Hospital pharmacy specialisation

Hospital pharmacists work in an environment in which the most acute need patients receive treatment, often with the riskiest, most expensive, personally tailored and novel medications.

In order to practice safely and with independent competence, hospital pharmacists (as evidenced in the 2011 Pharmine project and FIP Global statements) require a set of specific competencies that go above and beyond the basic education of 5 years for pharmacists described in the European Directive on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications 2005/36/EC.

These include special competencies in:

  • intensive care treatment;
  • rare diseases;
  • emergency treatment;
  • practice interface management;
  • clinical development and research; and,
  • specialist practice in areas such as oncology, radiopharmacy, advanced therapies and paediatrics.

For this reason most European countries have in place some form of post graduate qualification to raise the skills and competences of pharmacists to that required in hospital practice. Indeed in some countries, possession of such qualification can be a requirement of practice. 

EAHP supports the raising of standards in hospital pharmacist knowledge and qualification that comes with a hospital pharmacy qualification and see it as an essential element of being able to continue to practice safely in an environment of high innovation and risk. 

EAHP also supports a process for gradual harmonisation of the hospital pharmacy qualification across Europe, enabling better recognition and mobility for advanced practitioners across the health service in the European Economic Area.

To achieve this goal, EAHP is:

  • actively supporting the continuation of the Pharmine project to review core pharmacy competencies;
  • developing pan-European hospital pharmacy education frameworks; and,
  • making representations to the European Commission and Parliament to enable legal mechanisms to exist for cross-border recognition of the specialisation.

Relevant documents:




Last update: 26 May 2016