New threshold criteria for fitness to practise investigations come into effect

We have now published new threshold criteria which apply to all decisions from 1st February2018 and are used to decide whether a case should be referred to the investigating committee. The criteria are set out in new Good decision-making: Investigations and threshold criteria guidance. This completes the suite of good decision making guidance for each stage of the fitness to practise process.

The criteria will help make sure that a proportionate, fair and consistent approach is taken when making decisions once our investigation concludes.

Between December 2016 and March 2017 we consulted on new threshold criteria to ensure they are an effective decision making tool and to take account of changes in pharmacy regulation, including the new standards for pharmacy professionals which were introduced last year.

We received 68 responses from a range of stakeholders, including pharmacy professionals, pharmacy owners, professional bodies, legal firms and other regulators. We also held a number of meetings across Great Britain to raise awareness and obtain feedback. Our Council carefully considered the feedback received through the consultation before agreeing the final threshold criteria.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said:

“I am pleased to launch the new threshold criteria which will help ensure that the public are properly protected by appropriate, consistent and proportionate decisions about whether or not to refer a concern to the investigating committee”.

“We hope this, and all other, good decision making documents will be useful to anyone with an interest in the fitness to practise process, including those under investigation, pharmacy professionals and employers, the representative bodies and the people who may be thinking about raising a concern with us.

Please see the good decision making guidance here: