Professional Judgement

As a pharmacist, you will face situations where you have to choose between several courses of action. A crude example being to decide whether to supply a medicine or not.

In some cases, there may be a conflict between your ethical duty to promote patient care and safety and legislation which restricts your action.

You may have to choose the best option possible in the circumstances and be prepared to defend your action.

Many pharmacists exercise their professional judgement instinctively, but you can use this guide to break the process down into smaller steps.

First Published: 4 October 2016
Updated: 22 April 2022

Sections on this page

  • What is professional judgement?
  • Why is it important to you?
  • Using professional judgement
  • Different choices
  • Why is it important to be able to justify a decision?
  • Professional judgement – a blanket defence?
  • Where to go for further information

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Ethical, professional decision making in the COVID-19 pandemic

(9 April 2020) The RPS short life working group has produced additional guidance on ethical, professional decision making in the COVID-19 pandemic - read the new ethical guidance with regards to COVID-19.