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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Commitment to continual learning

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

The pharmacy is located alongside other retail business in a semirural village. The pharmacy sells over-the-counter medicines and dispenses NHS and private prescriptions. It offers advice about the management of minor illnesses and long-term conditions. It supplies medicines in multi-compartmental compliance packs to help people remember to take their medicines. And it delivers medicines to people’s homes.

Relevant standards

  • 2.2 - Staff have the appropriate skills, qualifications and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, or are working under the supervision of another person while they are in training
  • 2.4 - There is a culture of openness, honesty and learning
  • 2.5 - Staff are empowered to provide feedback and raise concerns about meeting these standards and other aspects of pharmacy services

Why this is notable practice

Pharmacy team members are encouraged to develop skills relevant to their roles through continual training. And they use the skills they have learnt when engaging with people and providing pharmacy services. They are open to learning following their mistakes. And they work effectively together to ensure the pharmacy operates in accordance with professional standards.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy kept training records for its team and it displayed training certificates relating to staff qualifications. Pharmacy team members engaged well with continual learning relating to their roles. The team completed monthly e-learning modules relating to minor ailments and over-the-counter medicines. And the Superintendent pharmacist led regular training on a range of subjects. A pharmacy team member explained the concept of the ‘SAGE and THYME’ model of communication. The team had learnt about the model in a recent training session. And the pharmacy team member explained how she would use the mnemonic to structure a conversation with a person in distress or with a concern. Pharmacy team members completed learning associated with healthy living promotions prior to engaging in the promotion. The team identified how this learning helped inform their knowledge and gave them confidence when engaging people in discussions relating to healthy living. Pharmacy team members confirmed they received protected learning time and they provided examples of how the SI continually shared feedback and learning with them.

Pharmacy team members demonstrated enthusiasm when talking about the services they provided. They referred queries to the pharmacist when required and they worked together well. The team communicated continually throughout the working day to help inform workload priority and manage identified risks. Pharmacy team members engaged in a formal meetings. The structure of these meetings was broken down into the 5 principles of the GPhC’s premises standards. And notes from each meeting clearly demonstrated how the pharmacy team were continually working to identify and manage risks. Meeting notes demonstrated how the pharmacy regularly reviewed each principle of the premises standards to ensure it remained compliant with the standards. For example, SOP updates, near-misses and incident reporting was covered under Principle One in the meeting and learning, staffing updates and feedback was covered under Principle Two.

What difference this made to patients

People using the pharmacy benefit from the knowledge its team members learn through the continual approach to learning and development. Pharmacy team members engagement in continual reviews mean people using the pharmacy can feel assured that they are receiving safe services by a well trained team.

Highlighted standards

We have identified the standards most likely and least likely to be met in inspections, and highlighted examples of notable practice for each of these standards; to help everyone learn from others and to support continuous improvement:

  1. 1.1 Risk management
  2. 1.2 Reviewing and monitoring the safety of services
  3. 4.2 Safe and effective service delivery
  4. 4.3 Sourcing and safe, secure management of medicines and devices
  5. 2.2 Staff skills and qualifications