With her revalidation deadline looming, Liz Fidler considers the importance of professional standards
I have just submitted my reflective account to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), as part of the revalidation process and it’s got me reflecting, which is the point, I know! But I’ve been reflecting on what revalidation means to me and, more importantly, what it means to patients and the public.
A position of trust
Part of me wonders if patients and the public really care that I am asked to demonstrate that I meet the regulators professional standards. Well, to be honest, I don’t think they are too worried about the process, but of course they care.
Having the protected title of ‘pharmacy technician’ means something; it means that we adhere to professional standards and are in a trusted position providing patient/public services. It means that we can be held to account if our professional practice does not meet the standards – and rightly so. When we are in the privileged position of providing pharmaceutical services, healthcare or medicines advice, our patients and communities trust that we have the correct knowledge, skills and attributes, and the regulator, as holder of the register, needs to have assurance of that too.
At any time, a member of the public can check the GPhC’s professional register and that will provide them with some assurance that the name on there is committed to what it means to be a professional.
Professionalism in practice
My interpretation of being a professional requires us to ensure our knowledge is up to date, that we act with integrity and we put patient care first. This is something we should,
as a profession, be proud to demonstrate.
Completing the reflective account requirement this year provided me with some time to pause and think about my practice. Having the opportunity to write down how during this last year I have met the three professional standards was actually quite therapeutic. It was a chance to celebrate the difference I make and hold myself to account. Have I provided the best care I can?
It’s been 10 years since we became a registered profession in England, Scotland and Wales and I am proud to submit my revalidation to the GPhC as part of this. It’s my chance to show to the regulator the difference and impact I make on patient care through delivery of the professional standards. I am a healthcare professional and, like pharmacists, doctors, nurses and others, it’s important that I demonstrate that I am worthy of the registered status I hold, for my patient’s sake.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get anxious when the email or letter arrives informing me its time, as well as when I’m about to hit the ‘submit’ button, but that’s because it matters. It’s easy to procrastinate about what to write, and I do, but there’s plenty of revalidation support available, including for members of APTUK via our website.
So, when your time comes to complete the reflective account, take a moment to pause and reflect on the amazing difference you make to patients. Choose an example that you are proud of and that showcases the professional standards required and then hit ‘submit’ with pride.