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GPhC introduces 'peer discussions' in major CPD revamp

GPhC will begin implementing the changes next year
GPhC will begin implementing the changes next year

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?

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

I took part in the trial of the new CPD!  Peer discussion was a nightmare as I'm a locum and so rarely if ever see another pharmacist let alone have time for a discussion with them.  I found other pharmacists unwilling to help and got no help from the LPF.  At least when we are all in the same boat someone will be available for a discussion if only to get theirs done at the same time!

It also needs to be noted that you must have used the CPD that you are claiming - eg. if you have done the SCR training but not actually accessed a record then you cannot claim the training as one of your 4 CPD records.  You may keep the training on file and then claim it in the year that you do access a record even if there is a gap of several years between the two events.

The "case study" is also an absolute nightmare.  As a locum I find it very difficult to get feedback from a service user as I don't work regularly in the same place.


Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Hello Joan that is very unfortunate that another pharmacist would not have a professional discussion. I think we need to seehow the CPPE, RPS, PDA could have pharamcist act as volunteers to support one another by having a discussion.

We need to support other pharmacists as colleagues, and I would be happy to help. Good luck


Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Is it possible to put the GPhC up for a vote of no confidence and have them disbanded?

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

"using another form of communication*”  

*please note that clicking 'Like' on a Pharmacy Meme will only be classed as a peer discussion if at least one other person Reacts to the post.

Fuzzy Wuzzy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Just seems like GPhC are getting us to do their work for them. Excessive fees, nothing of any substance and ignoring the major issues in the profession.  Would I be a alone in thinking that they are trying to show that they are fit for purpose by th,e people that regulate these bodies?  The fact that when plausible evidence based claims of bullying and fraud by the multiples are raised they have never been followed through, and yes before you say I'm over exaggerating I have submitted a fraudulent episode regarding MURs about Lloyds where the money was kept and the pharmacist allowed to resign and all the GPhC said were they were only looking at the pharmacists actions!  Would any of the inspectorate even have an idea what to look for or are they obsessed with ticking the relevant boxes.  Time for reform

A Hussain, Senior Management

Does this class as peer to peer discussion?  First topic 'What a waste of time the GPHC are'

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Maybe this might get pharmacists working together/collaborating rather than competing?

A Hussain, Senior Management

Out of touch bullies.  

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

No action taken against multiples for under-staffing, nothing done to actually support those at the coal face. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic once again.

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

by 2020 there wont be any pharmacists left anyway

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

complete load of rubbish as per usual from the gphc


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