Routes for pharmacy professionals from Ukraine to join our register, and how to help the people of Ukraine through donations and other support
The GPhC, like many organisations and individuals working in health and pharmacy, is considering how to support people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
We have received questions from individuals, pharmacy organisations and employers about routes for pharmacy professionals from Ukraine to join our register, as well as about how to help the people of Ukraine through donations and other support. We have provided the information below to help answer these questions.
Ukrainian pharmacy professionals coming to Great Britain
We have received queries from employers and pharmacy organisations who are considering how they may be able to offer employment opportunities to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who qualified in Ukraine and have come to Great Britain.
We welcome all those wishing to work in pharmacy, in any capacity. We would highlight that there are many roles across the pharmacy team that do not require registration.
We would encourage any Ukrainian pharmacy professionals who want to register with us to contact us directly so we can give them advice and support. Our registration team will be as flexible as possible to support Ukrainian pharmacy professionals by talking through individual circumstances, including financial difficulties, obtaining documents or other challenges.
Ukrainian pharmacists with the necessary English language skills can apply to join the GPhC register via one of the following routes:
A relevant European Economic Area qualification, listed in Directive 2005/36/EC
Pharmacists that hold a relevant EEA qualification (started after the country’s reference date as listed within Annex V, section 5.6.2 of the Directive) may apply to the GPhC for recognition of their qualification by the GPhC, and if their application is successful, they may then apply to join the register.
Overseas Pharmacists’ Assessment Programme (OSPAP)
This is a one-year full-time postgraduate diploma for those who have qualified as a pharmacist outside of the EEA. After completing OSPAP, applicants would then complete 52 weeks of foundation training in England, Scotland or Wales, before sitting the GPhC registration assessment.
Full details are available on the Overseas qualified pharmacists registration page on our website.
Pharmacy professionals who want to register as a pharmacy technician should also speak to our registration team about their existing qualifications and experience. Usually, additional training would be required plus pharmacy experience in Great Britain, as well as providing evidence of English language skills, before it is possible to register. We can offer advice on how to progress with this route and whether it is suitable.
Full details are available on the Internationally qualified pharmacy technicians registration page on our website.
Supporting people forced to flee Ukraine
Pharmacy teams and pharmacies across Great Britain will be playing a critical role in supporting people who have fled the war in Ukraine, including when they first arrive in Great Britain and may need emergency supplies of medicines or other care. We’ve previously heard some powerful examples of how pharmacy teams have supported refugees in their communities, including during the recent conflict in Afghanistan, and would encourage all pharmacy teams to consider what they can do to help.
We recognise that in these challenging circumstances, pharmacy professionals may need to depart from established procedures, including when making emergency supplies. Our regulatory standards are designed to be flexible and to provide a framework for decision-making in a wide range of situations.
Providing donations of medicines and medical devices to Ukraine
We have received some queries from people who would like to donate medicines or medical devices to Ukraine and are seeking advice from us.
Our standards for registered pharmacies require that medicines and medical devices are obtained from a reputable source, safe and fit for purpose, supplied to the patient safely and disposed of safely and securely.
In relation to the donation of pharmacy stock, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have issued guidance in Medicines, Ethics and Practice, which advises the consideration of World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance before donating medicines. This guidance encourages the donation of money to charitable organisations to enable them to purchase supplies, rather than the donation of medicines.
The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) have also recently released guidance on humanitarian aid for Ukraine.