Professional standards for hospital pharmacy

Hospital pharmacy

In 2012, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published professional standards for hospital pharmacy services. These professional standards aimed to ensure that patients receive a high quality pharmacy service across the full range of service providers, whether provided in house or outsourced. We identified 10 overarching professional standards, under which sit several 'dimensions'of practice that encompass all pharmacy services across a range of care settings.

In 2014, we are delighted to re-launch the refreshed professional standards, which have been revisited in light of the Francis review of events at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust and the response to that review, the report of the National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England (commonly referred to as the Berwick report).

More emphasis has been given to some of the key themes, including:

  • the need to increase patient involvement and feedback in the development, delivery and improvement of pharmacy services;
  • organisational culture and the need to provide services in a candid, transparent and open way in an environment that supports continuous learning;
  • signposting to key resources that support leadership development, including the Leadership Competency Framework and RPS Faculty tools and resources.

The standards have also been reviewed to ensure they align with other developments in pharmacy and healthcare agendas in Scotland and Wales.  As part of the standards review we have also taken the opportunity to incorporate the experience of the 35 development sites from across GB that spent a year putting the standards into practice.

A summary of the changes to the standards is also available »

Professional standards and resources

About the commission

Professional standards for hospital pharmacy services

The ten overarching professional standards for hospital pharmacy represent quality pharmacy services whether provided internally or outsourced. They underpin the patient experience and the safe effective management of medicines within and across organisations.

Download the standards »

Seven day services report

Seven day services in hospital pharmacy report

Seven Day Services in Hospital Pharmacy: Giving patients the care they deserve, provides a summary of the meeting between the Society and colleagues to discuss the challenges faced in moving to seven day services and outlines emerging themes for the pharmacy profession to consider when developing seven day services supplemented by actions for consideration.

Read the report »

View our supporting resources

We have developed a number of supporting resources to highlight the importance of quality pharmacy services and help organisations implement the standards in practice. These include a handbook which provides you with a range of resources  that can be used to support implementation and practice examples  that illustrate how others have implemented the standards in their organisation. 

View our supporting resources »

How the commission works

Development sites experience

In September 2012, work was begun with a number of development sites from a range of different care settings, across Great Britain on an implementation programme to help with the refining of the standards as well as inspiring others through the shared experiences of the sites.

Learn more about our development sites »

Best practice standards

Best Practice Standards for Managing Medicines Shortages in Secondary Care in England

This guidance (jointly published with the NHS) provides advice to NHS hospitals in managing medicines shortages at local level to minimise any risks to patients through delays to treatment.

Aimed at all staff, particularly Chief Pharmacists, the standards outline guiding principles including collaborative working to ensure that medicines in short supply are used for patients with greatest clinical need. 

The document also outlines 13 specific standards on policy, risk assessment and internal processes that should be addressed in order to minimise the effect of medicines shortages on patients.

Download the Best Practice Standards »


We worked in close partnership with a wide range of organisations and individuals and we are grateful for their contributions and expertise. Find out more the contributors to the standards.


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