New guidance sets out how decisions to refer cases to a fitness to practise committee are made

Good decision making: investigating committee meetings and outcomes guidance

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched new guidance which explains the role of the investigating committee and how it decides what outcome is appropriate when allegations are referred to it

The investigating committee is independent of the GPhC and when considering a case, it is for the committee to make its own independent decisions and it is accountable for the decisions it makes.

Good decision making: investigating committee meetings and outcomes guidance also explains who sits on an investigating committee and the outcomes which the committee can decide on. These outcomes can include issuing a warning, agreeing undertakings with the registrant or referring a registrant to the fitness to practise committee.

Commenting on the publication of the guidance, Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:

“The investigating committee is a vital decision making body at an important point in the fitness to practise process. This guidance will assist in proportionate, consistent and transparent decision making by members of the investigating committee.

“We are grateful to all those who contributed during the consultation on the new guidance. Their feedback has allowed us to ensure that the final guidance will support good decision-making at our investigating committee stage and explain clearly how it will make its decisions.” 

A number of changes were made to the guidance in response to the feedback received through the consultation, including setting out in more detail what the committee needs to consider when deciding if there is a ‘real prospect’ of an allegation being proven before a fitness to practise committee.

The guidance is available on the GPhC website in English and in Welsh and will come into effect on 13 January. The interim period will give committee members and all those involved in the fitness to practise process an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new guidance before it comes into effect