How we deal with concerns

We guide you through the steps we take when dealing with concerns from the public. 

We also provide more information for pharmacy professionals who are facing a concern or want to make a declaration.

Step one: initial assessment

We need to consider whether the information in relation to a concern we have received is meant for us and if we can investigate it. We’ll assess the information you send us to determine if further enquiries and an investigation are required.

If the concern is not for us, we’ll recommend contacting other regulators if appropriate.

We will respond to your concern as soon as possible, but timescales can vary depending on how many concerns we are dealing with.

Stage two: investigation

At this stage we’ll look to see that a pharmacy professional demonstrates the skills, knowledge, character and health needed to do their job safely and effectively. If the information we receive raises concerns about a pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise, we’ll usually start an investigation. Our fitness to practise process is there to protect patient safety and to consider any future risks to patients and the public. 

Investigations can take between three to nine months from the point the concern was first raised. Only the most serious cases progress to stages three and four and are referred to the Investigating Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee. 

Stage three: Investigating Committee

The Investigating Committee meets to decide whether to close a case with no further action, or to close it after giving advice or a warning to the pharmacy professional. The committee can also refer the case to the Fitness to Practise Committee for a full hearing. 

Stage four: Fitness to Practise Committee 

Fitness to practise hearings are usually held in public. If the committee decides the pharmacy professional is not fit to practise it can either give them a warning, set conditions that limit how they can practise, or suspend them or remove them from the register.

What information we can share

Our publications and disclosure policy sets out the information we disclose at each stage of a case. Download and read the policy in English or read it in Welsh.