The General Pharmaceutical Council appoints new Chief Strategy Officer

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has appointed Louise Edwards as its new Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar.

Louise will succeed Mark Voce, the GPhC’s current Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar, who is taking early retirement in July 2024.

Louise will be joining the GPhC from the Electoral Commission, where she is currently responsible for the organisation’s regulatory work and digital, data, technology and facilities infrastructure, in the role of Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation.

The Chief Strategy Officer is one of four Chief Officers who share delegated authority from the Chief Executive & Registrar to lead the organisation and provide direction to senior management colleagues.

As Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar, Louise will be responsible for leading on the GPhC’s strategy, pharmacy education and training, regulation reform, equality, diversity and inclusion, and our public affairs and external communication work across all teams, and will ensure these collectively follow a single strategic approach.

Louise Edwards said:

“Pharmacy services are at the heart of health care for many people. Having effective regulation and standards in place can transform and give confidence in the quality of care that people receive. I am delighted to be appointed as the new Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar of the General Pharmaceutical Council, and having the opportunity to deliver its vital work to improve the health and well-being of people using pharmacy services.”

Duncan Rudkin, GPhC Chief Executive, said:

“Our Chief Strategy Officer plays an absolutely critical role in delivering our vision and objectives. I am delighted that Louise will be taking on the role when she joins us in July, and I look forward to working closely with her.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Mark for the enormous contribution he has made to pharmacy regulation during his time in this role, and in his previous roles as Director of Education and Standards, and Head of Inspection. Mark’s achievements include leading our programme of work to transform the education and training of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, both before and after registration. Mark has worked closely and effectively with stakeholders across Great Britain to introduce once-in-a-generation reforms which will mean that from 2026, all newly qualified pharmacists will be independent prescribers when they join the register.

“Louise will continue this important work to make sure that the regulation of the education and training of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is strategically designed, implemented and developed to deliver on the vision agreed by the Council.

“Louise will also lead on the development and evaluation of our next five-year strategic plan, to help us to achieve our vision for safe and effective pharmacy care at the heart of healthier communities”.

About Louise Edwards

Louise Edwards is currently the Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation at the Electoral Commission. Louise is responsible for the Electoral Commission’s regulatory work and digital, data, technology and facilities infrastructure. This includes funding and spending at elections and referendums, registering political parties, enforcement work, and data and information management.

Prior to joining the Commission, she worked for a range of regulators including the Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ofgem and the Home Office.

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