GPhC launches debate on the future of pharmacy education and training

We have launched a debate on how the education and training of the pharmacy team needs to change to address future challenges.

The discussion paper, Tomorrow’s pharmacy team; future standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff, analyses the policies for health, pharmacy and pharmacy education provision in each of the countries of Great Britain and draws preliminary conclusions about what the policies may mean for the future roles of the pharmacy team and the education and training they will need to fulfil those roles.

We are asking pharmacy professionals, pharmacy students and trainees, employers and education providers and patients and the public if they agree with these conclusions, particularly the skills and abilities that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and members of the pharmacy team will need in the future.

The discussion paper also asks what barriers might affect the implementation of revised standards for initial education and training.

This is the first time we have looked at the education and training of the pharmacy team as a whole. The feedback received will help to review the standards of initial education and training for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff. The GPhC then plans to consult on new draft standards in 2016 and publish revised standards in 2017.

Commenting on the launch of the discussion paper, Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said:

“As the roles of the pharmacy team change, education and training must change too so that pharmacy professionals are able to deal with the new challenges they face.

“We need to test whether the conclusions we have drawn about the future of pharmacy and pharmacy education are correct, so we can set new standards for education and training for the different members of the pharmacy team that are ambitious, achievable and affordable. It is crucial that we get this right as the new standards we develop will be educating and training those who will potentially be working in pharmacy for the next 40 to 50 years.

“We are ready to be challenged and to challenge others about the future education and training of the pharmacy team. We hope that this paper will act as a catalyst for action to take forward the debate and to get key stakeholders to work with us and others”.

Read the discussion paper we published.