Pharmacy education is under the spotlight with the launch of a discussion paper and survey by The General Pharmaceutical Council to help gauge how the education and training of the pharmacy team may need to change to address future challenges.

The paper, ‘Tomorrow’s pharmacy team; future standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff’, looks at the current policies for health and pharmacy, giving an early indication about what policies might mean for the future roles of the pharmacy team, as well as the education and training they will need to fulfil those roles.

The GPhC is asking pharmacy professionals, pharmacy students and trainees, employers, education providers, patients and the public if they agree with their findings.

The paper also looks at the barriers that might affect the implementation of revised standards for initial education and training. Feedback will help review the standards of initial education and training for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff. Plans are in place to consult on new draft standards in 2016 and publish revised standards in 2017.

‘As the roles of the pharmacy team change, education and training must change too so that pharmacy professionals are able to deal with the new challenges they face,’ said GPhC’s chief executive Duncan Rudkin.

‘We need to test whether the conclusions we have drawn about the future of pharmacy and pharmacy education are correct, so we can set new standards for education and training for the different members of the pharmacy team that are ambitious, achievable and affordable. It is crucial that we get this right, as the new standards we develop will be educating and training those who will potentially be working in pharmacy for the next 40 to 50 years.’

‘We are ready to be challenged and to challenge others about the future education and training of the pharmacy team. We hope that this paper will act as a catalyst for action to take forward the debate and to get key stakeholders to work with us and others’.

The survey will be open until 14 August 2015.

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