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Professional Standards Authority publishes PSNI performance review for 2018/19

The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has published its annual performance review of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. We review each of the statutory health and social care regulators each year to assess whether they are meeting our Standards of Good Regulation. The PSNI’s register covers 2,764 pharmacists practising in Northern Ireland and 552 registered pharmacies.

We conducted a targeted review of the PSNI’s performance, including a review of all the fitness to practise cases it closed at the initial stage of its process between November 2018 and October 2019. The PSNI has met 22 out of 24 of the Standards. The PSNI did not meet Standard 5 or Standard 7 for Fitness to Practise. These Standards relate to the transparency and fairness of the fitness to practise process and the updates and information provided to parties involved in fitness to practise cases. We were concerned that the PSNI did not give enough information to parties about the process and progress of complaints for us to be satisfied that the process was transparent.

The PSNI is the final regulator to be assessed against our previous Standards of Good Regulation. We began using our new Standards in our 2019/20 performance review cycle so they will be applied to the PSNI’s next review.

More information about how we reached our decision is set out in our Performance Review - PSNI 2018/19 or you can read a summary in our two-page snapshot.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

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Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (the PSNI) is the regulator for pharmacists and registered pharmacies in Northern Ireland. Its work includes: ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists; maintaining a register of pharmacists (‘registrants’) and a register of students in pre-registration training; setting standards of conduct, ethics and performance that registrants must meet; setting standards for continuing professional development to ensure registrants maintain their ability to practise safely and effectively; taking action to restrict or remove from practice registrants who are not considered fit to practise; and maintaining a register of registered pharmacies and setting standards they must meet. As at 31 March 2020, the PSNI was responsible for a register of 2,764 pharmacists and 552 registered pharmacies. Its annual retention fee for pharmacists is £398 and for registered pharmacies is £155.
  7. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at