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Establishing the General Pharmaceutical Council

11 Nov 2008 | Professional Standards Authority
  • Policy Advice

Our November 2008 advice to the Secretary of State on setting up the new pharmacy regulator.


Pharmacy practice will undergo significant change over the next decade. The new regulator of the pharmacy profession will need to meet that challenge. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are a mobile workforce, operating in a wide range of settings, often working within commercial imperatives while ensuring that patients receive the best possible service. The future development of pharmacy outlined by recent policy initiatives presents the profession with exciting challenges and changes as it moves increasingly towards the delivery of clinical services.

The establishment of the General Pharmaceutical Council presents an opportunity to create a truly patient-focused regulatory body, whose activities are directed by assessment of risk to patient safety of rapidly developing pharmacy practice, which anticipates change and reacts quickly to it. The GPhC has the potential to become an exemplar of modern professional regulation: effective in protecting patients, agile in identifying and responding to change, and balanced in its approach to risk and regulation.


This report advised on setting up the new pharmacy regulator. It discussed good practice in the regulation of pharmacy professions, likely future developments in pharmacy practice, good practice in governance and the core functions of a regulatory body. One of our key recommendations was that regulators should be agile – adapting quickly to change and reflecting new developments in their standards and processes.