RPS announce independent review of participation, transparency and accountability

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has today announced that it will be undertaking an independent review of member participation and RPS communications concerning decisions they take ‘on behalf of the profession’ through their Governance boards.

RPS has said that the transparency of their decision-making processes and the accountability of decisions taken will be included in the scope of this review. This will specifically include the ability to explain the reasons and evidence used to make key decisions.   

The outputs of their review will be measured using the following success criteria:


  • RPS members feel appropriately engaged, informed and empowered to influence decisions around pharmacy policy and the work of the RPS taken by those elected to represent them.
  • RPS members understand what and why decisions around organisational policy have been taken on their behalf by elected representatives.


  • RPS decision-making processes are open and transparent with an emphasis on evidence-based decision making.
  • Definition, criteria and purpose of open, confidential and restricted business are understood by RPS members, elected members and stakeholders.


  • RPS elected members are enabled to be publicly accountable for decisions taken by the organisation at National Country Board and Assembly level.

A comprehensive review of the communications from RPS will also take place. RPS said today that as an organisation they are committed to publishing this independent review when it is complete and to making changes based on its recommendations.

Commenting on the review Professor Claire Anderson, RPS President, said:

“I know recent decisions taken by the RPS Assembly on our membership of the International Pharmacy Federation (FIP) and Royal College status have caused considerable concern amongst some members.

“As I have said, perhaps we have been overly cautious in airing these decisions in public, and I freely admit we don’t always get this judgement right. I am sorry that because of this some members have learned about decisions from sources other than RPS. This isn’t acceptable to me.

“I have asked the Executive team to commission a review from an organisation with expertise in managing participation and communications. This will follow a robust procurement process. I would like to emphasise that I want to co-create solutions with you, our members, as well as my colleague elected members and stakeholders. I see the process of creating this new approach to participation to be as important as the new approach itself. I look forward to hearing your views and working with you on building a better relationship between you and RPS.” 

Pharmacy in Practice has asked how much this review will cost. In response to this question the RPS said the following:

“There is a bidding process and this is a live situation so we are unable to discuss. We are at the start of this process, are awaiting responses, and budgets will be set dependent on the proposals received.”

The RPS Participation and Communications review is scheduled to begin in April and conclude in June, with outputs and recommendations to be discussed in open business at the Assembly meeting in July.

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