COVID-19 Q&A: for professionals on or wishing to join the temporary register

We have compiled answers to the questions we are being asked in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Categorised by theme, use the links below to navigate to the relevant section. 

Last reviewed 28 January 2022.

Joining the temporary register

Practical considerations

Information for employers   

Joining the temporary register

I'm a pharmacist or pharmacy technician who voluntarily removed myself from the register, or decided not to renew my registration. Can I join the register so that I can practise during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In an emergency, we have powers under the Pharmacy Order 2010 to temporarily register fit, proper and suitably experienced people to act as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to help protect public health.

Read our policy on temporary registration arrangements [PDF 156 KB]

The temporary register includes pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have voluntarily removed themselves from the GPhC register or were removed for non-renewal in the last three years.

 You can email if you would like to join the temporary register.

What are the requirements for temporary registrants?

Anyone who is entered temporarily on the register will be required to meet the standards for pharmacy professionals and have the appropriate indemnity insurance.

Practical considerations

Will I have to pay a fee to join the temporary register?

No, you will not have to pay any fee to temporarily return to the register.

Will I be expected to complete records for revalidation, if I am on the temporary register?

We do not expect pharmacy professionals who have been placed on the temporary register to carry out and record revalidation activities.

Can you provide any refresher training to help me prepare to go back into practice?

Please contact the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Health Education and Improvement Wales or NHS Education for Scotland, depending on which country you live in, as they can signpost you to relevant training and resources.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced guidance for pharmacy workforce about COVID-19 which you may find useful if you are returning to practice.

What would happen if a fitness to practise concern was raised about me while I am practising on the temporary register?

Where a concern is raised about a pharmacy professional with temporary registration, it will be considered on the specific facts of the case, taking into account the factors relevant to the environment in which the professional is working and the risk to patient and public safety. We will also take account of any relevant information about resource, guidelines or protocols in place at the time.

The fitness to practise concern process for temporary registrants

We will quickly assess the nature and extent of the risk to patient safety. This will be done by undertaking a swift and thorough review of the available evidence to understand the seriousness of the concern and if there is a real risk to patients. We will assess whether the professional is able to carry out their role safely and effectively or whether continuing to allow temporary registration would undermine trust and confidence in the professions.

Once we have reviewed the evidence, we will administratively remove a professional with temporary registration if the evidence suggests that removal is:

  • necessary to protect the public
  • otherwise in the public interest
  • in the interests of the pharmacy professional

Administrative removal means that the registrar will immediately remove the person from the temporary register and they will no longer be able to practise as a pharmacy professional.

If we decide to not administratively remove then the professional will be eligible to remain in practice until the need for temporary professionals passes and they are removed with all others.

Find out more about how we will deal with concerns about pharmacy professionals with temporary registration in our guidance.

How long will the temporary register continue?

There is currently no end date for the temporary register as this depends on when the State of Emergency which enables our emergency powers comes to an end. We will contact all those on the temporary register to inform them in advance of the date of its termination once a date is agreed.

In the meantime, if you want your name to be removed from the temporary register, you can fill in a survey to tell us you want to leave.

Information for employers

I’m an employer - what do I need to do if I want to employ someone on the temporary register?

If you are a pharmacy owner or employer, when employing a pharmacy professional on the temporary register, you must make sure:

  • the person’s name appears on the temporary register
  • you carry out appropriate identity checks for all staff they employ
  • all staff have the right knowledge, skills and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, including in relation to their English language skills
  • all staff have appropriate indemnity insurance for the tasks they carry out, including pharmacy professionals on the temporary register
  • all staff they employ are fit to practise in that particular role

We have produced guidance for employers on their responsibilities [PDF 169 KB] if they employ a pharmacy professional on the temporary register.

Information on how we will manage concerns about professionals with temporary registration is available here[PDF 164 KB]