Reporting a concern: guidance for the public

We hope the information and resources below are helpful in explaining what might happen if you raise a concern with us.

A pharmacy professional is fit to practise when they have the skills, knowledge, character and health necessary to do their job safely and effectively. They must also act professionally and meet the principles of good practice set out in our standards, guidance and advice.

If the information we receive from a concern or declaration raises concerns about a pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise, we’ll make enquiries, and might start an investigation to check the pharmacy professional can demonstrate they’re fit to practise.

We may also carry out an investigation if one of our inspectors identifies a concern about a pharmacy professional during a visit to a pharmacy.

How investigations are carried out

How an investigation is carried out depends on the particular facts of a case. Usually an investigation will include:

  • speaking to the person who raised the concern and any witnesses
  • speaking to the pharmacy professional involved
  • working closely with GPhC inspectors
  • visiting the pharmacy premises where an alleged incident took place

What to expect during an investigation

We work to complete investigations as soon as possible. They can take between four and 12 months from the point the concern was first raised. We aim to update parties on the progress of our investigation at least every two months. 


What to expect once an investigation concludes

When the investigation has been concluded, we’ll review all the available evidence and determine what action to take. 

All cases are assessed against our investigations criteria guidance, which you can read in English or in Welsh. We use this guidance to decide whether to refer the case to the Investigating Committee or Fitness to Practise Committee. Only the most serious cases are referred on.

If it’s not necessary to refer the concern to one of our committees, we’ll write to explain the reasons why and, where appropriate, suggest other organisations that may be able to help. 

If the case is referred onto the committees, it’s likely we’ll need more information about what happened. We may also need to invite you to attend a committee hearing to read out your witness statement and answer questions.