Fitness to practise concerns in pharmacy education and training

We provide guidance to education and training providers on how to manage fitness to practice concerns about students and trainees. This is to help put in place robust and effective fitness to practice procedures.

Our guidance provides advice to everyone involved in the education and training of pharmacy professionals about their responsibilities in relation to the fitness to practise of students and trainees. It also gives information on how to assess and address fitness to practise concerns in students and trainees.

Although this guidance is aimed at education and training providers, students and trainees may also find it useful. It can help them understand how educators deal with professionalism concerns and fitness to practise issues.

We have updated the guidance so that it can be used by all providers of education and training which lead to pharmacy professional registration.

Our revised guidance:

  • applies to all providers of education and training that lead to pharmacy professional registration, including pharmacy technician education and training and pharmacist foundation training
  • includes information on recognising and managing issues before they result in fitness to practise concerns

 Case studies

We’ve developed a set of case studies that cover a range of issues that can occur during education and training, including serious misconduct, drug misuse and malpractice. They’re designed to help everyone, including students, trainees and organisations, to interpret and understand the principles of the guidance in practice.

The advice in the case studies is only illustrative of the sorts of concerns which could call a student’s fitness to practise into question and aren’t exhaustive. The outcome of each case will depend on its particular facts.

Other sources of support

Student and trainee pharmacy professionals

Support, advice and representation

  • Pharmacist support
  • Northern Ireland pharmacists’ advice and support service (PASS)
  • Pharmacists’ defence association (PDA)

Other resources for advice and support

  • NHS Education for Scotland (NES) - Psychosocial support and wellbeing page ('Learn' portal)
  • GPhC Pre-registration enquiries  (email)
  • General Medical Council (GMC) - Guidance on professionalism for medical students
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) -  Guidance on health and character
  • National Union of Students (NUS) 

Organisations reviewing complaints from students

  • Office of the Independent Adjudicator for higher education (England and Wales)
  • Scottish public services ombudsman (SPSO)
  • Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO)
  • Learning resources for healthcare professional students
  • Learning resource managing adverse events designed for use by healthcare students in NHS organisations
  • GMC student professionalism competition - (for medical students, multiple resources available)