New fitness-to-practice requirements for pharmacists in Ireland: Implications for undergraduate pharmacy education

Gallagher, Helen C. (2010) New fitness-to-practice requirements for pharmacists in Ireland: Implications for undergraduate pharmacy education. Medical Teacher, 32 (2). e71-e77. ISSN 0142159X


Internationally, there is tighter monitoring and enforcement of fitness-to-practice requirements in healthcare, which are being specified within legislation and guidelines. In Ireland, the Pharmacy Act 2007, that was recently published and is being gradually implemented, includes a provision for monitoring fitness-to-practice of pharmacists practicing here. This will mean that upon initial and continued registration by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, pharmacists must satisfy a fitness-to-practice committee. Two routes by which a pharmacist can be deemed unfit to practice are specified within the Act – on the basis of ill health and through technical incompetence/malice. However, the exact nature of professional, cultural, and technical competencies required to satisfy these new fitness-to-practice requirements remain undecided and a further consultation with all stakeholders is required. Importantly, this consultative process must consider current practice standards and raise awareness of these issues among pharmacists while also considering the current and future undergraduate pharmacy students, i.e. the future pharmacists of Ireland. Radical cultural shifts in monitoring fitness-to-practice, with full professional accountability, must inform changes in the undergraduate curriculum and in assessing students, such that when they graduate, they are thoroughly prepared for ongoing fitness-to-practice scrutiny. Here, different approaches to international pharmacy education that may help pharmacy educators in Ireland prepare their students for the new fitness-to-practice requirements are reviewed and discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Medical Teacher is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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