The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the independent regulator for pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across Great Britain. They set standards for pharmacy professionals, registered pharmacies as well as the initial education and training for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
All pharmacy professionals play a vital role in delivering quality healthcare services while helping people maintain and improve their general health and well-being. Their level of professionalism and standard of care are pivotal in maintaining trust and confidence in pharmacy. This brings us to the all-important revalidation process for pharmacy professionals.
What Is Revalidation?
Revalidation is a process which helps show members of the public that the trust they have in pharmacy professionals is well-placed. It also helps pharmacists and pharmacy technicians keep their professional skills and knowledge up to date while reflecting on how to improve in certain areas. The requirement to complete revalidation is set out in the rules made under the Pharmacy Order 2010.
The standards for pharmacy professionals describe how safe and effective care is delivered through ‘person-centred’ professionalism. The standards are a statement of what people expect from pharmacy professionals and also reflect what pharmacy professionals have told us they expect of themselves and their colleagues.
GPhC Standards For Pharmacy Teams
Every member of a pharmacy team contributes in some way or form to deliver and improve a patient’s health, safety and well-being. As mentioned earlier, pharmacists and their teams must be professional and provide a safe and effective practice. There are 9 standards pharmacy professionals must meet and they are as follows:
- Provide person-centred care
- Work in partnership with others
- Communicate effectively
- Maintain, develop and use their professional knowledge and skills
- Use professional judgement
- Behave in a professional manner
- Respect and maintain the person’s confidentiality and privacy
- Speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong
- Demonstrate leadership
View or download the PDF outlining more information on the standard for pharmacy professionals.
When Should I Start Doing Revalidation?
If you are a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician, you should look at revalidation as part of your everyday job. You can carry out and record revalidation activities at any time during your registration year.
To simplify the process even more, you can record everything in myGPhC. Alternatively, you could complete your activities elsewhere and then simply transfer it to myGPhC for submission. You can record them as you do them, or all at once. But you must be ready to submit your records when you want to renew your registration.
What Does The Revalidation Process Involve?
Revalidation is the new form of Continuing Professional Development which the GPhC introduced in 2018 for all pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians in the UK. In the first year of revalidation, pharmacists and registered technicians must carry out, record and submit four CPD records.
We are now in year two of the new scheme and you need to submit the following records now and in the years thereafter:
- four continued personal development (CPD) records, at least two of which must be planned learning activities
- one reflective account
- one peer discussion
Every time your registration renewal is due from 31 October 2019, you will need to submit records of these activities. Recording what you did during the previous year is part of the registration renewal process to meet the revalidation requirements.
More About Planned And Unplanned Learning Activities
According to the GPhC, unplanned learning is “an event or activity that enabled you to learn something new or refresh your knowledge or skills“. Pharmacists need to demonstrate how this particular learning activity benefited the people using the service. Some examples include successfully introducing a new public health service or help patients manage their medicines or medical conditions using medical journals or an internet search.
As for planned learning, this is when pharmacists plan ahead and identify any areas that may need refreshing. It can also refer to developing new skills that they wish to learn such as prescribing or injecting. Planned learning activities essentially include any form of a planned learning event whether it’s an online course, a conference or external/internal training.
What Are Reflective Accounts?
The GPhC defines reflective practice as “critically evaluating practice and learning ways to improve outcomes for patients and service users”. It will help pharmacists to think about how their services impact all service users. This list of questions can help when submitting a reflective account:
- What happened and what was I trying to achieve?
- What did not go so well and why?
- How did it affect others particularly the people using my services?
- What were the consequences of doing or not doing what I did?
- Can I do something differently next time?
- What have I learnt from this to help change my approach to this situation next time?
Pharmacists also need to address how they met one or more of the standards for pharmacy professionals. The GPhC will keep pharmacists informed on which standard(s) they can choose from every year. Additional information pharmacists must provide include a brief summary of their role and who their typical service users are.
What Happens After I Submit My Revalidation Records?
Upon submitting your revalidation records, the GPhC will check that you submitted the right number and type of records. They will then add your submission to the pool from which they select records to review.
The GPhC started reviewing CPD records in January 2019 and will review reflective account and peer discussion records in January 2020. From there, they will provide feedback approximately two months later. If you are not selected for a review, you will receive feedback from the GPhC based on their reviews and use the feedback for your next submission.
Peer Discussions As Part Of Revalidation
Peer discussions give pharmacists the opportunity to talk with somebody who understands the pharmacy practice. They also get to discuss a variety of different issues that might help pharmacists reflect better on their practice. This could be a particular situation that they found challenging but also provided them with an opportunity to learn something.
To be more effective, the GPhC recommends that pharmacists be open and honest with their peer during the discussion. They need to include their reflection on how the case was handled, how the patient benefited and why that particular peer was chosen. For more guidance on peer discussion, visit the pharmacy regulation website.
VirtualOutcomes Training For Pharmacists And Registered Technicians
These standards are specifically designed to reflect what it means to be a pharmacy professional. It forms part and parcel of initial education, training, registration and renewal while proving that they remain registered.
VirtualOutcomes provide various online training programmes to help pharmacy teams remain informed about most topics in healthcare. There are two training modules available to support pharmacists and registered technicians. Please join conversation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and read this article for more information on Health Champion Training.