We have closed our offices in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and are working remotely. Please send all correspondence by email.

Q&A: Coronavirus

Please find below answers to questions we are being asked in relation to the coronavirus pandemic

We will regularly update this Q&A.

Questions from members of the public

Questions from pre-registration trainees and tutors

Questions from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy owners

Questions about temporary registration during the COVID-19 emergency    


Questions from members of the public
 

A pharmacy is inflating prices for non-medicine items such as hand sanitiser or masks. Is this a breach of your standards and will you investigate this pharmacy?

We have issued a statement from our Chief Executive which makes clear that profiteering during the current challenging situation by inflating prices of shortage products risks bringing the profession ino disrepute.

We are reminding pharmacy owners and pharmacy professionals that they need to continue meeting our standards at all times during the pandemic.
 

Can the pharmacy give me advice and medicines to help me treat the symptoms of coronavirus?

Do not go into a pharmacy, GP or hospital if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms (high temperature or a new, continuous cough).

You can ask someone else to collect your medicines for you, or order online.

Read the NHS advice on what to do if you or a family member has symptoms of coronavirus
 

A pharmacy is refusing to deliver my medicines to me, even though I need to self-isolate. What should I do?

We understand the challenges you are facing in getting your medicines while you self-isolate.

We also recognise that pharmacies are working under significant pressure at the moment because of coronavirus and may not have enough capacity or resources to deliver medicines to everyone who is self-isolating.

We would recommend you ask neighbours, friends or family if they would be able to collect your medicines on your behalf and then phone you just before leaving them on the doorstep for you to collect.


Questions from pre-registration trainees and tutors
 

Should I continue to follow the GPhC pre-reg scheme requirements, that are detailed in the manual, during the pandemic?

In the current situation, we appreciate that you are under significant pressure to deliver pharmacy services during the pandemic. This means that you may not be able to keep training in a work environment which meets the pre-registration scheme requirements, and that you will be asked to do work which does not form part of your training plan. 

We will take a flexible and proportionate approach to the scheme requirements during this period. Safeguarding patient care and your own health are key priorities. You should follow government guidelines on taking precautions against COVID-19.

We would also highlight the recent joint guidance on pre-registration training issued by Health Education England, Heath Education and Improvement Wales, and NHS Education Scotland which may help tutors to support trainees during this time.
 

Does my tutor still have to complete my progress reviews?

Yes, progress reviews are still required, but we understand that both you and your tutor are under significant pressure at this time and you may not be able to complete these appraisals at the time you planned to.

If you complete these appraisals later than planned, it will not automatically affect your eligibility to sit the assessment.
 

What is the guidance around 40-day absence now?

You will not be ineligible to sit the registration assessment, or to register simply because you have taken more than 40 days of absence due to the pandemic.

If you need to take temporary leave, either to self-isolate or because of illness, you should speak to your employer or your tutor, and arrange your absence in the normal way. You do not need to let us know.

If you need to be absent for a longer period of time, your tutor should assess where you should pick up your training. 
 

I am still employed by the same employer but have been deployed to work in different places. Do I have to complete a change of training details form?

You may be asked to work in different locations or departments, sometimes at short notice, during the pandemic.

It’s important that you receive the right support and supervision, wherever you are working -  and that your employer follows the recent joint guidance on pre-registration training.

You do not need to let us know about changes in your location unless you move to a different site for more than ten weeks, or if the change is permanent- that is, that you are not going to return to your previous training site.

You should only work in another pharmacy location which:

  • is part of the organisation or company which employs you as a pre-registration trainee
  • is directly linked to your training site
  • you have been redeployed to by your training organisation

If you are changing sites for more than ten weeks, or permanently, you should consider where you are in your training and if you need to bank the time you have already completed. You can find out more about banking your training in section 2.22 and 2.23 of the pre-registration manual.
 

I am on a multi sector training programme and I have not been able to move to a different sector as planned. How does this affect my training?

We understand that supporting the delivery of pharmacy services during the pandemic means that you may not be able to keep to your original training plan. 

If you can’t move to a different location as planned, you should work with your tutor to decide how you can progress your training in your current placement. 
 

Can I work in a pharmacy being supervised by one of my relatives if this is more aligned to current government socialisation guidelines?

If you are asked by your employer to work in a pharmacy which is supervised by a relative and which is part of the same organisation, you can do so. During this time, although your relative is supervising your work, they should not assess your training progress or be responsible for delivering any part of your training plan. They can’t be your tutor, and this can’t be a permanent move.

Unless your employer asks you to, you should not work in another pharmacy which is not part of the organisation or company which employs you as a pre-registration trainee, or is not directly linked to your training site, except as a volunteer or support staff.
 

Is it ok if I am not able to work with my tutor(s) for 28 hours a week over four days, or need to be supervised by a pharmacist who has been registered with less than three years?

Yes. You may be asked to work with and be supervised by different members of staff other than your designated tutor(s), sometimes at short notice, during the pandemic. 

It’s important that you receive the right support when you are working, and that your employer follows the recent joint guidance on pre-registration training.

You do not need to let us know if you are not able to be supervised by your tutor(s) for up to ten weeks. This will not affect your eligibility to sit the assessment or to meet the registration requirements.
 

If I need to self-isolate, feel that my work environment poses too much risk or I need to take a break for my own wellbeing, can my employers make me come to work?

You should follow government guidelines on taking precautions against COVID-19, and talk to your tutor and your employer to manage your concerns.

You may also find it helpful to contact other organisations such as Pharmacist Support, which offers free and confidential support covering wellbeing. Contact them by phone on 0808 168 2233 or email info@pharmacistsupport.org
 

Will a new trainee be able to start at my site with my tutor, if I am still working there?

We are currently considering the arrangements for trainees due to start the 2020/21 pre-registration scheme.

We will take into account the fact that the 2020 assessment sittings have been postponed, and that your training may not be completed on time.  We aim to make sure that any impact on current trainees is minimised.
 

Can I work from home?

If you want to work from home, you should talk to your employer. Their policy should follow government advice.

Having a temporary period of working from home will not directly affect your eligibility to sit the assessment or to register where all other criteria are met.
 

I have accepted the offer of a job, which is dependent on me passing the assessment and joining the register in August. How does the situation affect my job offer?

We are working with a range of stakeholders, including employers, to work out how to make sure trainees are able to progress through their training, and have the opportunity to show that they meet the criteria for full registration, within a reasonable timescale. 

We will provide more information as soon as possible.
 

If I am unable to work, chose to take a break from training, or am unable to sit the registration assessment for the second or third time in 2020, will the eight -year time limit in the GPhC criteria for registration be extended to accommodate this?

We will take in to account the situation of trainees who were due to sit the registration assessment in 2020, and the issue of the time limit to meet the registration criteria.

We will provide more information as soon as possible.
 

Is the registration assessment still going ahead?

We have taken the decision to postpone the 2020 registration assessments. We are currently considering all key issues in relation to the registration assessment and venues, and monitoring advice from Public Health England.

We will provide more information as soon as we can.
 

Can I do my training online or remotely?

Please discuss this with your training provider and tutor- there may be parts of your training that can be done online, for example a first aid course.


Questions from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy owners
 

Do I still need to complete revalidation during the coronavirus pandemic?

Due to the challenges and pressures on the pharmacy sector at this time, and the increasing number of cases of COVID-19, we have decided to postpone the revalidation submission date for those registrants who are due to submit between 20 March and 31 August 2020 (inclusive). 

If you have a submission date between March and August 2020, you will need to renew your registration but you will not need to submit any revalidation. When you renew in 2021, you will need to submit a full record of six entries.  You will not need to submit any of the entries previously due for submission in 2020.

We will review the situation for registrants due to submit their revalidation records after 31 August 2020 at a later date and will keep you updated.

If your revalidation submission date is due in the next few weeks you may receive a message that you have missed your submission deadline. Please ignore this message; it will be removed from your record as we update our systems over the next 4-6 weeks.

If I don’t need to submit my revalidation records till my next submission date in 2021, does this mean that I don’t need to do revalidation?

No, while time may be more limited during the pandemic, and you will be busier than usual, we expect you to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date and to reflect on your learning. You should still record, where possible, your professional development activities and learning, the only change is that you are not required to submit revalidation on your normal submission date.
 

If I am not required to submit my revalidation records because my submission is between March and August 2020, do I also not need to renew my registration?

Although you are not expected to submit your revalidation record on your normal submission due date in 2020, all registrants will be expected to renew their registration as normal in 2020. The postponement only applies to the submission of revalidation records.
 

I am going on an extended period of leave and my submission date is after 31 August 2020, do I need to submit revalidation?

We will review the situation for registrants due to submit their revalidation records after 31 August 2020 at a later date and will keep you updated.

I am returning from an extended period of leave and my submission date is after 31 August 2020, do I need to do revalidation? 

We will review the situation for registrants due to submit their revalidation records after 31 August 2020 at a later date and will keep you updated.

We expect all registrants to keep up-to-date with developments, and reflect on their learning, particularly with reference to COVID-19. We recommend, where possible, registrants maintain and record their professional development activities and learning.

 What will happen about next year? Will I have less time to do and submit my revalidation records?

If your submission date is between March and August 2020 you will not have to submit your revalidation records this year. Instead you will be required to submit your full revalidation record of four CPD records, one peer discussion and one reflective account on your normal submission due date in 2021.

We will review the situation for registrants due to submit their revalidation records after 31 August 2020 at a later date and will keep you updated. 
 

Is the GPhC still processing my application and how long will it take?

In line with advice from the UK Government, the vast majority of our staff are now working from home. We are working hard to make sure we are continuing to provide all of our regulatory services and functions, even though we are doing it at a distance. Some applications may take longer to process because of the different ways in which we are having to work in the current situation.

If you have recently submitted a completed form by post which reached us after Friday 13 March, we may take longer to process it as we currently have limited access to our post.

If you are planning to submit an application which does not require documents to be posted, please send a scanned copy to us by email at the address on the form.

If you need to post documents with your application, please send a scanned copy of your application and supporting documents application to the email address on the form and wait for confirmation that we have received it and that it is clearly legible, before posting the hard copy to us. This wil also provide you with a digital copy of your application for your records.

We are collecting post from the office regularly, but would encourage you wherever possible to contact us via email at info@pharmacyregulation.org.
 

Will fitness to practise investigations continue?

Fitness to practise investigations are continuing during this time. We will be prioritising our investigations work, but we anticipate that unfortunately there may be some delays in making progress as quickly as we would like.  This is because we will have limited access to our office facilities, for example receiving incoming post, and reduced resources as staff adapt to working under different arrangements during this time. We are also reliant on third parties to provide us with information, many of whom are frontline staff, and they too are likely to be affected by current events. 
 

How will you be dealing with fitness to practise hearings- are planned hearings going ahead?

Public protection and public safety are our overriding objective, and with this in mind there are some hearings that are more critical than others. On that basis we have decided to prioritise interim order applications, interim order reviews and principal hearing reviews. Both interim order applications and interim order reviews can proceeding on papers, if all parties agree, so we will seek to gain that agreement. 

Principal hearing reviews are often contested and need a formal hearing as result. We have a handful of cases in this category in the coming months and where these are contested, we will look to deal with each matter on a case by case basis.

Our prioritisation plan will mean that principal hearings listed for the next two months will be postponed.

All Investigating Committee meetings will proceed remotely.

Find out more about how we are managing hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic [PDF 136 KB]
 

What procedures do I need to follow during the coronavirus pandemic?

The UK Government, Devolved Administrations and the NHS in each country have all issued official guidance and advice.

We expect pharmacy professionals and pharmacy owners to keep up-to-date with the official advice and guidance and to follow it in practice- in particular, the standard operating procedure for community pharmacies in England and the guidance for community pharmacies in Scotland.

See the key advice and information in our recent Regulate article on COVID-19
 

Are you still carrying out any inspections during the coronavirus pandemic?

We have stopped routine inspections of pharmacies and producing inspection reports. Find out more about how are inspectors are working with pharmacy teams

We will continue to act quickly on any information we receive which suggests a risk to patient safety within a particular pharmacy.
 

How can I contact my inspector for advice about coronavirus?

You can send an email to covidqueries@pharmacyregulation.org and your query will be passed onto an inspector or other relevant member of the team.
 

High numbers of our patients are having to self-isolate and so can’t collect their medicines. Can their neighbours or other volunteers pick up their medicines for them?

We recognise that during the coronavirus pandemic you may have to work differently, including in relation to getting medicines to your patients.

Please follow guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), PSNC and other pharmacy organisations in relation to arrangements for collection and delivery.
 

How can I keep myself and my team safe during the pandemic?

Please follow all advice from the government and NHS in your country; keep up-to-date with their resources.

Please contact the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, Community Pharmacy Scotland or Community Pharmacy Wales for more information and advice. They are liaising directly with government on issues such as protective equipment and procedures.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has also produced a range of relevant resources and guidance on their website.

You can also contact our inspectors for advice.

If the pharmacist cannot get into the pharmacy, and a medicine needs to be supplied, can they supervise the supply remotely?

The responsible pharmacist has a duty to secure the safe and effective running of the pharmacy in relation to the retail sale and supply of all medicines.

We recognise there may be situations where the responsible pharmacist unavoidably has to leave the pharmacy at short notice part-way through the day, (if they are unwell and need to self-isolate, for example).

Where no locum cover can be secured at the pharmacy, and recognising the potential effects of the current pandemic, it would be in the patient’s best interest for medicines already dispensed to be supplied from the pharmacy rather than not supplied at all, even though this may not be in strict accordance with the law as normally understood.

Such an approach should only be adopted for a short time period, where other options have been exhausted. Apart from such exceptional circumstances, even in the current pandemic situation, arrangements must be made for a pharmacist to be at the pharmacy, including to undertake the responsible pharmacist role and supervise the sale and supply of prescription-only medicines and pharmacy-only medicines.

You can read more about our approach to regulation in challenging circumstances in our recent joint statement with the PSNI.
 

I have noticed that locums are charging higher rates than normal. Is this something you can investigate or that you have a view on?

We would remind all pharmacy professionals and pharmacy owners of their responsibilities to meet our standards at all times and to make the care of patients and the public their first concern.

We expect all professionals to act in accordance with professional standards and never more so than in these extraordinary times. 

It is important that everyone plays their part in ensuring that pharmacies across England, Scotland and Wales can continue to operate safely so that patients and members of the public can get the medicines they need. 

Profiteering to take selfish advantage of the current challenging situation risks bringing the profession into disrepute at a time when public confidence generally is so fragile, and so important.
 

Can we split packs of 100 paracetamol for sale as a Pharmacy (P) medicine, as we cannot get supplies of packs of 16 and 32 paracetamol?

We understand that pharmacies may be experiencing difficulties in obtaining over the counter (OTC) pack sizes of paracetamol from wholesalers at this time.

It is possible for pharmacies to break down larger packs to prepare smaller packs to sell to people in this situation who need them. Pharmacy professionals should use their professional judgement to decide whether supplies are appropriate to be made, taking into account the circumstances.

It is recommended that any packs supplied consist of whole strips, either packs of 20 or 30. And where large packs of loose tablets are to be used, it is recommended that a pack size of up to a maximum of 32 is supplied.

These packs should not be placed on the open shelves for patients to select. Instead, place notices at the usual location to inform patients that supplies are available from the pharmacist or the pharmacy team at the pharmacy’s medicines counter.

These assembled smaller packs must be labelled with the following:

  • the name, dosage form and strength of the product
  • directions for use of the product
  • precautions relating to the use of the product 
  • the date on which the product is sold or supplied
  • the name and address of the person who sells or supplies the product (that is, the name and address details of the pharmacy, which would usually appear on a dispensing label)

So that people have the necessary safety information to use the medicines safely, include the following:      

  • the wording 'Store out of the reach and sight of children'
  • the expiry date of the medicine (which is even more important when packs consist of loose tablets and not blister strips)
  • if possible, the batch number and details of the manufacturer, (or that this information is recorded at the pharmacy) 
  • if possible, the capital letter “P” within a rectangle, with no other marks in the rectangle

For paracetamol products specifically

If the product contains paracetomol, make sure the following wording is included as well as the information above: 

  • 'Contains paracetamol' if the word 'paracetamol' doesn't appear on the outer and immediate packaging
  • 'Do not take more medicine than the label tells you to. If you do not get better, talk to your doctor',  next to either the directions for use or the recommended dosage

Unless the product containing paracetamol is wholly or mainly intended for children twelve years old or younger, include the words: 'Do not take anything else containing paracetamol while taking this medicine', and:

  • if a package leaflet accompanying the product includes the words: 'Talk to a doctor at once if you take too much of this medicine even if you feel well. This is because too much paracetamol can cause delayed, serious liver damage', add the words: 'Talk to a doctor at once if you take too much of this medicine, even if you feel well'; or
  • if no package leaflet accompanies the product or the package leaflet does not include those words, add the words 'Talk to a doctor at once if you take too much of this medicine, even if you feel well. This is because too much paracetamol can cause delayed, serious liver damage'.

If the product contains paracetamol and is wholly or mainly intended for children twelve years old or younger, include the words: 'Do not give anything else containing paracetamol while giving this medicine' and:

  • if a package leaflet accompanying the product includes the words, 'Talk to a doctor at once if your child takes too much of this medicine even if they seem well. This is because too much paracetamol can cause delayed, serious liver damage', add the words: 'Talk to a doctor at once if your child takes too much of this medicine, even if they seem well'; or
  • if no package leaflet accompanies the product or the package leaflet does not include those words, the words “Talk to a doctor at once if your child takes too much of this medicine, even if they seem well. This is because too much paracetamol can cause delayed, serious liver damage'.

Ideally people should be provided with a package (patient information) leaflet with each supply.  

Please also refer to the standards for registered pharmacies [PDF 985 KB] (particularly Principles 1, 2, and 4), and the standards for pharmacy professionals [PDF 375 KB].

It is important to provide safe, person-centred care, providing all the relevant information in a way that the person can understand. 

We would also recommend that you contact your indemnity provider for further advice.

We have temporary support staff helping us in the pharmacy during the pandemic. Is there any training they can do to help them in their roles?

Buttercups training offer several online courses for different pharmacy support staff roles. Find out more in the COVID-19 section of their website. We recommend you also contact your current training provider for advice. 
 

I currently work in a non-patient-facing role but want to help out in the NHS or community pharmacy during the COVID-19 emergency.  What do I need to consider and how can I find a role?

You would have to work within the limits of your knowledge and skills and refer to others when needed, if you chose to return to a patient-facing role. You would also need to make sure you had appropriate indemnity insurance for your practice – your current indemnity provider (if you have one) and/or your new employer should help with this.

Please find below information on how to find a role in your country.

Roles in England

Please complete this survey managed by NHS England/ Improvement if you are interested in working for the NHS or in community pharmacy in England. More information is available for returning pharmacy professionals on issues including indemnity, pensions and deployment on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.

Roles in Scotland

Please visit the COVID-19 accelerated recruitment page on the NHS Scotland Careers website and register on the portal if you would like to work for NHSScotland

Please also visit the Scottish Government website for more information on returning to practise in Scotland.

Roles in Wales

Please complete this survey managed by NHS England/ Improvement if you are interested in working for the NHS in Wales. Your data will be passed onto NHS Wales. More information is also available on the Welsh Government website.

If you are interested in working in community pharmacy in Wales, please email info@cpwales.org.uk with your name, phone number, email address, location you are interested in working in and any other relevant information.
 

Can you provide any refresher training to help me prepare to go back into a patient-facing role?

Please contact the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, which has produced a specfic guide is to support pharmacy professionals in returning to pharmacy practice via the temporary register,  Health Education and Improvement Wales or NHS Education for Scotland, depending on which country you live in, as they can signpost you to relevant training and resources.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced guidance for pharmacy workforce about COVID-19 which you may find useful if you are returning to a patient-facing role.


Questions about temporary registration during the COVID-19 emergency

I'm a pharmacist or pharmacy technician who voluntarily removed myself from our register, or decided not to renew my registration. Can I re-join the register so that I can practise during the outbreak of COVID-19?

In an emergency, we have powers under the Pharmacy Order 2010 to temporarily register fit, proper and suitably experienced people to act as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to help protect public health.

Read our policy on temporary registration arrangements [PDF 156 KB]

The temporary register includes pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have voluntarily removed themselves from the GPhC register or were removed for non-renewal in the last three years.

We have contacted the people in those categories to explain what this may mean for them and offer them the option to opt-out from being on the temporary register.
 

What are the requirements for temporary registrants?

Anyone who is entered temporarily on the register will be required to meet the standards for pharmacy professionals and have the appropriate indemnity insurance.
 

How can I find a role as a pharmacy professional now I’m on the temporary register?

Roles in England

Please complete this survey managed by NHS England/ Improvement if you are interested in working for the NHS or in community pharmacy in England. More information is available for returning pharmacy professionals on issues including indemnity, pensions and deployment on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.

Roles in Scotland

Please visit the COVID-19 accelerated recruitment page on the NHS Scotland Careers website and register on the portal if you would like to work for NHSScotland

Please also visit the Scottish Government website for more information on returning to practise in Scotland.

Roles in Wales

Please complete this survey managed by NHS England/ Improvement if you are interested in working for the NHS in Wales. Your data will be passed onto NHS Wales. More information is also available on the Welsh Government website.

If you are interested in working in community pharmacy in Wales, please email info@cpwales.org.uk with your name, phone number, email address, location you are interested in working in and any other relevant information.
 

How can I find out about practical details about deployment, pay and pensions?

If you are interested in working as a pharmacy professional during the emergency, please also visit the following websites for further information about issues including deployment, pay, pensions or indemnity insurance:

NHS England and NHS Improvement website

Scottish Government website

Welsh Government website
 

I’m an employer- what do I need to do if I want to employ someone on the temporary register?

If you are a pharmacy owner or employer, when employing a pharmacy professional on the temporary register, you must make sure:

  • the person’s name appears on the temporary register
  • you carry out appropriate identity checks for all staff they employ
  • all staff have the right knowledge, skills and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, including in relation to their English language skills  
  • all staff have appropriate indemnity insurance for the tasks they carry out, including pharmacy professionals on the temporary register
  • all staff they employ are fit to practise in that particular role

We have produced some guidance to explain your responsibilities
 

What if I left the register over three years ago, but still want to re-join the register to help out during the pandemic?

We are currently prioritising those with recent experience, meaning those who have left the register within the last three years.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who left the register over three years ago and who want to re-join the register would have to meet our requirements for returning to the register.

There will be many roles within pharmacy and the wider health service which would not require registration but where your skills and experience could be used.  See our guide to working in pharmacy when not on the register which provides useful information on what roles you can take on when not on the register, and what tasks and roles can only be carried by registered pharmacists.Please visit the NHS website in your country for more details.

We are keeping our temporary registration policy under review, and are in contact with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS and other stakeholders.
 

How will the temporary register work in practice?

The temporary register is available on our website and is separate from the main register.

We are contacting those who have been added to the temporary register via email to let them know that they now have temporary registration and explain what they need to consider if they do want to practise during the emergency.

We will provide updates on any developments via our website, so please keep checking the homepage for more information.

And we will signpost to information provided by the NHS and other organisations which will provide answers to questions about practical arrangements for employment.
 

Can I help without being in a directly patient-facing role?

Yes. We understand there will be opportunities for non-patient facing roles, such as working with NHS 111. Please visit the NHS website in your country for further details.
 

Will I have to pay a fee to go back onto the register?

No, you will not have to pay any fee to temporarily return to the register.
 

Will I be expected to complete records for revalidation, if I am called to assist with the pandemic?

We understand this is an unprecedented situation that is highly challenging. We do not expect pharmacy professionals who have been placed on the temporary register to carry out and record revalidation activities. 
 

Can you provide any refresher training to help me prepare to go back into practice?

Please contact the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, which has produced a specfic guide is to support pharmacy professionals in returning to pharmacy practice via the temporary register,  Health Education and Improvement Wales or NHS Education for Scotland, depending on which country you live in, as they can signpost you to relevant training and resources.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced guidance for pharmacy workforce about COVID-19 which you may find useful if you are returning to practice.
 

Do I need to send in an application or provide documents before I can re-join the register?

You will not need to apply to the GPhC for registration or provide any documents to us.

We would add anyone eligible for temporary registration who has not opted out after an emergency is declared. Your employer would carry out identity checks, and may also ask for other documentation.
 

What would happen if a fitness to practise concern was raised about me while I was practising on the temporary register?

Where a concern is raised about a pharmacy professional with temporary registration, it will be considered on the specific facts of the case, taking into account the factors relevant to the environment in which the professional is working and the risk to patient and public safety. We will also take account of any relevant information about resource, guidelines or protocols in place at the time.
 

The fitness to practice concern process for temporary registrants

We will quickly assess the nature and extent of the risk to patient safety. This will be done by undertaking a swift and thorough review of the available evidence to understand the seriousness of the concern and if there is a real risk to patients. We will assess whether the professional is able to carry out their role safely and effectively or whether continuing to allow temporary registration would undermine trust and confidence in the professions.

Once we have reviewed the evidence, we will administratively remove a professional with temporary registration if the evidence suggests that removal is:

  • necessary to protect the public
  • otherwise in the public interest
  • in the interests of the pharmacy professional

Administrative removal means that the registrar will immediately remove the person from the temporary register and they will no longer be able to practise as a pharmacy professional.

If we decide to not administratively remove then the professional will be eligible to remain in practice until the need for temporary professionals passes and they are removed with all others.

Find out more about how we will deal with concerns about pharmacy professionals with temporary registration in our guidance

I’m a pre-registration trainee or a pharmacy student and would like to help. Is it possible for me to join the temporary register?

There are currently no plans to add pre-registration trainees or students to the temporary register.

There will be many roles within pharmacy and the wider health service which would not require registration but where your skills and experience could be used.  Please visit the NHS website in your country for more details.
 

I’m an overseas pharmacist and would like to come and work in the UK during the pandemic.  Can I join the temporary register?

The following advice is subject to any travel restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19.

If you are an EEA qualified pharmacist, under EU legislation EEA qualified pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can work in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis.

You would not make a full application for registration as required by the General Pharmaceutical Council Registration Rules, and therefore cannot be registered in either Part 1 or Part 2 of the register. Instead, you could be entered in Part 4 of our register.

You can find out more about temporary and occasional provision in the registration section of our website.

If you are a overseas pharmacist from outside the EEA, you would have to meet our requirements for registration, which include an OSPAP course, before being eligible for registration, so you would not be able to come and work as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician immediately. You could however apply for other roles within the health and care service that do not require registration.