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Healthy Living Pharmacy

  • England

HLP Accreditation and Process

It can be daunting knowing where to start with the accreditation process to become a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1. Numark have made it easy for our members to provide the tools they need to become accredited and provide on-going support to maintain their quality mark.

Setting the scene

HLP is a quality mark where pharmacies complete a self-assessment of compliance on an individual basis and provide evidence against the quality criteria. Pharmacies declare their compliance to the quality assurance provider who will award them with a certificate and logo. The pharmacy is expected to maintain their quality mark by re-assessing themselves against the quality criteria every two years.

Read more about the background to HLP

Why HLP is important

  • A HLP is recognised as the ideal destination to access expert advice on local health and wellbeing needs. Pharmacies can look towards HLP as a way of raising their profile in the community and to set them apart from local competition.
  • Councils recognise the HLP quality mark so pharmacies are more likely to get commissioned services when the tenders go out.
  • HLP may become a standard moving forward, so HLP can be a used as a way of preparing the pharmacy for future services.
  • HLPs have a different look and feel to regular pharmacies which will be instantly recognisable when people walk in. 
  • Health promotions play a big part of maintaining the quality mark and are a great way of linking into services provided by the pharmacy.
  • Health promotions can also help with the sale of OTC products and generate a new income stream.

Your step by step guide

For ease and to help support you at whatever point you are within your HLP journey, we have broken the information you need and the key process down into specific sections.  Move through these sections in turn or select your starting point based on your progress so far.  For each element relevant to becoming HLP accredited we will outline the resources and support available from Numark to help you on your way.

  1. Getting started on HLP

    For those who are just starting their HLP journey, this section describes some of the early procedures, most if which you are likely to be doing already.  If not, we also detail how Numark can help.

  2. Five key standards and requirements

    This section will detail the five basic standards that you must achieve before starting your HLP journey.  Again, it is likely that you are already achieving these standards but where there are gaps in knowledge or processes we have detailed where Numark can help.

  3. Key steps to achieving HLP - The Quality Criteria

    There are three core criteria that you need to achieve and evidence before you can self declare HLP status.  This is where the majority of effort and resource will be required for you to become HLP accredited.  Numark have a comprehensive portfolio of support which will help you every step of the way.

Maintaining your quality mark

Once you have achieved your HLP level 1 status, to maintain the quality mark, you will be required to:

  • Continue collating your evidence
  • Ensure health champions are still in place or if they are not, you will be required to ensure another member of staff is trained up to become a champion. To book, call Buttercups on 0115 937 4936 and ask for the Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement course and quote your Numark member number to receive a 10% discount.

Deliver health campaigns- we have an abundance of support available on our

Health Awareness Events page

HLP on Quality Payments

Here we will describe the quality payment as per of the new funding arrangements as announced in 2016.  This will include the criteria required and Numark resources designed to help.

Top tips for successful accreditation

  • Staff resource:  The key to a successful HLP is great teamwork. It may take time to get used to working in a new way but HLP is the way forward for securing future pharmacy services
  • It’s not a new contract: You may find that you are already meeting some or most of the criteria. Build an action plan for all the missing gaps and you will be one step closer to becoming accredited.
  • For your evidence: Try and store everything in single ring binder folder. Keep evidence clear and concise. Try to organise it in a logical manner, use inserts and reference each piece of evidence appropriately. Remember, the examples outlined by PHE in the quality criteria are suggestions, if you have other evidence to support the criteria use it if appropriate. See HLP folder on eShop.
  • Timescales:  HLP is heavy on staff resource so take into consideration training time, implementing learning into the pharmacy and the time taken to receive certificates as you will need this if you are selected for an inspection.

Declaring HLP status

The final step in the process is declaring your compliance.

Once you have successfully worked through the quality criteria, you will be required to complete the online assessment available via the RSPH website. There are three parts to the assessment, which is explained on the website and outlined by PHE on the quality criteria.  It can take up to 10 working days for RSPH to confirm your registration as a HLP.

HLP Inspection

You may be contacted directly from the RSPH to conduct a compliance visit where an evaluator working on behalf of the RSPH will spend between 1.5-3 hours at your pharmacy, reviewing your evidence for every element of the quality criteria.

There is an up to date Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) section on the RSPH website where you can access further information about the visit.

HLP inspections

In summary

Even though HLP is seen by some as a ‘tick box exercise’, Numark strongly advises members to never underestimate the work involved in achieving and maintaining the status. It is about the quality which must be consistently demonstrated in the pharmacy in order to maintain the quality mark. HLP status is a long term commitment and is shaping the future for pharmacy. The status works favourably with councils who are looking to commission services which may increase footfall in your pharmacy in the future.

Health Promotion newsletter

Sign up to Numark’s quarterly Health Promotion newsletter containing information on upcoming health promotions and hints and tips and making the most of your status

Further details

If you have any further questions in relation to HLP, please contact a member of the services team on 0800 783 5709* or