The Hague • 6 October 2022
Standards for assuring the quality of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education are described in a new Statement of Policy from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), released today.
“As additional roles for pharmacists are increasingly recognised, many countries have undertaken a major transformation of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education. In addition, the COVID pandemic changed education dramatically, with distance teaching being applied not only to theoretical courses, but also to experiential training. However, not all countries have a national system for quality assurance (QA) of education, leaving adherence to international or regional QA standards as an option for higher education institutions, and this leads to heterogeneity in workforce competencies. Quality assurance is important for maintaining the quality of education in order to support the development of an adequate and appropriate pharmaceutical workforce,” explained Dr Banan Abdulrzaq Mukhalalati, chair of FIP’s Quality Assurance of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education Policy Committee.
The new policy statement makes a number of specifications for QA systems, including that they should be based on standards that recognise political, legal, social, economic and cultural contexts and the potential professional advancements in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education; and that they should reflect a vision for pharmaceutical practice, sciences and education that has been developed by allowing appropriate input from all stakeholders, including other healthcare professionals, researchers, students, the public and patients. They should also ensure that educational programmes are supported by a research-active environment and are competency-based, the federation says.
The new policy statement, which updates a 2009 FIP policy on this topic, also makes specific recommendations for FIP member organisations, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences academic institutions, and providers of continuing professional development. In addition, it outlines the commitments of FIP in this area, including developing key performance indicators to measure the implementation of the workforce element of FIP Development Goal 3 (Quality assurance). “FIP, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) jointly recognise the need to build capacity and expertise in QA. FIP urges countries to adopt or adapt its global QA standards, tools and frameworks to their national context,” Dr Mukhalalati said.
She added: “Ultimately, radical improvements in the availability and quality of the workforce are only possible if the higher education and health sectors collaboratively implement a transformative education agenda grounded in continuous quality improvement, competency-based learning, and quality academic and institutional infrastructure.”
Notes for editors
FIP has developed a number of resources on quality assurance in education, of which an overview can be found here.
The 21 FIP Development Goals, launched in 2020, are a key resource for transforming pharmacy nationally, regionally and globally to 2030, aligned with FIP’s mission and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
About FIP The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 146 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. www.fip.org
Ms Lin-Nam Wang
Head of Corporate Communications & Advocacy
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
Tel +31 6 316 29160