The PHAR-QA project will look at the interesting problem of QA in the context of Bologna and EHEA principles of education and training of a sectoral profession (pharmacy) in which studies are governed by an EU directive (2005/36/EC) and are characterized by their long duration (5 years), the important roles played by apprenticeship/traineeship and continuing professional development. Furthermore besides these two demands (the EU directive and Bologna) on pharmacy education and training (PET), PET supply has to reply to 2 other demands: the evolution of the role of the pharmacist in the healthcare system and the European pharmaceutical industry. Within this context the PHARMINE consortium produced a series of competence frameworks that can also be included in QA for pharmacy.

The way in which QA replies in the future to demand in PET will be studied in different HEIs that are in the process of evolving their courses in order to meet the 4 demands given above. Thus concerning the question: who will use these project outputs, those first concerned are the approximately 200 HEIs and their 9000 staff and 19,000 students (figures from PHARMINE) involved in PET.

The second target group consists of the education and healthcare sectors of national governments that have to fix resources to be put into PET within the greater picture of ensuring economic, safe and effective healthcare for the population.

Thirdly EU DGs such as DG Internal Market that elaborate directives for the free circulation of members of a sectoral profession such as pharmacy are interested in guaranteeing that pharmacists from all EU member states have the same quality in PET and thus the same competences. It is obvious that again for the latter QA in PET is essential.

Fourthly the pharmacists and their chambers and societies are obviously interested in QA in PET. The population of the 25 EU member states under consideration in PHARMINE (Luxembourg and Cyprus were excluded from the analysis as they do not have a full pharmacy degree in the HEI cursus) is 501 million. A total of 419,353 pharmacists work in these 25 countries.

Finally the EU population of over 500 million will benefit from the improved patient safety and treatment stemming from the excellent pharmaceutical care afforded by community and hospital pharmacists, and from the improved medications produced by well-trained industrial pharmacists, with an excellent PET backed up by QA.