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Pharmacy students' 'values' could be assessed in university interviews

Universities could conduct face-to-face interviews with prospective students to assess their “values” under changes proposed by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

As part of a 12-week consultation – which the regulator expects to launch in January – the GPhC will propose universities interview pharmacy students in person – including those applying through the clearing process – prior to admission, it said in council papers last week (November 8).

The interviews will allow course providers to “assess the values of prospective students” and their “overall communication skills”, as well as their qualifications, the GPhC said.

Universities would be permitted to interview candidates unable to attend in person online via Skype or Facetime, it added.

“Values” of candidates

The requirement for universities to assess the “values” of candidates “will ensure course providers are thinking more widely about the all-round abilities of prospective students and their suitability to become pharmacists”, the GPhC said.

When asked by C+D, the GPhC expanded on its definition of “values”, explaining that it covered attributes in the NHS Constitution such as “respect”, “dignity” and “compassion”.

The regulator also highlighted the nine attributes that Health Education England (HEE) looks for in pre-registration pharmacists, which range from “person-centred care” to “professional integrity and ethics”.

HEE’s overall recruitment policy is “values based” and also aligns with the standards of the NHS Constitution, the GPhC pointed out to C+D.

The interviews are one of a number of GPhC proposals to overhaul the initial training and education of the profession, to ensure “pharmacists of the future have the necessary knowledge, attitudes and behaviours”, it added.

Read what else the GPhC is proposing here.

What do you make of the GPhC's proposals?

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