Excellent pharmacy practice

Our Standards for registered pharmacies help us make sure pharmacy owners work to create and maintain the right environment, both organisational and physical, for the safe and effective practice of pharmacy.

We have grouped the standards under five principles:

  • Principle 1. Governance
  • Principle 2. Staff
  • Principle 3. Premises
  • Principle 4. Services, including medicines management
  • Principle 5. Equipment and facilities

These principles are the backbone of our regulatory approach; all of them are all equally important. Full details on the five principles can be found on our Standards for registered pharmacies [PDF 986 KB]​.​

As part of our new approach, inspectors assesshow pharmacies are performing against each of the principle. Pharmacies can receive one of four possible findings; excellent practice being the best possible finding.
A pharmacy with a finding of  ‘excellent practice’ will be improving patients’ health and wellbeing by understanding and acting on local health and patient needs, working in partnership with other health and community groups and serving as a model for other pharmacies to learn from. It will have tangible examples to demonstrate these outcomes.

To achieve? 'excellent practice', a pharmacy will need to not only meet all the standards under a particular principle consistently well, but also demonstrate innovation in the delivery of pharmacy services with clear positive health outcomes for its patients.

Pharmacies demonstrating ‘excellent practice’ will:

  • already be performing well against the standards 
  • provide services designed and delivered with patients at their core
  • be improving outcomes for individual patients; making a significant difference to them
  • be optimising patients’ use of medicines to ensure they take the right medicines at the right time and to reduce wastage of medicines
  • be looking outside the walls of the pharmacy to understand the health needs of your local community and deliver pharmacy service to meet those needs
  • be working in partnership with other healthcare providers and community groups to improve outcomes for individual patients and groups of patients
  • be continually learning and researching good practice to identify ways of improving patient safety
  • be a model for other pharmacies to learn from