The objective of the PHAR-QA (Quality assurance in European pharmacy education and training) project was to investigate how competence-based learning could be applied to a healthcare, sectoral profession such as pharmacy. This is the first study on evaluation of competences from the pharmacists’ perspective using an improved Delphi method with a large number of respondents from all over Europe. This paper looks at the way in which hospital pharmacists rank the fundamental competences for pharmacy practice. European hospital pharmacists (n = 152) ranked 68 competences for pharmacy practice of two types (personal and patient care), arranged into 13 clusters. Results were compared to those obtained from community pharmacists (n = 258). Generally, hospital and community pharmacists rank competences in a similar way. Nevertheless, differences can be detected. The higher focus of hospital pharmacists on knowledge of the different areas of science as well as on laboratory tests reflects the idea of a hospital pharmacy specialisation. The difference is also visible in the field of drug production. This is a necessary competence in hospitals with requests for drugs for rare diseases, as well as paediatric and oncologic drugs. Hospital pharmacists give entrepreneurship a lower score, but cost-effectiveness a higher one than community pharmacists. This reflects the reality of pharmacy practice where community pharmacists have to act as entrepreneurs, and hospital pharmacists are managers staying within drug budgets. The results are discussed in the light of a “hospital pharmacy” specialisation.
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