Understanding Council’s pharmacy inspection cycles
According to the Pharmacy Inspections and Guide to Compliance manual, the most recent inspection outcome of a pharmacy determines the frequency of subsequent inspections by Council. Depending on the grading achieved, a pharmacy may be inspected annually, once every two years or once every three years. This article provides an overview of the various inspection cycles.
The South African Pharmacy Council (hereafter “Council”) has received numerous requests to review the inspection cycle to mitigate scenarios where some Grade A pharmacies receive accreditation for a period of less than three (3) years due to their month of inspection.
Council deliberated this matter during its sitting of 27-28 July 2022 and, after considering various factors, resolved to sustain the current inspection cycles.
In terms of the Pharmacy Inspections and Guide to Compliance manual, the frequency of Council inspections (i.e. the inspection cycle) is determined by a pharmacy’s most recent inspection outcomes/classification, as follows:
- a pharmacy will be inspected once every three years if the inspection results are excellent (Grade A), once every two years if the results are good (Grade B), and annually if the results are either satisfactory or poor (Grade C);
- the next inspection will be conducted during the year of the expiry of the previous grading, not necessarily at the end of that year; and
- if a pharmacy is inspected during the first half of the year, i.e., between January and June, then the applicable term is calculated from the year in which the inspection is conducted. If a pharmacy is inspected during the second half of the year i.e., between July and December, the applicable term is calculated from the following year.