Who is who!

With so many bodies working in the community pharmacy sector – it can be really confusing!

This page is designed to give an overview of the key organisations you might need to know about if you are considering a career in community pharmacy!


The first thing to know that pharmacy is a regulated profession. This means that the profession has a central body which is legally required to regulate it. It also means professionals must register with this central body before they can practice.

In England, Scotland and Wales The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies. This means they set the standards that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies must meet.

The main role of the GPhC is to protect the public and give them assurances that they will receive safe and effective care when using pharmacy services.

In Northern Ireland The Pharmaceutical Society Northern Ireland (PSNI) regulates pharmacists and pharmacies.

Studying to become a pharmacist

If you want to be a pharmacist you will need to study at a university School of Pharmacy which has been accredited by the regulator. For more information on how to become a pharmacist see our fact sheet here.

A full list of accredited Schools of Pharmacy can be viewed here.

Whilst all universities teach to the same standards – the courses are delivered in different ways. We recommend you have a look at different university websites to find a course that best suits you.

Training to become a pharmacy technician

For more information about training to become a pharmacy technician you can read our fact sheet here.

You may also be interested in exploring the website for the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, which provides lots of useful information.

We also recommend you look at website for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). The RPS is the professional membership body for pharmacists in England, Scotland and Wales and their website includes lots of useful information.

Education bodies

Statutory education bodies work to support the delivery of healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public by ensuring that the workforce has the right numbers, training and skills.


If your already studying or training to become a pharmacist and are looking for support you may want to visit Pharmacist Support. Pharmacist Support is an independent charity, which provides support services to; pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students.

You may also be interested in joining the British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA). The BPSA is the official student body of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and has over 15,000 members.

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