Fitness to Practise

Information for MPharm Students

MPharm Applicants Returning MPharm Students Regulator Guidance
Code of Conduct FTP Issues Contextualised Regulator Case Studies

MPharm Applicants

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) who oversee the conduct of registered pharmacists have decided that from 2010 all students registered on an MPharm programme in the UK are to be assessed on their fitness to practice (FtP).  LJMU are following the national guidelines as are other UK Schools of Pharmacy.  

The offer of a place on to the MPharm programme of study at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is conditional upon your suitability to practise pharmacy, following investigation and consideration of any past criminal convictions or cautions, and following an assessment of your FtP.

What you need to do now is to complete a 'Fitness to Practise/Criminal Convictions and Cautions Self Declaration Form' before arriving at LJMU. A similar declaration will be required for each year of the programme.  Your continuation on the programme and on to becoming a registered pharmacist is partly subject to the outcome of these annual declarations. You must declare any convictions or cautions which you may have received either in this country or in other countries before and during your study on the MPharm programme.

In addition, as an MPharm student, you will have to undertake a full health screen and an enhanced disclosure criminal record check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) prior to your first clinical placement.  An application form for DBS will be sent to you prior to course commencement.  In order to complete the documentation you are required to bring official documentation for identification purposes. Further details regarding DBS can be obtained from the University's website.

Any issues arising from your self-declarations, health screen and DBS checks will be dealt with via LJMU processes, available at http://ljmu.ac.uk/Faculties/SCS/116933.htm.  The University cannot guarantee entry to the Register of Pharmacists even if a DBS or FtP disclosure has been reviewed and you are deemed fit to continue on the MPharm programme.  The decision to register as a pharmacist can only be made by the GPhC at the point of application to join the Register. 

As the LJMU pharmacy programme is preparing you and others to enter a profession it is important that you take a professional approach to your conduct and learning.  Before embarking on this career at LJMU, you are required to abide by the Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students, a copy is available at http://www.pharmacy regulation.org.  You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood the Code of Conduct when completing the self-declaration form (enclosed).

Further information and guidance is available to you on all of these issues, including our processes for dealing with disclosures, along with case-studies provided by the RPSGB on what constitutes inappropriate behaviour and how individual cases are dealt with.  Please refer to http://ljmu.ac.uk/Faculties/SCS/116933.htm.  Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Team or the School with any questions you may have.

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MPharm Returning Students

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) who oversee the conduct of registered pharmacists have decided that from 2010 all students registered on an MPharm programme in the UK are to be assessed on their fitness to practice (FtP).  LJMU are following the national guidelines as are other UK Schools of Pharmacy.  

Your continuation on the MPharm programme is conditional upon your suitability to practise pharmacy, following consideration of your fitness to practise including  any past criminal convictions or cautions.

You will have to complete a 'Fitness to Practise/Criminal Convictions and Cautions Self Declaration Form' annually, at each year's induction, whilst studying at LJMU. Your continuation on the programme and on to becoming a registered pharmacist is partly subject to the outcome of these annual declarations. You must declare any fitness to practise issues including convictions or cautions which you may have received either in this country or in other countries before and during your study on the MPharm programme.

In addition, you may be required to undertake a full health screen and an enhanced disclosure criminal record check through the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS). 

Any issues arising from your self-declarations, health screen, DBS will be dealt with via LJMU processes as detailed here.  The University cannot guarantee entry to the Register of Pharmacists even if a DBS or FtP disclosure has been reviewed and you are deemed fit to continue on the MPharm programme.  The decision to register as a pharmacist can only be made by the GPhC at the point of application to join the Register. 

As the LJMU pharmacy programme is preparing you and others to enter a profession it is important that you take a professional approach to your conduct and learning.  Before embarking on this career at LJMU, you are required to abide by the Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students, a copy is available at below and alsowww.pharmacyregulation.org/.  You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood the Code of Conduct when completing the self-declaration form.

Further information and guidance is available to you on all of these issues, including our processes for dealing with disclosures, along with case-studies provided by the GPhC on what constitutes inappropriate behaviour and how individual cases are dealt with. 

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Regulator Guidance

http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/pharmacist/student-code-conduct Back to Top

Code of Conduct

This document replicates the Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students and contextualises the content for Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The LJMU iterations are marked in bold italic.

Introduction

Your pharmacy course is preparing you to enter a profession. Pharmacy is one of the registered healthcare professions, and carries both privileges and responsibilities. As a pharmacy student you must demonstrate you are able to exercise those privileges and bear those responsibilities. This means you must conduct yourself professionally at all times. This Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students (called the Code of Conduct in the rest of this document) applies to you from the first day of your course to the day you graduate. This Code of Conduct 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 registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council must abide by its Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. When you become a pharmacist in Great Britain this Code of Ethics will apply to you. It is 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.

Pharmacists in Northern Ireland register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland and must abide by its Code of Ethics, which is similar to that of the General Pharmaceutical Council.
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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.

This Code of Conduct is for students studying on MPharm, Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programmes (OSPAPs) and foundation degrees in pharmacy.

This Code of Conduct has been produced in partnership with the Council of University Heads of Pharmacy (CUHOP) and the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association (BPSA). The Code has been endorsed by both CUHOP and the BPSA.

Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students

You can download a printable PDF version of this section here

The seven principles

  1. Make the care of patients your first concern
  2. Exercise your professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public
  3. Show respect for others
  4. Encourage patients to participate in decisions about their care
  5. Develop your professional knowledge and competence
  6. Be honest and trustworthy
  7. Take responsibility for your working practices

1. Make the care of 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. Exercise your professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public

You will need to exercise 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.  This includes listening in lectures and not being disruptive in your class.
  • 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 to participate in decisions about their care

Patients 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 Be upfront about your criminal convictions and fitness to practise disclosures - be proactive in informing the School of any changes or new convictions and/or cautions.
  • honour your commitments and take responsibility for your work Attend all classes and assessments and meet all deadlines as required - don't leave coursework or revision to the last minute.
  • not plagiarise the work of others The School views plagiarism and academic misconduct very seriously and has procedures in place to deal with each individual case.  Proven cases are reported to the RPSGB.
  • use research and laboratory data honestly and ethically, seeking permission to use data as required  If you are uncertain about what plagiarism then there is plenty of support and advice available from staff within the School or the University's Learning Support Team - ignorance is not a defence!
  • supply accurate information in response to lawful requests and update that information as necessary Be upfront about your criminal convictions and fitness to practise disclosures - be proactive in informing the School of any changes or new convictions and/or cautions as soon as they arise.
  • respond honestly, openly and courteously to complaints and criticisms concerning yourself or others - This applies to complaints and criticism arising on and off the University premises. 
  • cooperate with formal investigations about you or others  It will reflect badly on you if you try to obscure, distort or withhold information that is subsequently proven as fact.

You must abide by the rules and regulations of your university and other organisations linked to your studies.  You should become familiar with:

  • The University Modular Framework
  • MPharm Programme Handbook
  • The RPSGB Code of Conduct for Pharmacy students
  • Guidance of Student Fitness to Practise Procedures in Schools of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Science Criminal Convictions Policy
  • Faculty of Science Fitness to Practise Policy
  • LJMU Fitness to Practise Policy
  • LJMU Criminal Convictions Policy

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 Keep the University updated with any changes to your personal circumstances e.g. home/local address, phone numbers, marital status, etc.
  • ensure you have adequate English language skills There is help and support available - Refer to the International Recruitment Team's website in the first instance.
  • abide by health and safety requirements

Useful contacts and further reading:

If you are unsure about how else this Code of Conduct applies to you as a pharmacy student, contact a member of the pharmacy staff where you are studying.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC),
http://www.pharmacyregulation.org
Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)
020 7735 9141 1 Lambeth High Street
enquiries@rpsgb.org London SE1 7JN
www.rpsgb.org
British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA),
http://www.bpsa.co.uk/
Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
(Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 2007)
Council of University Heads of Pharmacy (CUHOP),
http://www.cuhop.ac.uk/
MPharm Student Code of Conduct: a Literature Review
(Schaufheutle et al on behalf of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 2009)
Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIAHE),
http://www.oiahe.org.uk/ Education complaints in England and Wales)
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI),
http://www.psni.org.uk/
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman,
http://www.spso.org.uk/ (Higher Education complaints in Scotland)
Student Fitness to Practise Procedures in Schools of Pharmacy
(Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 2009)

For detailed information on student support, health and safety requirements, fitness to practise procedures, dress codes, rules and regulations and other course information refer to the LJMU and School website.

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FTP Issues Contextualised

Fitness to practise issues can include:

Criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or penalty notice of disorder (PND) or equivalent, relating to theft; financial fraud; possession of illegal substances; creating or obtaining child pornography; child abuse or any other abuse.
Academic misconduct (plagiarism; conclusion and cheating)
Drug or alcohol misuse: driving with excess alcohol or under the influence of drugs; alcohol consumption that affects work or the work environment; misusing therapeutic or illicit drugs; possessing or dealing illicit drugs; even if there are no legal proceedings.
Persistent Inappropriate or unprofessional behaviour or attitudes - lack of commitment to academic work; neglect of administrative tasks; poor time management; infrequent or non-attendance; poor-communication; failure to accept or follow educational advice; failure to follow health and safety requirements; or failure to follow the rules and regulations of the School and/or University.
Dishonesty or fraud including dishonesty outside the professional role: falsifying research; falsifying qualifications; misrepresentation; financial fraud fraudulent CVs or other documents or student signing in for other students to misrepresent attendance.
Unprofessional behaviour or attitudes: breach of confidentiality; sexual racial or other forms of harassment; failure to observe appropriate boundaries in behaviour; persistent rudeness; bullying; unlawful discrimination.
Heath concerns and lack of insight or management of these concerns: failure to seek appropriate medical treatment or other support; failure to follow medical advice or care plans; including monitoring and reviews; in relation to maintaining fitness to practise; failure to recognise limits and abilities or lack of insight into health concerns; treatment-resistant conditions; which might impair fitness to practise.

The above list is not exhaustive.

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Regulator Case Studies

Please refer to the following web site for Fitness to Practise case study examples:

http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/ Back to Top

Page last modified 08 July 2014.

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