The Faculty is for you
Pharmacists’ roles have evolved considerably since my days as a consultant physician and senior lecturer in east London in the 1980s at the time when local formularies were first being developed. My interest in pharmacy originates from the period when I chaired Newham’s district medicines committee, which included both hospital and community pharmacists. I appreciated then the pivotal role pharmacists play in advising and guiding people about appropriate treatments.
Development of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty acknowledges that high-quality professional practice must be recognised, valued and promoted not only within pharmacy but also across all health professions, commissioners of healthcare, employers, patients and the public. The continuing changes in provision of health services in the UK, therapeutic advances and the ageing patient demography — combined with an increasing prevalence of long-term conditions — further underline the timeliness and importance of the RPS establishing a Faculty with a supporting board.
The Faculty will lead the establishment of standards for post-registration education and provide access for pharmacists to the first profession-wide scheme for recognising advancement in practice. This will help build leadership and confidence within the profession. To achieve these ambitions the aims for the Faculty must be fair, collegiate and aspirational.
Fair The governance arrangements for the Faculty will provide an overarching structure to ensure that decisions about accreditation are consistent and equitable. As chairman of the nascent board, I bring considerable experience from academia and the NHS and as a censor and former chairman of the examining board of the Royal College of Physicians of London.
Collegiate I envision a close engagement between the Faculty and the profession, with the board continuously drawing in expertise from practitioners and developing a system of peer review to reflect the broadest nature of knowledge and skills to inform board decisions. The Faculty must be seen as belonging to the members of the RPS — its success requires the membership to perceive the Faculty and its board as appropriately sensitive to day-to-day professional issues.
Aspirational The profession’s stake in the future of the board is absolutely fundamental to enable the Faculty to provide the “hook” for pharmacists at all levels of practice to aspire to develop themselves professionally. All who have completed their foundation years will be eligible to access the Faculty’s resources and begin the Faculty journey, but I acknowledge that not everyone may feel ready initially to join the Faculty. However, in time, the success of the Faculty must ultimately be judged by the numbers of professionals who feel sufficiently supported to advance through the stages of professional recognition.
I consider it a privilege and an honour to be appointed chairman of the Faculty board and I look forward to working closely with the RPS and its members to ensure it achieves the distinction that I firmly believe it warrants.
Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2013.11121690
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