‘Where can I find this information?’
‘I didn’t know this guidance was available to me.’
‘I have never seen that advice before.’
These are phrases we at the Pharmacy Council of NSW hear repeatedly when speaking to pharmacists.
When a concern has been raised in the form of a complaint we work with the pharmacist/s to establish what has occurred and how to prevent something similar from reoccurring. A message we keep hearing from pharmacists is they are not exactly sure what their obligations are and have little idea on where to find out.
The regulatory framework for pharmacy practice outlines the obligations of a pharmacist and is something all pharmacists need to be aware of.
To finish off 2020 we have put together a summary of relevant resources that are freely available to all pharmacists.
As a pharmacist you need to practise in accordance to the legislation both at a State and Federal level. The following is a list of some of the legislation you may come across regularly, if not daily:
- Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966
- Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008
- Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW)
- Health Practitioner Regulation (New South Wales) Regulation 2016
- Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
- Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995
- Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973
- Human Services (Medicare) Regulations 2017
NSW legislation can be found here: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/
Commonwealth legislation can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/
Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Registration Standards and Guidelines
The following Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Standards and Guidelines can all be found on the Board’s website: https://www.pharmacyboard.gov.au/
- Registration standards:
- Pharmacy Criminal History Registration Standard
- Registration Standard: Professional indemnity insurance
- Registration Standard: Continuing professional development
- Registration Standard: Recency of practice
- Registration Standard: Supervised practice arrangements
- Registration Standard: Examinations for eligibility for general registration
- Pharmacy English language skills registration standard
- Guideline - Informing a National Board about where you practise
- Guidelines on compounding of medicines
- Joint statement on compounded medicines – Pharmacy Board of Australia and Medical Board of Australia
- Background on the regulation of compounding by pharmacists
- Professional practice profile for pharmacists undertaking complex compounding
- Guidelines on continuing professional development
- Guidelines for dispensing of medicines
- Guidelines on practice-specific issues
- Guidelines on practice-specific issues - Guideline 1 (List of reference texts for pharmacists)
- Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists
- Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines
- Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered health practitioners
- Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered students
- Guidelines for advertising regulated health services
The Code has been developed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia and contains important standards for practitioner behaviour in relation to:
- providing good care, including shared decision making
- working with patients or clients
- working with other practitioners
- working within the healthcare system
- minimising risk
- maintaining professional performance
- professional behaviour and ethical conduct
- ensuring practitioner health
- teaching, supervising and assessing, and
The Pharmacy Board of Australia endorses the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The code articulates the values of the pharmacy profession and expected standards of ethical behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, the community and society. The Code underpins the professional practice of all pharmacists in Australia.
The code is made up of 7 Principles (3 care, 2 integrity and 2 competency principles). Each Principle is defined and outlines the expectations of pharmacists to meet that Principle.
The National Competency Standards describe the skills, attitudes and other attributes (including values and beliefs) attained by an individual based on knowledge and experience which together enable the individual to practise effectively as a pharmacist.
Professional Practice Standards (PPS)
Published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia, the PPS articulate the values of the pharmacy profession and expected standards of professional behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, the community and society.
The PPS relate to the systems, procedures and information used by pharmacists to achieve a level of conformity and uniformity in their practice. They allow pharmacists to reflect on and measure their professional practice. That is, they serve as a self-assessment quality audit tool for members of the profession to improve the quality of the professional services they provide and to make efficient and effective use of resources.
These type of guidance documents assist pharmacists in all areas of practice and are developed by a variety of stakeholders.
- NSW Health resources, for e.g. Guide to the Poisons Schedules, OTP, Cannabis, Vaccination (all available online unrestricted).
- PSA/Guild/SHPA resources and CPD on practice specific issues or industry updates (all available online however some may require membership).
- Council’s resources, for e.g. compounding, ownership, newsletters (available online unrestricted).
- QCPP (Guild members only).
- Banner group resources - many franchise/banner groups have developed their own resources.