Collaborating with other leadership bodies allows us to shape the future of pharmacy

My PJ letter in 2012 about royal colleges and why people needed to join the RPS, still stands, and mutterings about benefits of joining and about becoming a royal college continue​[1]​. It’s our society and it stands or falls depending on our input and commitment. I have worked hard with fellow board members to represent members; this advocacy may sometimes go unnoticed but would be sorely missed if the RPS wasn’t there. We are also working with so many others; for example, APTUK and the Pharmaceutical Forum of Northern Ireland on quality standards; with Pharmacy Support; and with bodies from across pharmacy, pharmaceutical science and beyond in our medicine’s shortages work.

I am delighted to be representing RPS on the UK Professional Leadership Advisory Board. I really enjoyed hosting the first meeting and getting to know my fellow, very enthusiastic board members. For the first time, the board brings together professional leadership for pharmacists from Northern Ireland and pharmacy technicians as well as specialist groups and expert members. It is a wonderful opportunity to unite the profession and shape our future. I believe this will enable pharmacy professional leadership to collaborate to develop a stronger and more united voice for pharmacy professionals, increasing engagement and representation. Following our first meeting I am excited about what we might achieve together. Given the expansion of prescribing and of clinical roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, it is important to build and maintain the confidence of the professions and the public in these new roles and competencies. We will work together to look at areas like scope of practice, education and training and professional standards to support the practice of pharmacy to develop in the public interest like professional values and behaviours. We will also examine the process to quality assure, accredit, update or endorse standards. Credentialing is important for the future of our profession, the RPS have started this but it will need endorsement by the regulator and by employers as a prerequisite for advancement.

Many ask me the royal college question: to be or not to be? Personally I’m all for the RPS moving to become a royal college. But it would be a significant decision so the time and circumstances would need to be right and our members would need to be behind us.

Claire Anderson

  1. 1
    Anderson C. Letter. The Pharmaceutical Journal. 2012;388:27.
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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.313398

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