Tackling discrimination and bias: our hearings and outcomes guidance

The GPhC has published updated hearings and outcomes guidance for decision-makers in fitness to practise cases.

We consulted on changes to our hearings and outcomes guidance for decision-makers, to strengthen our approach to dealing with cases involving discrimination, harassment and bullying. 

The updated guidance emphasises how seriously concerns involving discrimination need to be taken, and that fitness to practise decision-makers should, when deciding on an outcome, take into consideration the seriousness of any discriminatory behaviour.

The guidance also highlights that committee members need to carefully consider cultural sensitivities during a hearing and consequently when making decisions about a pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise. This includes a consideration of any cultural or individual characteristics such as the way people communicate depending on their background, or whether English is their first language or not.

Dionne Spence, Chief Enforcement Officer and Deputy Registrar, said:

“There is no place for discrimination in health and care and we are committed to making positive changes to play our part in tackling all forms of discrimination. 

“We are committed to managing the concerns we receive in a way that is free from discrimination and bias. Part of this commitment involves taking appropriate action when concerns are raised about discriminatory behaviour by pharmacy professionals. 

“We also want to make sure that not only are we taking concerns of this nature seriously but that we are tackling any potential bias in our decisions and that they are fair. 

“This updated guidance for the people making decisions in our fitness to practise cases will help us to achieve this.”

The new guidance is available on the GPhC website and comes into effect from Monday 25 March.