The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) is a tiered framework (Levels 1 to 3) aimed at achieving consistent delivery of a broad range of health improvement interventions through community pharmacies to meet local needs, improve the health and wellbeing of the local population and help to reduce health inequalities.

In summer 2016, Public Health England (PHE) published the Quality Criteria for Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 underpinned by a new profession-led self-assessment process.

RSPH has been commissioned by PHE to run a pilot scheme, which includes registration and quality assurance of the profession-led self-assessment process to test its effectiveness.



Who is this process aimed at?

It is aimed at community pharmacies intending to progress to the profession-led self-assessment process as HLPs Level 1, and which have not a valid accreditation as HLPs by a local scheme (e.g. led by the local authority).

How do I register my pharmacy as Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1?

To register you first need to assess your compliance with the HLP L1 Quality Criteria, we have created a self-assessment tool to assist you with this exercise. Alternatively you can use any other appropriate methods to clearly present your evidence against the HLP L1 Quality Criteria, cross-referencing them back to your portfolio.

Once you have assessed your pharmacy against the HLP L1 Quality Criteria, please complete the online assessment of compliance form.

Please note that although the self-assessment process can be undertaken by an appropriate member of staff at the pharmacy, the online assessment of compliance form has to be completed by a registered professional (registered pharmacist or registered pharmacy technician) for the particular pharmacy who must provide their General Pharmaceutical Council registration number.

Who produced the quality criteria?

The quality criteria and self-assessment process has been developed by the Healthy Living Pharmacy Task Group of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum (which is responsible to Public Health England). The quality criteria has been endorsed and ratified by the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum.

Does my pharmacy need to fulfil all the suggested evidence in the Quality Criteria?

The examples in the suggested evidence column in the Quality Criteria document are indicative of the type of evidence that may be presented and are not exhaustive; other evidence may also be suitable. Compulsory evidence is stated as REQUIRED within the quality criteria; these include certificates of completed assessments, where assessment certification is not available, please provide details of training attended (date, provider, notification of qualification achievement). Other evidence demonstrating how the pharmacy team meet the quality criteria may be used as appropriate.

Please note that the Communications section under Team Leadership will be verified through observation during the site visit. However, evidence should be included in the portfolio, examples but not limited to, include customer feedback mechanisms (suggestion box, surveys) and reports; job descriptions with clear customer service standards, case studies or reports on brief advice service performance.

What should be considered when preparing our portfolio of evidence?

  • The key is quality rather than quantity of evidence.Your portfolio should be judicious, concise and relevant (it should fit within a single ring binder)
  • Organise the portfolio in a logical way and reference the evidence to the criteria
  • Include at least one example of evidence for each criterion
  • You may use the same piece of evidence to support more than one criterion.

My pharmacy is or was a Healthy Living Pharmacy (Level 1, 2 or 3) through a local scheme, do we still need to register with RSPH?

At present, the scheme is targeted at community pharmacies intending to progress to the profession-led self-assessment process as HLPs Level 1, which do not have a valid accreditation as a HLP with a local scheme (e.g. led by the local authority).

If your pharmacy is currently an accredited HLP, you will not be able to participate in this scheme.

If I own more than one pharmacy, can I complete one assessment for all of them?

No, the process must be completed for each pharmacy.

My pharmacy is located within a larger business. Do the criteria apply to all members of staff who work with the business?

At present, the scheme is targeted at community pharmacies intending to progress to the profession-led self-assessment process as HLPs Level 1, who are not currently accredited as HLPs by a local scheme (e.g. led by the local authority).

How do I know my leadership training fulfills the Quality Criteria requirements?

In order to meet the evidence criteria for Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 your Evaluator will need to see evidence of your having completed a suitable Leadership Programme, either by mapping out or encompassing these domains: Inspiring a shared purpose’, ‘Sharing the vision’, ‘Engaging the team’, ‘Developing capability’ and ‘Influencing for results’.

These leadership qualities are likely to have been incorporated into even a basic Leadership Programme as they mirror both the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model and RPS Leadership cluster of the Faculty portfolio.

Examples of evidence include a certificate of assessment following the training, certificate of attendance or a programme for the training (with aim and learning objectives/outcomes).

Do we need to send our portfolio of evidence to support our assessment of compliance at the time of registration?

Your portfolio or evidence of compliance is not required at this stage. If your pharmacy is selected at random for a compliance visit, we will contact you and ask you to disclose the portfolio of evidence and other relevant information to our evaluator at the visit. Please refer to the questions regarding the quality assurance process for more information.

How long after I submit our assessment of compliance would I receive confirmation of registration from RSPH?

RSPH will endeavour to contact you by email within 10 working days after we have received your online assessment of compliance form to confirm registration and provide your HLP logo. An e-certificate will be sent to you within three working days of registration.

How do I register or get accredited for level 2 and 3?

Local authorities will continue to lead on implementation and accreditation of level 2 and 3 HLPs with commissioned services. Please contact your local authority for further details.

Do we need to inform our commissioner at the Local Authority that we are intending to go down the profession-led self-assessment process for HLP level 1 status?

Yes, it is very important that you inform the Local Authority public health commissioner. Ideally, it would be good to get their support. This would be particularly useful if you are intending to further progress to HLP Level 2 and 3, or when the Local Authority decides to implement a scheme for Level 2 and 3, when services will be commissioned.

If successful, how long my pharmacy will be accredited for?

Accreditation is valid for two years.


About the HLP Level 1 Quality Assurance Process

What is the purpose of the quality assurance process for Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1?

The purpose is to assure the public, commissioners and other healthcare professionals that the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1 quality criteria for the profession-led self-assessment process are being met consistently across the country. The proportionate quality assurance process provides the underpinning governance for HLP Level 1.

As part of this process, a number of HLP Level 1 pharmacies will be chosen at random to verify their compliance with the HLP Level 1 quality criteria for the profession-led self-assessment process. Verification involves a compliance visit where the supporting evidence is reviewed and the health promoting ethos of the pharmacy will be witnessed.

Please note that whilst attainment of Level 1 is the entry point to HLP framework, registration schemes for Level 2 and 3 are still being led by the local authorities.

Who needs to be at the visit?

Ideally, the registered professional who completed the online assessment of compliance form should be present. If this is not possible, we strongly suggest the pharmacy owner, the superintendent pharmacist or a responsible pharmacist should be present at the time of the compliance visit. The Health Champion trained with the RSPH Level 2 award Understanding Health Improvement qualification should also be present.

What do we need for the visit?

You will need the completed Assessment of Compliance visit report template (RSPH will send this with your notice letter) and your portfolio of evidence.

The evaluator carrying out your visit will need to see your supporting evidence. As such, please organise the evidence in a portfolio cross-referenced to your self-assessment tool.

Who will carry out the visit?

The evaluator undertaking your compliance visit will be a professional with relevant experience and assessment qualification. They will be working on behalf of RSPH.

What will the evaluator be looking for?

The evaluator will be looking for evidence to support your compliance with the HLP Level 1 Quality Criteria for the profession-led self-assessment process. The evaluator will check the evidence in your portfolio, interview you and observe your pharmacy’s health promoting environment and confirm compliance using the Healthy Living Pharmacy Compliance visit report (RSPH will send this with your notice letter).

Please refer to the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 Quality Criteria document for further guidance on the types of evidence that would be suitable for each element of the criteria.

As stated in the Quality Criteria there are particular pieces of evidence that MUST be presented and which you must be able to show at the time of the visit.

If the evidence for any of the quality criteria does not fully confirm compliance, the evaluator will discuss with you at the visit alternative pieces of evidence that can be provided.


How will we know the outcome of the visit?

The evaluator will discuss the outcome with you at the end of the visit. If necessary, they will also discuss with you an action plan for resolving any areas of non-compliance.

What happens if we fail to show compliance at the visit?

If at the visit you are unable to show compliance in any of the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 Quality Criteria elements, you will be given three weeks to remedy the situation and submit further evidence. The evaluator will discuss this procedure with you at the visit.

How long will the visit last?

It will last between 1.5-3 hours depending on how well prepared your portfolio of evidence is and the quality of its content.

Once my pharmacy has been quality assured, do we get a further seal of approval?

No. The purpose of the visit is to validate your self-assessment. Your pharmacy will already have received the Healthy Living Pharmacy logo and registration certificate.

What happens if my pharmacy fails to be compliant all together?

The Royal Society for Public Health, on behalf of Public Health England, will ask you to cease using the Healthy Living Pharmacy logo and your certificate will be retracted. The pharmacy will be also removed from the registry and may not be able to progress to Level 2 and Level 3 with local schemes.



Find out more

If you would like any further information, please email us or call 020 7265 7322.