professionals’ regulators is overseen by the Professional Standards Authority.

Membership organisations for pharmacy professionals, students and trainees

Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK)

What they do

APTUK is the national professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians working in all pharmacy sectors across all countries in the UK.

APTUK provide advice, information and support to members, championing and safeguarding the pharmacy technician profession and enhancing education opportunities and scope of practice


Pharmacy technicians pay a fee if they choose to become a member of APTUK.

Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians can join for free.

Members can

  • receive the Pharmacy Technicians Journal
  • access a portal with information on hot topics, professional development, and revalidation support
  • attend local branch meetings.

Visit the APTUK website

British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA)

What they do

The BPSA is the official student body of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. The BPSA is run by an Executive of 19 members who ae all either completing their university studies, foundation year or are newly qualified pharmacists.

BPSA represent the views of member on a range of topics. They produce discussion papers, respond to consultations, and attend meetings with stakeholders as well as running events for members. Polices are voted in by a delegation during the BPSA’s annual conference.


Membership is free and is open to all undergraduate MPharm students and first year graduates.

BPSA members automatically become members of:

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association
International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation 
Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Visit the BPSA website

Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP)

GHP is a professional and trade union backed membership organisation for pharmacists in the managed service (this means hospital pharmacy and general practice/primary care-based pharmacists), working for the NHS across the UK.

GHP provides guidance, statements, leadership in key areas, along with membership representation. It supports individual members with employment issues and speaks on behalf of working pharmacist members at local, regional, and national levels.

GHP through Unite the Union offer an insurance product called Contingent Medical Malpractice Cover (Professional Indemnity Insurance is also available from other providers).

Visit the GHP website

Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA)

What they do

The PDA is a not-for-profit membership organisation that supports the needs of individual pharmacists, pharmacy students and pharmacy undergraduates in the United Kingdom.

PDA employ experienced pharmacists and lawyers. They defend members, proactively lobby for pharmacists and challenge employers, regulators, and governments on behalf of members.


Pharmacists pay a fee if they choose to become a member of the PDA. Members receive Professional Indemnity Insurance as part of their membership (Professional Indemnity Insurance is also available from other providers). 

Pharmacy students and trainee pharmacists can join PDA for free.

PDA members automatically get membership of the PDA Union, adding rights of representation in disputes with employers, and certain collective bargaining rights. PDA members can opt-out of membership of the PDA Union.

Visit the PDA website

Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA)

What they do

PCPA is an independent organisation supporting pharmacy professionals working within primary care.

Members can access resources, events, and peer-to-peer support.


Pharmacy technicians, pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and trainee pharmacists can join PCPA and a pay a fee to be a member.  

Visit the PCPA website

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

What they do

RPS is the professional membership body for all pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy students in Great Britain.


  • provide advice, information, and support to members. They champion and promote the profession in government and across healthcare.
  • publish and maintain pharmacy core texts, online resources, and guides used across pharmacy and healthcare, supporting pharmacists in their day-to-day practice and development. They mentor service pharmacists at all levels of development.
  • offers regular webinars and live events, and an Annual Conference in November.


Pharmacists pay a fee if they choose to become a member of RPS.

Pharmacy students can join for free.

Foundation Trainee and newly qualified pharmacists are entitled to a significant reduction in fees

Members can access a suite of benefits and services, which include (but are not limited to) subscription to The Pharmaceutical Journal; online access to Medicines, Ethics and Practice; access to an e-Library and e-portfolio; resources and services to help with their Registration Assessment and revalidation; and a dedicated one-to-one support service.

Visit the RPS website

UK Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA)

What they do

UKBPA aims to create practical solutions to the current inequalities faced by black pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and students in the UK.

Members can access support and advice, mentorship, educational materials, and events.


Pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and students who identify as Black can join. 
Allies can subscribe to the newsletter and donate. 

Visit the UKBPA website

UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA)

What they do 

UKCPA is an inclusive community for pharmacy professionals across sectors and specialities. 


Membership provides access to education, resources, peer support and professional development opportunities.

Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists pay a fee if they choose to become a member of UKCPA.

Undergraduate students and trainee pharmacists can join for free.

Visit the UKCPA website

Support organisations

Pharmacist Support 

Pharmacist Support is an independent charity providing a variety of support services to pharmacists, former pharmacists, and pharmacy students.

Pharmacist Support offer:

  • free and confidential support services including financial assistance, specialist advice, addiction services, counselling, and peer support.
  • the Wardley Wellbeing service, which provides evidence-based, practical information and guidance on wellbeing. There are free resources including videos, workshops, and printable posters on topics such as stress, anxiety and getting a good night’s sleep. Tips and tools to enhance wellbeing and develop skills such as assertiveness, resilience, and time management. As well as personal stories from students and pharmacists sharing their struggles, learnings, and coping mechanisms.

Visit the Pharmacist Support website

Membership organisations for pharmacies 

Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp)

AIMP is a membership organisation representing community pharmacies with multiple branches.

They provide advocacy and representation and member and partner support. 

Pharmacy owners, industry suppliers and buying groups can all join AIMP.

Visit the AIMp website

Company Chemists’ Association (CCA)

The CCA is the trade association for large pharmacy operators in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The CCA works closely with government and other professional bodies on pharmacy issues, addressing matters affecting members at both a national and local level. 

Visit the CCA website

National Pharmacy Association (NPA)

NPA is the representative voice of independent community pharmacies across the UK. Membership ranges from single pharmacies to regional groups.

Members can access information and advice, learning and development and business support. Full membership includes Professional Indemnity Insurance (Professional Indemnity Insurance is also available from other providers).

Community pharmacies pay a fee if they choose to join NPA. Individual pharmacy technicians and pharmacists can also join NPA as associate members.

Visit the NPA website

National negotiating bodies

Community Pharmacy England (CPE)

Community Pharmacy England represents community pharmacy businesses of all sizes in England and is responsible for negotiating the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) under which all community pharmacies operate. 

They work with closely with everyone in the community pharmacy sector, including the Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs), to meet their goals and to promote the value of community pharmacy.

Before 30 May 2023 the organisation was called the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), and it retains this name in legislation.

Visit the Community Pharmacy England website 

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS)

Community Pharmacy Scotland represents community pharmacy owners and, by association, their teams throughout Scotland.

They continually develop and secure a contractual framework for the provision of pharmaceutical services, supported by a sustainable funding model. They do this by negotiating with the Scottish Government on terms of service, remuneration and reimbursement under the NHS.

Visit the Community Pharmacy Scotland website

Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW)

Community Pharmacy Wales represents community pharmacy owners and their teams throughout Wales.

They continually develop and secure a contractual framework for the provision of pharmaceutical services, supported by a sustainable funding model. They do this by negotiating with the Welsh Government on terms of service, remuneration and reimbursement under the NHS.

Visit the Community Pharmacy Wales website

Statutory education bodies 

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)

HEIW is the strategic workforce body for NHS Wales and a Special Health Authority.

They work to develop a skilled and sustainable workforce that improves care and population health.

They plan, commission, deliver and quality manage undergraduate and postgraduate education and training for a wide range of health professions.

Visit the HEIW website

NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

NES is an education and training body and a national health board within NHS Scotland. 

They are responsible for developing and delivering healthcare education and training for the NHS, health and social care sector and other public bodies. 

They have a Scotland-wide role in undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development.

Visit the NES website

NHS England Workforce, Training and Education (WT&E) Directorate (formerly Health Education England (HEE))

Health Education England has come together with NHS England to create a new organisation. This means that the new NHS England WT&E Directorate will take responsibility for HEE’s current activities. This includes planning, recruiting, educating and training the health workforce across England; ensuring that the healthcare workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours to deliver excellent healthcare and health improvement to patients and the public. 

Visit the HEE website 

Resources to help with revalidation

Resources for revalidation

Read our resources to help you with revalidation

Resources are also available from:

Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK
Centre for Pharmacy Post-graduate Education
Pharmacist Support
Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Guide last update: 1 August 2023