If you employ a pharmacist (or a pharmacy technician), you must first check that they are registered as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician with the GPhC.
The registration process for some pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with non-UK qualifications has changed following the UK's departure from the European Union. You may need to check additional information to employ pharmacy professionals from the European Economic Area.
Employing temporary registrants during the COVID-19 emergency
If you are considering employing a pharmacy professional on our temporary register, make sure you have read our guidance for employers and pharmacy owners, which sets out your responsibilities.
Employing a provisionally-registered pharmacist
If you are considering employing a provsionally-registered pharmacist, we have set out the essential regulatory requirements you must meet in Employing a provisionally-registered pharmacist [PDF 739.13 KB]. Please note that the provisional registration scheme does not allow provisionally registered pharmacists to act as the Responsible Pharmacist with responsibility for a COVID-19 vaccination service delivered at or from a registered pharmacy (including in ‘associated premises’) or to be the pharmacist in charge of a vaccination service being provided in associated premises.
The owner of a retail pharmacy business must appoint a Responsible Pharmacist who is a registered pharmacist, to be in charge of the registered pharmacy. The Responsible Pharmacist’s role is to secure the safe and effective running of the registered pharmacy when it is operational. The pharmacy owner must ensure that there are arrangements in place for an RP to be appointed.
English language skills
From 21 November 2016, all applicants and registrants have to provide evidence that they have the necessary knowledge of English language for safe and effective practice. The evidence must comply with our guidance on providing evidence of English language skills.
Please be aware that our requirements concerning evidence of English language skills do not replace the very important role that you as employers will continue to play in checking that the pharmacy professionals you wish to employ for a particular role are competent to carry out that role and have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely and effectively, as part of your interview and selection processes.
Temporary and occasional service provision
After 31 December 2020 new applications from European qualified pharmacists for a European Professional Card (EPC) to provide temporary and occasional (T&O) services in the UK can no longer be made. However, those who had applied before that date can continue to provide T&O services until their right to do so expires. As these pharmacists had not made a full application for registration as required by the General Pharmaceutical Council Registration Rules, they were entered on Part 4 of the GPhC register and not Part 1. The pdf of Part 4 of the register below indicates the expiry date of each registrant’s right to provide temporary and occasional services in the UK.
- is not a permanent or fixed term contract or agreement to provide services on:
a regular basis
a frequent basis
a continuous basis
is not for an indefinite period.
is not regular
is not frequent
is not continuous.
What constitutes temporary and occasional practice is assessed on a case-by-case basis against the combined criteria of:
duration: the time the service takes to perform
frequency: the rate of occurrence, which may be the interval between visits to provide temporary and occasional services in the UK
regularity: how regular the service provision is, and whether it is constant or at fixed intervals
continuity: whether the services are provided in a continuous period or sporadically over a period of time
Examples of the kind of provision of services that might be considered temporary and occasional include:
- providing services for a sports team by visiting the UK sporadically and infrequently
- undertaking services for a short period of time in cases of a national emergency
Although cases are considered on a case by case basis, if you use the services of a European qualified pharmacist to provide locum pharmacy services in the UK frequently and on a regular basis over a continuous period of time during the year when there is no longer a national emergency such as the COVID-19 emergency, then it is likely that this practice does not meet the criteria for being temporary and occasional and the European pharmacist would be required to make a full application for registration to join part 1 of the register.
What does this mean to you as an employer?
You should note that a European Professional Card (EPC) for temporary and occasional service provision is issued by the pharmacist’s EEA competent authority. No checks of the pharmacist’s identity, qualifications or fitness to practise can be carried out by the GPhC.
Where the EEA competent authority issues a ‘valid’ EPC for temporary and occasional services to a European qualified pharmacist, the holder is entitled to provide temporary and occasional services in the UK and the GPhC gives effect to this entitlement by entering the pharmacist’s name in part 4 of the register.
If a European qualified pharmacist presents you with an EPC for temporary service provision indicating that they are entitled to provide temporary and occasional services in the UK you must check that the individual is registered in Part 4 of the register.
You can find a pdf of the names of EEA qualified pharmacists entered in Part 4 of the register.
If you cannot find the pharmacist’s name in Part 4 of the register please contact email@example.com before you employ the individual to provide temporary and occasional pharmacy services.
European pharmacists registered in Part 4 of the register as temporary and occasional pharmacy services providers cannot:
- own a registered pharmacy (as a pharmacist owner or as one partner of a partnership);
- act as superintendent pharmacist for a body corporate owning registered pharmacy premises; or
- act as a supplementary or independent prescriber