“Have your say!” — you have had your say and this is what you thought

Olivia Timbs, editor of The Pharmaceutical Journal, extracts the main points of interest from the recent survey on who should be permitted to be members of the new professional body that is being set up for pharmacy.

0ur membership survey — “Have your say!” — asked questions about which professions and groups should be asked to join the new professional body. It has been one of the most successful surveys put to­gether by The Pharmaceutical Journal. Conducted on paper and online between 26 July and 26 August, over 4,500 responses were received (roughly two-thirds on paper and a third online), exceeding the 3,500-odd re­sponses received in The Journal’s readership surveys of 2001 and 2004, and only being eclipsed by a survey on continuing profes­sional development conducted on behalf of the education division in 2003 which elicited nearly 8,000 responses.

Since this latest survey was designed for members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to complete, a number of responses were excluded from the analysis. So far, 4,058 responses have been analysed, although the data are being further scrutinised and addi­tional information may be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

Respondents in the older age groups (36-50, 51-65 and over 65) were roughly representative of the Register. Only those in the youngest group were not as well repre­sented: 23 per cent of those who participated in the survey were under the age of 35 com­pared with an expected 39 per cent of the Register. The analysis was weighted to take account of this lower response rate from this group.

The first question asked “Which profes­sional groups should be invited to join the new professional body?”, and the responses are given in Table 1. Question 2 asked “Which status should these groups be given?”; optional answers were “full member­ship”, “associate/affiliate membership”, “full membership of own section” and “excluded”. The responses are presented in Table 2.

When comparing the responses to ques­tion 1 and question 2, there was a more pos­itive response to offering some status to pharmacy technicians, pharmaceutical scien­tists and non-pharmacist academics (56 per cent, 53 per cent and 47 per cent, respec­tively) than simply inviting them to join the professional body (44 per cent, 39 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively).

Question 3 asked “Who should be eligible to stand for election to the governing Council of the new professional body?” and the responses are give in Table 3. In answer to the last substantive question, “Should there be appointed lay members on the governing Council?”, 54 per cent said “yes” and 44 per cent said “no” (2 per cent did not answer the question).

Further analysis will look at the sector of practice, breakdown by sex, practising versus non-practising respondents and those cur­rently registered as overseas pharmacists. In addition, 856 written comments were made and these are also being analysed.

GroupPercentage of respondents answering “yes”
Non-practising pharmacists90
Retired pharmacists85
Pharmacy students62
Preregistration trainees80
Overseas pharmacists61
Pharmacy technicians44
Non-practising technicians21
Retired technicians23
Preregistration trainee technicians25
Pharmaceutical scientists39
Non-pharmacist academics34
Table 1: “Which professional groups should be invited to join the new body?”
GroupPercentage of members answering “yes” to these four categories:
Full membershipAssociate/affiliateFull membership of own sectionExcluded
Non-practising pharmacists513783
Retired pharmacists4141116
Pharmacy students7422918
Preregistration trainees1747268
Overseas pharmacists24351424
Pharmacy technicians12133141
Non-practising technicians3151762
Retired technicians3161761
Preregistration trainee technicians3161958
Pharmaceutical scientists9261744
Non-pharmacist academics4301349
Table 2: “Which status should these groups be given?”

GroupPercentage of respondents answering “yes”
Non-practising pharmacists50
Retired pharmacists43
Pharmacy students11
Preregistration trainees18
Overseas pharmacists14
Pharmacy technicians31
Non-practising technicians6
Retired technicians6
Preregistration trainee technicians4
Pharmaceutical scientists17
Non-pharmacist academics13
Table 3: “Which of these groups should be eligible to stand for election to the governing council of the new professional body?”
Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2008;()::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.91293