E5 Humanitarian pharmacists: Time to develop a competency framework

Wednesday 13 September 2017
COEX Convention & Exhibition Center : Grand Ballroom 105 3 hours

Organised by the FIP Military and Emergency Pharmacy Section

Chairs: Wendy Walker (FIP MEPS, Australia) and Stephen Shaddock (Australian Defence Force, Australia)


Pharmacists are professionally responsible for the safe and effective use of medicines. They traditionally work in various environments, such as community, hospital, industry and academia. However, there are also a number of pharmacists working in a humanitarian environment where the infrastructure, supply chain and patient needs are quite different from what other pharmacists encounter. We will call them the humanitarian pharmacists. The skills required to accomplish the tasks and responsibilities of a humanitarian pharmacist, although based on the competency framework of the pharmacist, include an extra set of competencies. These competencies are usually acquired with time and experience and few programmes exist to train pharmacists for this humanitarian role.

Current training opportunities for humanitarian pharmacists are limited and often organisation-specific. In other words, in most cases, pharmacists can only access training programmes once they have been hired by an organisation. This limits the number of pharmacists who have received training to become humanitarian pharmacists and leads to an inconsistent skill set throughout the profession.

With the growing recognition and demand for humanitarian pharmacists, there is also a growing need to develop an internationally recognised competency framework for them.

Learning objectives

At the conclusion of this knowledge-based session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify areas where a humanitarian pharmacist would be working.
  2. Describe the role of a pharmacist during emergency situations.
  3. Identify resources available to pharmacists to prepare for emergencies.
  4. Identify current limitations and gaps in the training available for pharmacists when it comes to emergency preparedness and response.


14:30 – 15:05
1. Humanitarian pharmacists’ competency framework: fact or fiction? 
Sylvain Grenier (Canadian Forces, Canada)

15:05 – 15:50
2. Workshop/World Cafe part 1
15:50 – 16:10 Coffee/tea break

16:10 – 16:45
3. Workshop/World Cafe part 2 

16:45 – 17:20
4. Workshop/World Cafe part 3

17:20 – 17:30
5. Conclusions by the chair