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Training pre-registration pharmacists

Our work on training for pre-registration pharmacists starts with developing more appropriate systems of recruitment and selection, and leads onto enhanced workplace support for the tutor and pre-registration pharmacist. Throughout this work, we'll seek to ensure that these changes are transferable into different training formats.

Workplace-based support

We want to ensure that the future pharmacy workforce begin their professional journey supported by good practice from those guiding them through the process. 

Our work includes piloting and developing: 

  • Systems to record and share evidence
    • an e-portfolio
    • pharmacy competency panels, for pre-registration pharmacist  trainees
  • Systems to enhance the wider support available
    • tutor training (enhancing capability and capacity)
    • workplace based assessments

During 2016/17, pilots will be undertaken with small samples of trainees and tutors, to see if aspects of the system can be rolled out on a wider scale across pharmacy training.


We are looking to introduce an e-portfolio that will allow tutors to monitor a trainees’ progress and provide them with support when needed. It will also allow workplace programme leads to oversee trainees’ progress as a group.

The e-portfolio has been tested by up to 200 trainees across hospital and community pharmacy in an initial ‘discovery’ phase. The results of this trial can be viewed in the below infographic, and in the update briefing report available at the foot of this page.

A further trial will run from August 2017 to July 2018 and will involve 800 trainees. The results of these will be used to inform whether the e-portfolio should be adopted wider, and what it should look like. The resulting system will support formative assessments, as outlined within the General Pharmaceutical Council’s performance standards. If you are a pharmacist and interested in getting involved in the trial, contact the programme team.

Pharmacy competency panel

We are looking at whether we should introduce a single, consistent panel based approach for reviewing pharmacist pre-registration trainees’ competencies. We are piloting this and looking at how we gather wider support for it amongst tutors and trainees. The panel will be based on the current General Pharmaceutical Council’s framework.

For a selection of trainees, the e-portfolio outlined above will form part of this panel process, to make sure that this process is fair and of high quality.

Improving access to tutor training

We are also looking at opportunities for how the pharmacy workforce can better access tutor training. We are running seven local pilots to test the options, all using varied formats. Through a structured evaluation process, each training routes will be assessed on its relevance to pharmacists’ role in practice, and used to shape how pharmacy tutors access training going forward, ultimately enhancing tutors’ capacity and capability.

Workplace based assessments

Workplace Based Assessments, or supervised learning events, are increasingly being used across pharmacy practice, particularly for the post graduate diploma. In the future, these may be used to underpin pharmacist’s training, and we are looking at how these tools can be used with pre-registration pharmacist training.


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How we recruit pre-registration pharmacists into training should be consistent with other health care professionals across the NHS, and should ensure that they possess the values required to work within the NHS. 

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