Irish Institute of Pharmacy

The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a system of continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists in Ireland.

The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) was established by the PSI in 2013, and is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a system of continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists in Ireland. The IIOP is responsible for ensuring that these developments meet the emerging needs of patients and the wider healthcare system.

It oversees the management and support mechanisms for CPD, and accredits and commissions education and training programmes in line with national policy, evolving healthcare needs and the needs of the profession. The IIOP also progresses the development of pharmacy practice in line with international best practice and ensures that it continues to maintain and build upon its position at the forefront of healthcare delivery. The IIOP is funded by the Department of Health and the PSI.

Operation of the IIOP

In January 2017, the PSI commissioned a review of current outsourcing arrangements for the IIOP. The review was carried out independently by Crowe Howarth. The purpose was to review the operation of the IIOP since its commencement in August 2013, to inform the ongoing development of the CPD model. The review examined, evaluated and assessed the governance, operational, functional, contractual, management and delivery arrangements in place in respect of the IIOP outsourced service arrangement, and considered the experience in the context of quality, efficacy and value-for-money.

The key elements of the review comprised: 

  • Stakeholder consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders, including the PSI, the IIOP, the IIOP Steering Group, RCSI, the Department of Health, training providers, pharmacists, and others. 
  • Review of key documentation relating to the establishment and functioning of the IIOP. 
  • Functional analysis of the operation of the model of CPD. 
  • Consideration of the financial model in terms of sustainability and value for money. 
  • Comprehensive analysis of the IIOP, using a “logic model” structure.

The recommendations of the Crowe Howarth report contributed to the development of the current outsourcing arrangements by the PSI for the IIOP with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). These arrangements are in place since May 2018.

The current contract agreement with the RCSI places the IIOP in the lead role with respect to the development and implementation of the CPD system for pharmacists and the development of pharmacy practice, in line with international best practice and evolving healthcare needs.

As part of the governance arrangements under the current contract with the RCSI, an Advisory Group oversees the work of the IIOP. This Advisory Group is appointed by the RCSI, with its purpose to advise the IIOP on the annual work programme, review and advise on performance, and generally advise the Executive Director of the IIOP on relevant matters pertaining to the execution of the work plan and achievement of performance targets. The PSI continues to advise and support the IIOP in its role.

This image depicts the governance structure for the IIOP: 

Governance structure for the IIOP (download)