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Standards for today and tomorrow

14 April 2016

Last week we launched one of the most important consultations we’ve ever undertaken, on new standards for pharmacy professionals.    

You may be asking ‘why we are changing the standards?’ What will these changes mean in practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians?  What changes in the sector prompted or informed the new standards?   

At first glance the new standards may suggest that not much has changed. But they do represent a departure from those currently governing pharmacy professionals. We’re proposing to reduce the number of standards from 57 to nine, underpinned by guidance and examples of the kinds of behaviours that describe them. 

And in focusing on comparing the existing standards with those proposed to replace them, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of a number of more profound changes in what the standards themselves represent.   An enhanced focus on person centred care; a greater emphasis on professional responsibility and accountability, and last but not least, highlighting the importance of leadership and teamwork.

Against the backdrop of a sector that is changing and maturing, we have written these standards to be flexible and applicable to pharmacy professionals wherever they work. Rather than an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts, we are providing you a framework, with guidance and support, which relies on your knowledge, skills and professionalism to determine the best way to do your job. The draft standards reflect the attitudes and behaviours that you and the public told us were important. They also reflect a call for greater accountability to yourself, to your peers and to your patients.

Amidst all this change, however, there also is continuity. This consultation on standards reflects our ongoing commitment to promoting a culture of professionalism and to improving outcomes for patients and the public. My hope is that this consultation will provide the impetus for you to start a conversation with your peers and other health professionals about your practice and how to work effectively together; and also to consider how you can provide person-centred care. 

And, of course, we also want to hear from you.

Read more about the standards, take the consultation survey and let us know if we have got it right – not just for today, but for tomorrow.