How we deal with concerns

Please read this important information before reporting a concern about a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy.

Stage one - concern received and assessed

First of all we consider whether the information we have received is meant for us and whether we have the power to carry out an investigation. We assess the information received to determine if further enquiries and investigation are required.

If the concern is not for us, but is for another regulator or agency, we will recommend liaising directly with them. 

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

Stage two - initial enquiries and investigation

Our fitness to practise process is there to protect patient safety and to consider any future risks to patients and the public. 

At this stage we will look to see that a registrant can demonstrate 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 will usually start an investigation.

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

Find out more about initial enquiries and investigation

Stage three - Investigating Committee (IC)

The IC meets in private. It can decide 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 a Fitness to Practise Committee for a full hearing.

Find out more about the Investigating Committee

Stage four - Fitness to Practise Committee (FtPC)

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

Find out more about the Fitness to Practise Committee

What information we can share

The majority of cases are closed during the first two stages. We set out what information we disclose about a case at each stage in our publication and disclosure policy [PDF 645 KB]. Also available in Welsh: Polisi cyhoeddi a datgelu CFfC [PDF 671 KB].

Find out more

Use the links below to browse through all the available information and guidance you might need when reporting or being involved with a concern:

Managing concerns: guidance and resources 

Fitness to Practise: glossary of terms

Fitness to Practise: frequently asked questions