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GPhC introduces 'peer discussions' in major CPD revamp

Pharmacists will have to conduct a “peer discussion” once a year as part of General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) proposals for “revalidation”.

As part of the proposals, pharmacy professionals will only have to submit four continuing professional development (CPD) entries – down from nine – along with a “reflective" written account of how they met one of the regulator’s professional standards, and a discussion with a peer “where you reflect on your practice”.

Why is the GPhC making these changes?

The proposals – rolling out from 2018 – come after “three years of research and development in collaboration with pharmacy professionals”, the regulator said as it launched a consultation yesterday (April 24).

“Revalidation is something health professionals know well from the models that have been put in place for doctors, nurses and midwives. We are proposing something similar in name, but fundamentally different in design that is tailored for pharmacy.”

Explaining why the revalidation system will require pharmacy professionals to submit their records each year, the GPhC said its “previous approach to reviewing records led some people to believe that we only expected records to be made when they were called for review”.

“This [new] approach makes our expectation clearer.”

Peer discussion

A pharmacy professional’s annual submission must include “one peer discussion, where you discuss and reflect on your practice with someone who understands your work”, the GPhC said.

This discussion can take place “in person, over the phone or using another form of communication”, said the regulator, which accepted it would “take some additional time to carry out”.

“If someone is selected for review, we would only want to confirm that the peer discussion took place, and [we will] not ask for details of what was discussed.”

Submitting records

All registrants will be expected to submit their records when they renew their registration. "We will then select which of our registrants' records we will review – some randomly and some in a targeted way."

The regulator will create an online tool that allows pharmacy professionals to both record their entries and renew their registration.

“Linking records submission to renewal may mean that some pharmacy professionals are entered into a process of remediation if they do not submit all of their records on time without good reason,” the GPhC stressed.

“In rare cases, following remediation we may decide to start action to remove the professionals from our register.”


The consultation – which runs until July 17 – will give “even more people” an opportunity to “further improve” the proposals, “before they are implemented in stages, beginning in 2018”.

However, the regulator does not plan to review revised CPD records until 2019, and will not expect to receive peer discussion and reflective account records until 2020.

You can read the consultation document and submit your response here.                            

What do you think about the proposals?


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