What the Investigating Committee does

The Investigating Committee will review serious cases after we have carried out our investigation.  

The Investigating Committee operates, and makes decisions, independently of us. It’s accountable for the decisions it makes and must give reasons for its decisions.

What does the Investigating Committee do?

The committee meets in private to assess the issues in the case. The pharmacy professional being investigated will be invited to provide a written response on the allegation that their fitness to practise may be impaired, and on any recommendations the Registrar makes for dealing with the case.

A committee meeting is made up of three people: a chair, a pharmacy professional, and a non-pharmacy professional (lay member). A legal adviser is also present to assist the committee and a clinical adviser may be present to advise on health matters if necessary. 

What action can the Investigating Committee take?

The Investigating Committee considers the case and decides whether to take action or refer it on to the Fitness to Practise Committee.

If the Investigating Committee looks at the case, there are a range of outcomes it can decide on. These are: 

  • giving advice to the pharmacy professional 
  • issuing a warning (usually published)
  • putting agreements, known as ‘undertakings’, in place with the pharmacy professional if they accept their fitness to practise is affected 
  • taking no action
  • asking for the GPhC to carry out a further investigation
  • adjourning its meeting until it has more information
  • requiring a pharmacy professional to have a medical examination
  • getting advice from a legal, clinical or other adviser to consider rescission (cancelling a referral to the Fitness to Practise Committee) or tell the Registrar to consider bringing criminal proceedings against a pharmacy professional

How does the committee reach a decision?

It’s important the Investigating Committee decides on the appropriate outcome to protect patient safety and make sure people have confidence to use pharmacy services.  The committee uses this guidance to reach a decision about an allegation.

The Investigating Committee will refer to this document when deciding on what agreements to put in place with the pharmacy professional.

Find out more about the Investigating Committee and its members.

I’m a pharmacy professional whose case is being referred to the Investigating Committee. What do I need to do?

We’ll write to you before the committee meeting and invite you to provide a written response for the Investigating Committee to consider.

Once the committee has met, we’ll write to you again to communicate the Investigating Committee’s decision about the allegation made about your practise. This will be within 10 days of the date a decision has been made.

You can find out more about the process in our factsheet.