The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP) is a quality assurance program for community pharmacy, and provides support and guidance on professional health services and pharmacy business operations. By increasing the number of accredited pharmacies in Australia, QCPP aims to ensure that community pharmacies provide quality professional services and customer care.
Operating now for over 14 years, QCPP was developed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in 1997 in consultation with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and other industry stakeholders. In 1998, the first accreditation was awarded to a pharmacy in Maryland, a suburb of Newcastle, in NSW. We now have over 92% of pharmacies accredited across Australia.
As of 2011, QCPP was recognised as Australian Standard 85000:2011 - quality management system for pharmacies in Australia. The Guild is accredited by Standards Australia as a Standards Development Organisation, and QCPP is accredited by JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand) as a conformity assessment body.
The QCPP Requirements Manual outlines QCPP evidence requirements including policies, procedures and templates. The latest manual, which was the 3rd revision of the manual, was distributed to all accredited pharmacies in June 2011. It incorporates the new requirements of the Australian Standard, and also accommodates new reporting and record keeping obligations as part of the Pharmacy Practice Incentives (PPIs) in the Fifth Community Pharmacy (5CPA). The introduction of PPI payments represents an exciting shift in incentivising accreditation within a quality framework. Community pharmacies will no longer be financially incentivised simply for being accredited under a quality accreditation system. The payment of PPIs is linked to the delivery of a specific service to the quality Standard. Therefore, eligibility for each PPI category is linked to meeting specific requirements within QCPP.
To ensure that pharmacies meet the Australian Standard they must undergo an external audit every two years. These audits are conducted by QCPP Licensed Assessors and are designed to protect the integrity of the program. The assessors are trained professionals with a background in the pharmacy industry.
Random assessment visits are also used to assess the maintenance of QCPP standards in accredited pharmacies. Currently the routine random assessments conducted by QCPP are annual Mystery Shopper visits. These visits are conducted by a contracted mystery shopper who is accompanied by a QCPP state manager and/or pharmacy liaison officer. The Mystery Shopper program has helped to create an impressive body of evidence to show to regulators the importance of the pharmacy schedules, and their undeniable benefit to the health of Australians. Data collected from the program has demonstrated the extent of pharmacy intervention in direct product request sales for Pharmacy Medicines, as well as the compliance by pharmacy staff to standards and protocols applicable to the supply of Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only Medicines.
In addition to the Requirements Manual, QCPP also provides a range of resources and services to help support pharmacies prepare for accreditation including information available on this website and Excellence, QCPP’s bi-monthly newsletter distributed to accredited pharmacies. Visit the Resources tab to access these resources.