We carry out and commission a wide range of research to gain up-to-date intelligence about the pharmacy sector, and to inform our work.
Below are links to all our published research reports listed by date of publication. You can also view the publications listed by topic.
Please note that some of the research below was carried out by independent organisations who we commissioned. Where this is the case, we may not share all the views expressed in the reports.
Click on a year below to explore our research publications:
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pre-registration training and provisional registration
The GPhC supported Keele University in their research investigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on provisionally registered pharmacists, pre-registration trainees and pre-registration tutors. The pre-registration trainees were a diverse group consisting of those who had chosen to remain as pre-registration pharmacists for personal reasons and those who were ineligible to join the provisional register. The pre-registration tutors were particularly keen to share their thoughts on how the pandemic has impacted both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 cohorts.
Five themes emerged from Keele University’s findings:
- Effect of the pandemic on pre-registration training – covering reduction in practical experience at certain points during the pandemic, especially in late March 2020 at the beginning of the first wave and first lockdown. This theme further highlighted access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and greater impact of the pandemic on training courses in the 2020/21 cohort.
- Provisional registration – covering feelings of provisionally registered pharmacists in relation to eligibility and confidence levels. It also highlighted the feelings of pre-registration tutors.
- The registration assessment and mental health – covering interviewees reported adverse mental health and wellbeing because of the delay to the registration assessment. Several factors, such as poor communication on behalf of GPhC, the consequences of failure, as well as insufficient study time due to problems with accommodating annual leave were found to have caused stress among interviewees.
- The new Initial Education and Training Standards for pharmacists – “Amongst the pre-registration and provisional registrant interviewees, there appeared to be a lack of awareness of the new education and training standards. However, those who had some insight, were mostly positive towards the changes. This reported lack of communication has highlighted a need to revisit communication strategies to promote awareness and understanding of important developments for the profession.”
- Communication – “The issue of communication by the GPhC was an incidental finding of this research project. None of the questions in any of the topic guides mentioned communication as an area to explore and yet it was raised in nearly every interview across the board. Failure in communication by the GPhC was reported in relation to both the delay to, and revised date of, the registration assessment and the new education and training standards.”
Keele University research - full report [PDF 476 KB]
GPhC survey of registered pharmacy professionals 2019
During summer 2019, we commissioned Enventure Research to carry out the second iteration of our survey of registered pharmacy professionals to understand more about their roles and responsibilities, work settings and future work plans. All pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were invited to respond to the online survey and we received over 18,000 responses with an overall response rate of 23.1%.
Learning from inspections
Between November 2013 and August 2018, we inspected over 14,000 registered pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales. In late 2018, we commissioned Solutions for Public Health (SPH) to analyse the inspection reports to identify any key characteristics of pharmacies and common themes in the reports that correlate with performance against our standards for registered pharmacies. The reports of this research are available below:
The full report [PDF 3.14 MB] contains the complete findings from the commissioned research from SPH and includes a full set of appendices and details of the methodology used.
A shorter summary report [PDF 767 KB] is also available which highlights the key research findings.
Our insights report [PDF 877 KB] covers the key findings from SPH’s research, further analysis of the factors that affect performance, a summary of the key messages and next steps. Our insights report is also available in Cymraeg [PDF 951 KB]
For more information about our inspections, see our inspection publications website where you can access pharmacy inspection reports and find out if a pharmacy has met or not met all of our standards for registered pharmacies.
Barriers and enablers to the pharmacy technician profession
The Pharmacy Technician Clinical Leadership Fellow 2018/19 undertook research to increase our understanding of whether there are things that we or others could do, or not do, to support the pharmacy technician profession as it continues to advance to meet the future needs of pharmacy and the public.
Barriers and enablers to the pharmacy technician profession 2019 [PDF 385 KB] – full report
Registrant perceptions of GPhC services
In spring 2018, we invited a sample of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy owners on our register to take part in a survey about their views of our services and communications. We received 508 completed responses to the survey, and this report presents an analysis of what we heard.
GPhC registrant survey – your views of the GPhC’s services and communications 2018 [PDF 517 KB] – full report
Revalidation - reflection on learning and practice
We piloted a new continuing fitness to practise framework (CFtP) which aimed to increase registrants’ reflection on learning and practice and ensure that improvements are made that benefit patients and the public. The framework requires fewer reflective CPD entries, but the addition of a case study and a peer discussion. Solutions for Public Health (SPH) were commissioned in 2017 to evaluate the pilot framework using a mixed method approach.
Continuing fitness to practise pilot evaluation 2017 [PDF 5.4 MB] – full report
Pharmacist registration assessment – performance of Black-African candidates
We published a report in 2016 that examines the performance of Black-African candidates in the Registration Assessment in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The GPhC was prompted to examine this issue after registration assessment results indicated that Black-Africans performed less well than other groups.
We commissioned the Office for Public Management (OPM) to conduct qualitative research to provide insights into the factors affecting their performance.
Qualitative research into registration assessment performance among Black-African candidates 2016 [PDF 826 KB] – full report
Pharmacist prescribers survey
In July 2015, we launched a survey sent to all pharmacist prescribers on our register to gain a more holistic picture of prescribing practice. This report presents the analysis of the responses we received.
Pharmacist prescriber survey 2016 [PDF 653 KB] – full report
Pre-registration surveys 2016
We conducted a pre-registration pharmacist tutor survey and pre-registration pharmacy technician training survey for the 2014-2015 training year alongside an analysis of pre-registration trainee pharmacist dissatisfaction for the 2013/14 training year.
Follow this link to see all the reports findings and infographics
Public perceptions of pharmacy services
We are keen to understand the experiences and expectations of those using pharmacy services. This report contains the findings of a public perceptions survey carried out by Ipsos Mori on our behalf in 2015.
Public perceptions of pharmacies 2015 [PDF 4.35 MB] – full report
Pharmacy technician education and training standards
This report, published in 2015, presents commissioned research undertaken jointly by the London Pharmacy Education and Training and UCL School of Pharmacy. The researchers explored the scope of the current initial education and training standards for pharmacy technicians and the extent to which the employers of pharmacy technicians and other stakeholders think the standards are fit for purpose.
To help inform a review of our professional standards – the primary document that sets out the behaviours, attitudes and values expected of pharmacy professionals and explains the standards that all pharmacy professionals must comply with – we commissioned Community Research in 2015 to explore what patient-centred professionalism or being professional means to patients and the public.
Patient and Public Feedback on Patient-centred Professionalism in Pharmacy 2015 [PDF 276.45 KB] – full report
Evaluation of inspection model
In 2015, we commissioned ICF international to conduct an evaluation of our approach to regulating registered pharmacies.
Evaluating the GPhC’s approach to regulating community pharmacies 2015 [PDF 2.41 MB] – full report
Evaluating the GPhC’s approach to regulating community pharmacies 2015 [PDF 1.19 MB] – detailed annexes
Our approach to inspections evaluated in the above report was in operation from November 2013 to April 2019. We have since updated our approach to improve the way we regulate and inspect registered pharmacies. Follow this link to find out more about our current approach to inspections.
Review of Continuing Professional Development
We commissioned IFF Research to conduct a review of continuing professional development (CPD) as part of its development of a “Continuing Fitness to Practice Framework”. The study included a review of 200 registrants’ CPD records (1,000 individual activity records) completed between 2010 and 2015, and analysis of qualitative feedback from those involved in the process in order to improve it in the future.
GPhC review of continuing professional development 2015 [PDF 770 KB] – full report
Quality of pharmacy technician education and training
In 2014, we commissioned the University of Manchester to conduct the first comprehensive study into the quality of pharmacy technician education and training since it became a fully regulated profession in 2010.
The quality of pharmacy technician education and training 2014 [PDF 894 KB] – full report
GPhC registrant survey 2013
In autumn 2013 we commissioned NatCen Social Research to carry out a survey of registered pharmacy professionals. This was the first survey of its kind carried out by the GPhC and it provides important insights into areas including employment, responsibilities and appraisals.
All pharmacy technicians and a large probability sample of pharmacists as well as pharmacist prescribers were invited to take part in the paper-based survey. Over 29,000 registered pharmacy professionals responded to the survey and we achieved a response rate of 56.4%.
Follow this link to see the 2013 survey reports and questionnaires
Register analysis – pharmacy technicians
The first baseline analysis of the register of pharmacy technicians. The analysis was undertaken by the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies, School of Pharmacy, University of Manchester on our behalf.
GPhC pharmacy technician register analysis 2012 [PDF 483 KB] – full report
Register analysis - pharmacists
An analysis of the register of pharmacists was undertaken and comparisons between 2010 and 2011 are presented. The analysis was undertaken by the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies, School of Pharmacy, University of Manchester on our behalf.
GPhC pharmacist register analysis 2011 [PDF 761 KB] – full report