Fitness to Practise for Pharmacy Students
Applicants to the MPharm degree at Robert Gordon University, together with undergraduate students, will be introduced to The Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students during both the recruitment and yearly admissions process. As a student, adherence to this Code will maintain your fitness to practise, which is a requirement to register as a pharmacist.
Health or poor behaviour may affect a students ability to register as a pharmacist. Before admission and annually thereafter, students are asked to sign to state they have read, understood and will abide by the Code of Conduct.
The Purpose of the Code
Your pharmacy course is preparing you to enter a profession. Pharmacy is one of the registered healthcare professions, and carries both privileges and responsibilities. Pharmacy students, and in common with students of other healthcare professions, have certain privileges and responsibilities which are different from those of other students. Because of this, a different standard of conduct is expected of you both on and off campus. Patient safety and quality of care are the prime goals of healthcare professional regulation and maintaining public confidence in the profession is crucial.
The Code of Conduct therefore requires you to:
- Develop and use your professional knowledge and skills for the benefit of those who seek your professional services;
- Maintain good professional relationships with others; and
- Act in a way that promotes confidence and trust in the pharmacy profession.
The School will ensure that you have opportunities to learn and practise to these expected standards. However if you are not able to meet these, you are not fit to practise as a pharmacy student. Your fitness to practise (FtP) is considered in relation to both your behaviour and your health, and these may affect your ability to register as a pharmacist.
As a pharmacy student, The Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students applies to you from the first day of your course to the day you graduate. It applies both on and off campus. Remember that wherever you are, you are representing the profession of pharmacy and your university.
Pharmacists in Great Britain must register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and must abide by its Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. When you become a pharmacist in Great Britain these standards will apply to you. They are based on seven principles: each one is explained by a number of examples; others will arise when you are working as a pharmacist. Applying the seven principles is central to the way you conduct yourself and is what being a professional is about. All the principles are equally important.
Principles of the Code
This Code of Conduct is based on the same seven principles as those in the GPhC’s Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. It will help you as you develop your understanding of what it is to be a pharmacist. The Code of Conduct indicates how the principles apply to you now and shows what is expected of you during your time as a student. It is a requirement that your school has Fitness to Practise Procedures for pharmacy students. If you do not abide by the Code of Conduct you may be subject to those procedures.
The Code of Conduct is for students studying the accredited MPharms, Overseas Pharmacists’ Assessment Programmes (OSPAPs) and foundation degrees in pharmacy. This Code of Conduct has been endorsed by the Council of University Heads of Pharmacy (CUHOP) and the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA). Listed below are the 7 principles that will apply.
The Seven Principles
- Make patients your first concern
- Use your professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public
- Show respect for others
- Encourage patients and the public to participate in decisions about their care
- Develop your professional knowledge and competence
- Be honest and trustworthy
- Take responsibility for your working practices
Below is a breakdown of these 7 important principles:
1. Make patients your first concern
The health, wellbeing and safety of patients must be your main concern. To support this, you will learn about the design and development of medicines and their safe and effective use. Even when you are not in direct contact with patients, you will be developing values, attitudes, knowledge and skills that you will use as a pharmacist. As a student you must:
- Always bear in mind your future role as a pharmacist when studying: this applies equally to the science elements of the course as to pharmacy practice
- Apply your learning to ensure you know how to develop and use medicines for the maximum benefit of patients
- Promote the health of patients
2. Use your professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public
You will need to use professional judgement at all times: your course is designed to help you understand what this means. As a student you must:
- Consider and act in the best interests of patients and the public
- Ensure your beliefs do not compromise patient care
- Make sure your judgement is not influenced by personal interests
- Be prepared to challenge the judgement of others if you have reason to believe that their decisions could compromise safety or care
3. Show respect for others
Demonstrating respect for the dignity, views and rights of others is fundamental in forming and maintaining appropriate professional relationships with patients, carers, colleagues and other individuals with whom you come into contact. As a student you must:
- Recognise diversity and respect the cultural differences, values and beliefs of others, including students and staff
- Treat others politely, with consideration and with respect
- Listen to, and respect, others’ opinions and be non-judgemental in your attitudes toward them
- Maintain proper professional boundaries in the relationships you have with others, especially with vulnerable adults and children
- Recognise and respect the rights of patients
- Respect patient confidentiality and consent, but disclose relevant information as required
4. Encourage patients and the public to participate in decisions about their care
Patients and the public have the right to be involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Pharmacists must respect this right and help patients to take part in decisions which affect their health and wellbeing. As a student you must:
- Learn how to listen to patients and their carers and communicate effectively with them in a way they can understand
- Learn how to give patients information and advice so they can take part in decisions about their care, including recognising their right to refuse care
- Learn how to work in partnership with patients, their carers and others to manage a patient’s treatment and care
5. Develop your professional knowledge and competence
At all stages of your pharmacy career you must take responsibility for ensuring your knowledge and skills are up-to-date and that you maintain your competence. As a student you must:
- Reflect on and develop your professional knowledge and competence throughout your course
- Recognise and stay within the limits of your competence
- Make rational and informed decisions
- Engage constructively with assessments
- Ensure you are aware of the continuing professional development requirements for pharmacists
6. Be honest and trustworthy
The public trust healthcare professionals, and at all times pharmacists must justify that trust. As a student you must:
- Act with honesty and integrity
- Honour your commitments and take responsibility for your work
- Not plagiarise the work of others
- Use research and laboratory data honestly and ethically, seeking permission to use data as required
- Supply accurate information in response to lawful requests and update that information as necessary
- Respond honestly, openly and courteously to complaints and criticisms concerning yourself or others
- Cooperate with formal investigations about you or others
- Abide by the rules and regulations of your university and other organisations linked to your studies
7. Take responsibility for your working practices
Pharmacists, like all healthcare professionals, must take responsibility for their work. As a student you must:
- Obey the law and comply with this Code of Conduct
- Take responsibility for your learning and your actions and work constructively with others
- Take responsibility for your own health, especially if it may impact negatively on other people
- Tell your university if there is anything that could impair your ability to study
- Ask for help when you need it and respond appropriately
- Plan and use your time effectively
- Follow dress codes
- Attend classes and conduct yourself appropriately
- Be punctual
- Be contactable
- Ensure you have adequate English language skills
- Abide by health and safety requirements
Please remember, your fitness to practise is considered in relation to both your behaviour and your health, and these may affect your ability to register as a pharmacist.
Fitness to Practise Resources
Procedures and Guides (use right-click, 'Save as' for download)
Essential material that students will need to familiarise with.
Forms (use right-click, 'Save as' for download)