Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) membership rose 3 per cent in the past year, but the number of full members and fellows fell 7 per cent, C+D has learned.
Between June 2012 and June 2013, the RPS's membership grew 1,185 to 41,962. This was driven by an increase in pre-reg pharmacists – who pay an annual fee of up to £70 – and students – who benefit from free membership, the RPS told C+D this week.
Despite the overall increase, there was a 7 per cent drop in the number of members and fellows who pay up to £192 in annual RPS fees. This follows a 14 per cent fall in members and fellows the previous year.
RPS membership in numbers
|Source: RPS, June 2013|
RPS spokesperson Neal Patel told C+D that the "small decrease" in the past year had been "more than made up" by the increase in associate members. Associate membership, which mainly consists of pre-reg pharmacists, grew 1,617 over the period. Student numbers rose 1,370 to 13,200.
Mr Patel added that the RPS was recruiting a "substantial number" of new members, with 1,104 people joining in the first half of this year. "Later in the summer, new pharmacists will be qualifying, which is when we expect a lot more pharmacists to join," he added.
Earlier this month, the RPS launched its faculty, a professional recognition programme that aims to provide a "quality mark" to those outside pharmacy. Also this month, the professional body confirmed it would move its headquarters to a new site in central London, saving an estimated £400,000 a year in running costs.
How could the RPS attract more fee-paying members?