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Training for pharmacists

We support pharmacists to complete a range of courses including post-graduate diplomas, non-medical prescribing and advanced practice courses.


The pre-registration year for pharmacists is aimed at supporting the transition from pharmacy student to registered qualified pharmacist.

In order to fulfil this goal you will be required to demonstrate that you have the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes and that they can be applied in a practice setting.

This pre-registration training aims to support your development to become a competent and confident practising pharmacist. The training can be undertaken in hospital, community or split placement formats (e.g. hospital with CCG/GP).

We have a variety of hospital trusts/split placements and community placements with opportunities for pre-registration pharmacists across the north.

Are you interested in summer 2019 vacation placements to experience the work of a hospital pharmacy department and meet pharmacists and current pre-registration trainee pharmacists?

To find out more please download the NW Summer 2019 Vacation Placements Flyer.

The foundation period of a pharmacists development is pivotal. It allows the individual to transition from undergraduate/pre-registration student to independent registered practitioner. They need to apply the skills, knowledge and behaviours they have learnt into their day to day practice. To achieve this they will utilise work-based learning principles to reflect, learn and improve as a pharmacist.

It is expected that Foundation pharmacists will work towards achievement of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Foundation Pharmacist Framework. They will need to develop a portfolio to support their reflections and demonstrate their development. This will allow them to use the clinical knowledge they have learnt and apply it to a wide range of real life situations. By reflecting on their performance they will grow as a pharmacist and be on the pathway to advanced practice. To aid their development they should be supported by a supervisor. The supervisor will support the foundation pharmacist to achieve self-directed learning.

To underpin their development foundation pharmacists will need to consider their own learning needs and undertake specific learning activities to improve their practice. This will not only focus on clinical knowledge and skills but also on wider development, such as leadership, service improvement, governance and all aspects of management related to pharmacy.

The North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation will support all foundation pharmacists based in the North of England to access the development opportunities they require to achieve the Foundation level standards set out in the RPS framework. 

Advanced practice describes a level of practice after foundation training and before consultant level practice.

There are different routes to advanced practice after foundation training; some pharmacists will undertake a diploma or master's degree in their specialist clinical area, for example oncology or cardiology. Others may choose a course that supports generalist advanced practice rather than specialist advanced practice.

There are also courses designed specifically to support pharmacists working in general practice surgeries.

Demonstration of competence and value added to patient care is most easily achieved using the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Advanced Pharmacy Framework (APF).

There are many resources available to be used in parallel with the APF including Expert Professional Practice (EPP) Curricula for specific clinical areas, providing more detail to the APF and Handbooks for community pharmacy and GP training.

Clinical practice is the largest element of any role with advanced pharmacists supporting patients with medicines optimisation in a variety of clinical settings. For example, this could be in a general practice surgery, a community pharmacy, in a patient’s home or in a hospital setting.

Pharmacists will usually be an independent prescriber and able to proactively manage patients’ medicines, working together with the patient and members of the healthcare team to ensure the patients gets the most benefit from their medicines.

There are a variety of Masters courses that provide training in advanced practice or advanced clinical knowledge for a specified clinical area or healthcare setting. Some more specialist clinical courses are only provided by a few centres so may not be available within Yorkshire and the Humber. The list below is not exhaustive but provides examples of relevant courses at the correct academic level.

Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM)
MSc Cardiology
MSc Clinical Oncology
MSc Critical Care
Masters Certificate of Professional Development in Medicines Use in Paediatrics and Neonates

A number of universities, including Bradford University, provide a professional Doctorate programme that supports development of advanced pharmacy practice and consultant pharmacist practice.

These programmes are usually completed over 4 to 6 years part time study after a post-graduate diploma and require the pharmacist to provide evidence of practising at Mastery level of the APF and complete a significant research project.

Consultant Pharmacists have been appointed to an NHS post which is approved according to the Department of Health for England 2005 Guidance for the Development of Consultant Pharmacist Posts.

The guidance describes the role of the Consultant Pharmacist, which is distinct from other pharmacy roles.

The aim of the role was to provide patients with access to high level expertise from practitioners leading the profession, through practice, research and teaching, in their specialist area.

We fund non-medical prescribing courses across Yorkshire and the Humber. Acceptance onto the training programme is confirmation of funding for the programme. The option to self-fund is also available.

There is an admission process and criteria which must be met to support training. Eligibility includes having the relevant governance and mentor support in place along with the opportunity to use the training once qualified. The university will be able to outline further details but this includes support from a doctor to act as the Designated Medical Practitioner.

Contact universities directly to apply to a course.

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