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The Faculty is the future

By The Journal

Why do pharmacists choose to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society? A major draw is likely to be the support and professional advocacy that the Society provides for its members. Another, we modestly suggest, is weekly receipt of The Pharmaceutical Journal. A further, compelling reason to become a member is announced this week — the establishment of the RPS Faculty.

The Faculty, which will be for RPS members only, will be launched in June and confirms the Society as the “royal college”-type body for pharmacy that it has aspired to be since it shed its regulatory functions in 2010. The purpose of the Faculty is to provide a means of recognising the status of pharmacists, giving them a way of demonstrating their level of professional advancement to fellow health professionals and the general public. It will also provide a real professional pathway for individuals’ career development — whether they are specialists or generalists. Members in all sectors of practice should welcome this development.

Why should they? Let us look at doctors. Senior medical positions are generally not open to them unless they are members of one of the specialist royal colleges. For pharmacists this type of career pathway has, arguably, been lacking before now. Once the RPS Faculty becomes established, however, employers may well seek to see evidence of professional credentials before considering pharmacists for senior posts. And so Faculty membership could become de rigueur for pharmacistswishing to see their careers progress beyond basic practice.

Also, with revalidation of pharmacists’ right to practise being a statedaim of the General Pharmaceutical Council for the future, membership ofthe Faculty could go a long way towards providing evidence of their professional attainment and knowledge. Indeed, RPS President Martin Astbury writes this week ofhis hope that when pharmacy revalidation is in place “the RPS will be in a position to guarantee that Faculty members are revalidated”.

Make no mistake! This is probably the most important thing the Society has done since it became a solely professional body.

We encourage you to read the Article on p53 of professional matters,which outlines how the Faculty will work. You will gain an understanding of what is in it for you, your colleagues, your employer, your patients and your profession. Point out the benefits to pharmacistswho you know have not been involved with the RPS in recent years. Tell them the Faculty is the future.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11115133

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