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The Authority publishes its review of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s performance for 2020/21

The Professional Standards Authority has published its annual performance review of the General Pharmaceutical Council. The GPhC’s register covers over 80,000 pharmacy professionals practising in Great Britain and almost 14,000 pharmacy premises.

We assessed the GPhC’s performance for this review period against our Standards of Good Regulation and decided it met 15 out of the 18 Standards.

The GPhC has been implementing a wide-ranging action plan to address concerns we reported about its fitness to practise function in our 2018/19 performance review. The GPhC had to delay and re-prioritise its work this year because of the pandemic but it was able to almost complete its action plan. We have seen evidence of some improvements so the direction of travel appears to be positive. However, our concerns about customer service and the transparency of certain fitness to practise processes have not yet been fully addressed. Timeliness also significantly declined and we do not know whether it would have improved without the pandemic. We therefore determined that the GPhC had not met Standards 15, 16 and 18.

This is the third consecutive year where these Standards have not been met so we will be monitoring the GPhC’s performance in these areas closely. We have also written to the Chair of the GPhC to outline our expectations for the coming year.

More information about how we reached our decision is set out in our Performance Review - GPhC 2020/21 or read a summary in our snapshot.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


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 General Pharmaceutical Council (the GPhC) regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. Its work includes: setting standards for the education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and approving and accrediting their qualifications and training; maintaining a register of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies; setting the standards that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians (pharmacy professionals) must meet throughout their careers; investigating concerns that pharmacy professionals are not meeting its standards, and taking action to remove or restrict their ability to practise when it is necessary to protect patients and the public; setting standards for registered pharmacies which require them to provide a safe and effective service to patients; inspecting registered pharmacies to check they are meeting the standards required. As at 31 March 2021, the GPhC was responsible for a register of 81,290 pharmacy professionals and 13,977 pharmacy premises. Its annual retention fee is £257 for pharmacists, £121 for pharmacy technicians and £365 for pharmacy premises
  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