General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) - News updates

Concerns relating to Clear Chemist

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said: “Our role is to protect patients by setting standards that pharmacies and pharmacy professionals have to meet.  These standards help make sure people receive safe and effective pharmacy care and we take action if those standards are not met.  We also provide guidance to pharmacy owners and pharmacy professionals to help them meet the standards.

Update on the registration assessment

We have sent an update to candidates about our progress in rescheduling the registration assessment. The update confirms that we have identified a preferred supplier for the online registration assessment and we are currently in contractual discussions with them. We are intending to hold the registration assessment in the first quarter of 2021, while avoiding the first two weeks of January. Read the full update here  

Survey of provisionally-registered pharmacists: 90% of respondents have had risk assessment

GPhC publishes findings from survey of provisionally-registered pharmacists Provisionally-registered pharmacists who registered in August have been asked to complete a survey to help the GPhC to check that their employers were meeting requirements, including conducting a risk assessment. 

Consultation on English language guidance

The GPhC is proposing that applicants to the registers of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians could use a recent pass of the Pharmacy Occupational English Language Test (OET) as evidence of English language competence. Currently, where an applicant can only provide evidence of their English language skills by taking a test, the GPhC solely accepts a pass in the International English Language testing System (IELTS) test. This change to the guidance would give applicants another type of language test to choose from.

Healthcare regulators publish annual report on whistleblowing disclosures

The GPhC in conjunction with seven other healthcare professional regulators has published its annual report on whistleblowing disclosures. All prescribed bodies have a legal responsibility to publish an annual report on the whistleblowing disclosures made to them by workers. The Whistleblowing disclosures report 2020 [189 KB] covers the reporting period April 2019 - March 2020 and is published jointly by: 

New guidance on managing concerns about students and trainees

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has updated its guidance on managing fitness to practise concerns in pharmacy education and training.

Our response to a letter from the RPS and BPSA about the registration assessment

Our Chair, Nigel Clarke, has responded to a letter from the Presidents of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association about the registration assessment. In the letter, Nigel emphasises that our Council and staff are absolutely committed to holding a robust and fair registration assessment at the earliest opportunity and we are making all possible efforts to achieve this. Nigel confirms that we are now in the very final stages of the procurement exercise and expect to be able to give a further update to all candidates by next week.

Contact centre update

Our contact centre will be closed this afternoon and will reopen tomorrow morning (17 September) at 9:30am.  For urgent enquiries please contact us via email at   

The Council of the GPhC will be meeting on 17 September

The Council of the GPhC will be meeting on Thursday 17 September from 10:00 to 13:00. Please contact our Communications Team if you would like to join the meeting, which will be held via Zoom, by 16:00 on 16 September. Download a copy of our Council meeting papers [PDF 3.19 MB]

GPhC takes action against six pharmacies regarding the sale of codeine linctus

Since August 2020 we have taken enforcement action against six separate pharmacies following intelligence-led inspections relating to unusually high volumes of sales of codeine linctus.  Codeine linctus is classified as a P medicine under the Medicines Act 1968 and the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 which allows it to be sold only under a pharmacist’s supervision, by a pharmacy, without prescription. The medicine, occasionally used for a dry cough, is high risk because of known problems associated with its misuse, abuse or overuse.