The Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme (IFPP) is designed to provide you with the support you need to make the transition from pre-registration trainee, through provisional registration, to becoming a fully registered foundation pharmacist and beyond.
Why should I register with the IFPP?
For all healthcare practitioners, the move into professional practice is complex and demanding, and includes a period of intense learning of new skills, knowledge and behaviours. You will need to adapt to a new phase in your career in which, probably for the first time, you will experience the responsibilities of professional judgment and accountability.
Provisional pharmacist registration is a unique situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IFPP is designed to provide you with support, direction, information and resources to help you to bridge the transition from pre-registration training to independent practice.
The IFPP is a supportive, formative, trainee-led vocational training programme. The learning is predominantly based in the workplace reflecting on ‘lived experiences’ in your day to day practice. This will help you to identify areas of good practice and where you need to focus your learning and development, setting an excellent path for your career in pharmacy. The programme will also support your preparation for the GPhC registration assessment where you will demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge in practice.
Our new Frequently Asked Questions will help you prepare for the upcoming GPhC registration assessment.
See 'Getting ready for the GPhC registration assessment' below.
All provisionally registered pharmacists are encouraged to register with the IFPP irrespective of their employment status or the sector the practice.
If you are currently awaiting employment or are waiting to re-sit the GPhC registration assessment in England, and are not eligible to become a provisionally registered pharmacist, you can still register with the IFPP to access some elements of the programme.
Please see the eligibility flow diagram, published at the bottom of the page for further information.
Join the IFPP and benefit from the support provided for your foundation practice.
Click here to access the registration form. The form should take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete.
Important programme documents available to download at the bottom of this page:
IFPP eligibility and process flowchart.
IFFP Pharmacist’s and Supervisor’s handbooks.
IFFP Learning Opportunities guide which provides you (and your supervisors) links to resources that are appropriate to support your learning and development throughout the IFPP – each resource has been mapped against the IFPP learning outcomes.
Resource guides for those in employment and those awaiting employment
We appreciate there are lots of questions about this programme and as such HEE is sending regular updates including answers to frequently asked questions. If you or colleagues wish to receive further updates about the programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org stating ‘IFPP Updates’ in the subject header.
If you need to update your details, please complete an IFPP update form. Please only use this form if you have previously registered with the IFPP. The form should take between 2 to 10 minutes to complete.
Support and contact details
If you have any questions about the programme which are not answered in the frequently asked questions and information for employers below please email: email@example.com.
w/c 8 March 2021
Passing the registration assessment is understandably a key priority for many IFPP learners. The Frequently Asked Questions below are not exhaustive. However, they should help you to find the right information quickly including high-quality resources and sources of help.
1. Where can I find information about sitting the GPhC assessment?
All you need to know to sit the March 2021 registration assessment is on the GPhC website. This includes resources about the question types, content of the exam and feedback from past sittings as well as practical considerations for the assessment day.
2. Are there any resources available that can help me to prepare for the GPhC assessment?
The IFPP gives provisionally registered pharmacists access to a range of resources, regardless of whether you are in employment or not.
- Start with the Exam Game Plan and 'Getting Exam Ready' videos - to help you focus your revision and calm down your nerves. Access is via the Learning Hub: log in and type 'IFPP' in the search bar. The IFPP gives provisional registrants access to a range of resources, regardless of whether you are in employment or not. Once logged in, search for 'IFPP'.
- You will need to register with the Learning Hub to access the IFPP resources. Register with an NHS email address or an OpenAthens account. Instructions on how to obtain an OpenAthens account can be found in Appendix 1 of the IFPP Learning Opportunities guide.
- Another useful resource on the Learning Hub is the IFPP Revision Resources for the GPhC Registration Assessment. This is a handy signpost guide to resources for the assessment.
- The Pharmacy Schools Council are also helping you to prepare for the GPhC registration assessment. Several revision events from Schools of Pharmacy are now available as recorded sessions on the Pharmacy Schools Council website.
- The GPhC website also has some example assessment questions.
- The PDA have recently launched a revision programme which is free for PDA members.
- The RPS hosts resources for provisional registration which are free to RPS members.
We also advise you to use your time on the job to discuss clinical cases or observations with colleagues and develop a deeper understanding of topics.
3. I am struggling with calculations and could do with some additional practice – what resources are available that could help me with this?
This list is not exhaustive, but signposts to useful revision content:
- CPPE have recently launched the Clinical calculations for pharmacy professionals e-assessment. The assessment links to the Clinical calculations for pharmacy professionals e-learning and is a valuable resource to support your preparation for the GPhC registration assessment. You can access the programme and the associated assessment via the CPPE website.
- SCRIPT: Contains a module on dosing and calculations. Access SCRIPT via the Learning Hub and register for a SCRIPT account if you haven’t done so already.
- The GPhC website also has some example calculation questions.
- The Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) provides a practical, interactive calculations session, aimed at anyone who wants to test their calculation skills.
4. I am finding it difficult to cope with exam pressure. Who can I turn to?
Exams can bring on levels of stress and burnout that can hinder your studies.
Feeling prepared for the GPhC assessment will take some of this pressure off, and we encourage you to make best use of the Exam Game Plan and ‘Getting Exam Ready’ videos on the Learning Hub (see Question 2 above for details, including access to the Learning Hub). These resources will help you focus your revision in a positive, constructive manner.
A new video developed by Pharmacist Support includes a range of tips and techniques to help manage feelings of unease and also guides you through a mindfulness technique that you can practically use to overcome feelings of stress, pressure and anxiety. Getting Exam Ready session 3 (available on the IFPP pages of the Learning Hub) also contains a link to the video and other tips to support you with your health and wellbeing relating to the GPhC assessment.
The IFPP Microlearning Health and Wellbeing resource also provides useful pointers to keeping a health mind.
There will be many more sources of help too - friends, peers, colleagues, mentors, network groups and more. Make sure that you tap into the support available.
5. What other sources of support would you recommend?
The RPS Provisional Registration Service Support line has been funded by Health Education England to help provisionally registered pharmacists with:
- Practical everyday advice on working as a pharmacist
- Final preparation for the registration assessment
- Future professional development
- Anything else a provisional registrant might need to discuss.
The line is open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm:
- Call: 0207 572 2737
- Or email ProvReg@rpharms.com
- Find out more on the RPS website.
Some of the benefits to you in engaging with the IFPP are:
- A flexible structure to focus your first year of professional practice via a formative learning and development programme.
- Support to help you to transition to full GPhC registration and beyond.
- Provision of an educational supervisor for those in employment, to oversee your clinical and professional development .
- Developing your ability to achieve high-quality outcomes and safety for patients.
- A better understanding of what is expected of you at this stage of your career.
- Opportunities to build your confidence, decision making and leadership skills
- Preparation for your GPhC registration assessment, by applying your learning in your practice with supportive feedback from supervisors.
- Opportunities for peer learning and assessment networking sessions and multi-sectorial communities of practice peer groups.
- Opportunity to build a valuable resource that you can use to track your progression, prepare for interviews, and plan for your ongoing professional development.
- Evidence of your progression against the IFPP learning outcomes and, on successful completion of the programme, a Health Education England statement of progression as evidence for your CV to assist your future career progression.
- Opportunity to participate and evaluate pilot work for the initial education and training reforms for pharmacists as part of your leadership development.
w/c 1 March
1. Is there a fee to register for the programme?
No. The IFPP is free for all provisionally registered pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists, who have completed their training, are signed off as competent and are eligible for provisional registration in England.
2. When does the IFPP start? How long is the programme?
The IFPP started on 1 September 2020 and will end on 31 August 2021. Provisionally registered pharmacists can join the programme at any time between 1 September 2020 and 10 May 2021.
3. How do I register for the programme?
Registration is open now and closes on 10 May 2021. Click here to register.
4. Can I join IFPP if I am not a provisionally registered pharmacist and/or am not employed in a workplace?
Yes. You do not have to be employed as a provisionally registered pharmacist to register with the IFPP and access the programme’s library of resources and some other elements of the programme. See the IFPP Registration - Eligibility and Process Flowchart for further details.
5. I am re-sitting my GPhC registration assessment. Am I eligible for the IFPP?
Yes. Those waiting to re-sit the GPhC registration assessment who have completed 52 weeks of pre-registration training are eligible to register with the IFPP to access some elements of the programme. Please see the IFPP Registration - Eligibility and Process Flowchart for further information.
6. I have registered for the IFPP; how do I update my registration details?
An IFPP update form is now available to update your details. Please only use this form if you have previously registered with the IFPP. The form should take between 2 to 10 minutes to complete.
Please use this form to:
- Update your personal details
- Change / update employer details
- Change / update supervisor details
- Update your region if you have relocated
- Withdraw from the programme
7. I work for a large multiple, such as Boots or LloydsPharmacy; can I register for the Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21 via CPPE?
No. Boots or LloydsPharmacy already have established foundation training programmes that you will be able to access, rather than the CPPE Foundation pharmacist programme. However, you should register with the IFPP as it is designed to complement your existing workplace programme.
8. Do I have to register with the IFPP if I am already registered with the Foundation pharmacist programme via CPPE?
Yes. Registration with the IFPP will give you access to additional resources to help you maintain and develop your clinical knowledge and assist with preparation for the GPhC registration assessment. In addition, you will have access to the new RPS E-portfolio that you will need to complete as part of the CPPE Foundation pharmacist programme. You will also have access to the RPS Provisional Registration Service Support Line and to OpenAthens among other resources.
9. Can provisionally registered pharmacists who do not work in community pharmacy access IFPP?
Yes. All provisionally registered pharmacists (irrespective of employment status or setting) who register with the IFPP will be given access to a library of resources. We encourage all eligible participants to opt into the programme while registration is open.
10. How does the IFPP fit in with established foundation training programmes?
Some employers already have established foundation training programmes. These range from formal programmes provided by large multiples in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy or informal (rotational) programmes across sectors including secondary and primary care. The IFPP is intended to complement existing workplace programmes.
Those who work in independent and small/medium multiple pharmacies who do not have access to an established foundation training programme through their employer are eligible to join the CPPE Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21.
11. Do I have to register with the IFPP if I am already registered with a foundation programme via my employer?
Yes. Registration with the IFPP will give you access to additional resources to help you maintain and develop your clinical knowledge and assist with preparation for the GPhC registration assessment.
12. I am a provisionally registered pharmacist working in primary care / Health in Justice. Can I access support from the IFPP?
Yes. Since you do not have access to an established foundation training programme through your employer, Health Education England is funding the CPPE Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21 - a structured foundation training programme to complement the IFPP.
If you are a provisionally registered pharmacist in England working in primary care* or Health in Justice, the steps are as follows:
- Register with the IFPP on the Health Education England IFPP website.
- Register with the Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21 via the CPPE website.
* For those who are employed as part of the Primary Care Network (PCN) Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), you will be required to enrol on the CPPE Primary care in pharmacy education pathway instead of the CPPE Foundation Pharmacist programme. For further information, visit the CPPE website.
If you are unsure about which CPPE programme to enrol on, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. I am based overseas. Can I access the IFPP resources?
Currently if you live outside England and are not in employment in England, you are not eligible for the programme.
There are several resources to help you prepare for the GPhC assessment and for Foundation training. A few key ones are listed below:
A new section on the IFPP website is dedicated to getting ready for the GPhC registration assessment. You will find it below ‘Support and contact details’.
IFPP Learning Opportunities Guide: Some of the resources listed should be accessible from overseas.
The medicines learning portal provides resources and expertise that will help UK pharmacists at the beginning of their careers to tackle the clinical problems that will confront them throughout their professional lives.
Please contact email@example.com when you are living and working in England.
w/c 11 January
1. I have registered for the IFPP – what do I do next?
Thank you for registering with the IFPP. A welcome email should follow shortly after registration, signposting to the next steps.
Remember too, that if you work in independent and small/medium multiple pharmacies, primary care* and Health in Justice, Health Education England is funding CPPE to provide you with a structured foundation training programme as part of the IFPP. Please register with the Foundation pharmacist programme via the CPPE website.
2.Which activities should I prioritise?
Download and read the IFPP Pharmacist’s handbook.
We have summarised your initial tasks into seven bite-sized steps to guide your induction to the programme. The summary below is intended to guide you through the activities you should undertake during your induction period. Completing this induction should take you from four to six weeks. We recommend that you use this seven-point plan as a guide with your educational supervisor, to analyse your learning needs and develop an action plan and portfolio. .
IFPP Induction – Your Seven Point Plan:
(1) Ensure you have registered with the IFPP.
(2) Ensure you have an account with the RPS to access your E-Portfolio – either access your existing account or register for free as a ‘registered user’.
(3) Complete IFPP: Microlearning: Learning needs analysis.
(4) Complete the Learning Needs Analysis tool in the RPS E-Portfolio. This is mapped against IFPP Learning Outcomes (also available in the IFPP Pharmacist’ handbook). See below for guidance for self-assessing your knowledge, skills, and experience
(5) Explore the IFPP resources outlined in the Learning Opportunities guide.
(6) Create an action plan using the RPS E-Portfolio to meet your identified learning outcomes. If you are in employment, book a time with your educational supervisor to review your action plan. Please note: The RPS E-portfolio supports provisionally registrants to document that they are meeting the GPhC requirements relating to provisional registration. This feature applies only to practising provisionally-registered pharmacists.
(7) Complete the IFPP Microlearning: Portfolio Development.
3. How do I access IFPP resources, including OpenAthens?
To access all the resources available to you as part of the IFPP, including OpenAthens, you are required to access several external websites, some of which require a registration process. The IFPP Learning Opportunities guide that you can download at the bottom of this page has been updated to include the registration process for both the essential resources and recommended resources of the IFPP.
4. Can I access OpenAthens if I am not in employment?
Yes. If you have registered with the IFPP and your registration is confirmed, you can register for OpenAthens: in the “Please enter your organisation” box, type Other eligible, and click on the option that comes up with your region. Please see Appendix 1 of the Learning Opportunities guide at the bottom of this page for a guide to register with OpenAthens.
5. Is there any guidance for self-assessing my knowledge, skills, and experience as part of the learning needs analysis?
Yes. We have received feedback that some provisionally registered pharmacists would like guidance on how to self-assess their knowledge, skills or experience (from low to high) when completing their learning needs analysis. You may find the guide below helpful with this.
Guidance to self-assess your knowledge, skills, and experience:
High: I have evidence to show that I have the knowledge, skill, or experience needed to consistently demonstrate this IFPP outcome.
Medium: I have this knowledge, skill, or experience but haven't had the opportunity to demonstrate this IFPP outcome yet. I will include this in my action planning and I know how I will demonstrate it.
Low: I don't have the knowledge, skill, or experience to demonstrate this IFPP outcome yet. I will include this in my action planning but I may need help to identify how I will demonstrate it.
Self-assessment guide reproduced courtesy of CPPE. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
6. How does my supervisor/senior pharmacist access my e-portfolio?
Within your RPS E-portfolio you can invite ‘collaborators’ to access your portfolio and contribute to it; for example, when providing feedback following a supervised learning event. Collaborators may be your senior pharmacist, educational supervisor, practice supervisors, employer or colleagues.
Non-members of the RPS (learners or supervisors) need to register for free to access the E-portfolio and associated resources. Access to the RPS E-portfolio is funded by Health Education England as part of the IFPP.
To allow your educational supervisor to access your e-portfolio:
- Invite your educational supervisor as a ‘collaborator’ within your RPS E-portfolio.
- Your educational supervisor will then receive an automated email from a third-party supplier (axiadigital) on behalf of the RPS asking them to accept the invitation and activate their account.
- If your ES does not receive this email within 24 hours they should check their junk mail and if they cannot locate it contact the RPS Provisional Registration Service Support Line (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) at: email: ProvReg@rpharms.com, Tel: 0207 572 2737 or 0333 733 2570.
Your educational supervisor needs to accept the invitation to view your E-portfolio and associated resources, by selecting ‘Educational supervisor/Tutor’ as the ‘Portfolio Collaborator Type’.
You will receive an email when your ES has successfully accepted your invitation to collaborate with your E-portfolio.
RPS E-portfolio user guides
The RPS provides a Guide for learners with screenshots to help you navigate your E-portfolio. You will also find a video of how to get started with your E-portfolio and some FAQs.
The E-portfolio guide for collaborators includes screenshots to help supervisors to navigate their provisional registrant’s E-portfolio.
There is also a useful video guide, FAQs and links to resources including a 360-degree feedback tool guide and e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) resources for the supervised learning events.
7. If I enrol on the programme, is there an obligation to complete a portfolio or submit any documentation? If I am not currently employed but may be later, will it be mandatory to complete and submit something for the programme once I am employed?
No. The programme is not mandatory, but we would encourage you to register and engage as this programme is designed to support you.
8. Will I get any study time for the IFPP?
The IFPP does not mandate any time out of practice for training. Your employer may provide you with access to other learning opportunities and courses (e.g. in-house training or external courses) to meet your individual learning needs. These can be also used to meet your learning needs for the IFPP.
The GPhC Initial education and training standards for pharmacists: criteria for registering provisionally require employers to provide study time prior to the GPhC registration assessment.
w/c 11 January
1. What are the benefits of the IFPP for employers?
As the IFPP is predominantly a vocational training programme, provisionally registered pharmacists will use workplace experiences and reflection to identify areas of good practice and further development opportunities.
Benefits for employers include:
- A structure to support your existing in-house foundation training programme or access to the CPPE Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21 (subject to eligibility) with funding to support educational supervision.
- A flexible, formative vocational learning and development programme. Provisionally registered pharmacists will use work-based experiences and reflection to identify areas of good practice and further development opportunities.
- A learner-led programme; provisionally registered pharmacists are expected to manage their individual learning objectives.
- Resources to help your provisionally registered pharmacist to prepare for the GPhC registration assessment and develop their clinical knowledge and application in their practice.
- Beyond assessment preparation, the resources available via the IFPP will help your employee to develop their clinical skills as a Foundation Pharmacist.
- Evidence that you are supporting provisional registrants to mitigate any learning and development needs identified during their monthly risk assessments or learning needs analysis.
- Reputational evidence that you support the development of your early years’ pharmacists.
- Opportunities to shape the initial education and training reforms for pharmacists.
2. Will there be different funding available to different employers?
Health Education England (HEE) funding covers the costs of the IFPP education infrastructure including educational supervision in secondary care and large multiple community pharmacies that have established foundation training programmes.
HEE is funding CPPE to deliver the Foundation pharmacist programme 2020/21 and educational supervision for provisional pharmacists who work in independent and small/medium multiple pharmacies, primary care and Health in Justice, as they do not have access to structured established foundation training programmes through their employer.
3. Will employers need to provide study time for the IFPP?
The IFPP will not mandate any time out of practice for studying. The GPhC Initial education and training standards for pharmacists: criteria for registering provisionally require employers to provide study time prior to the GPhC registration assessment.
4. What educational supervision will employers have to provide?
Each provisionally registered pharmacist in employment will require an educational supervisor to support and guide them through their developmental journey within the IFPP. The role of educational supervisor is to oversee and review the educational progress of provisional registrant during the IFPP.
For organisations where educational support already exists, this will continue and HEE will provide funding to support this.
5. What training is required by educational supervisor?
Whether or not another programme of educational supervision training has been completed the educational supervisor must complete the HEE Midlands and East of England funded e-learning module: Core Skills for Pharmacy Clinical and Educational Supervisors. This is mandated within one month of becoming an educational supervisor for the IFPP, regardless of any previous training each educational supervisor has done previously. The module will take around 90 minutes to complete and covers the basics of the skills required when supervising learners:
- Mentoring, coaching and facilitating
- Planning teaching
- Patient-centred teaching
6. What is the expected employer input for reviewing the portfolio and how long is this expected to take?
There are minimum assessment requirements for the programme, which can be found within the IFPP handbooks. The handbooks can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Health Education England is engaging with stakeholders as part of existing regional networks, meetings and events to answer questions about the IFPP. Please contact your regional HEE team to find out more.
7. Are employers expected to be involved in the delivery of the programme?
Some employers already have established foundation training programmes. These range from formal programmes provided by large multiples community pharmacies, or informal (rotational) programmes provided in other sectors, such as secondary care. The IFPP complements such current programmes. In practice, these programmes will have educational supervisors/tutors already in place, who will oversee their development.
Established in-house foundation training programmes need to meet the minimum assessment requirements of the IFPP. Where the local programme exceeds the minimum assessment requirements of the IFPP, the recommended local assessment requirements should be used if possible.
8. How does secondary care access supervision funding?
We have been helping colleagues in hospital trusts to apply and receive funding for providing educational support as part of the IFPP. Please contact your HEE regional lead if you have any further questions.
9. Where can employers find more information about the programme?
Programme handbooks describing various elements of the IFPP pathway for Pharmacists and Supervisors can be downloaded via the links at the bottom of this page.
w/c 11 January
1. Does the IFPP replace the GPhC registration assessment?
No. The IFPP does not replace the GPhC registration assessment, nor is it an extension to the pre-registration pharmacist programme. You will find recent information about sitting the registration assessment on the GPhC’s website. More general information about provisional registration is on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s website.
2. Do I need to be enrolled on the IFPP to take the GPhC registration assessment?
No. It is not a requirement of the GPhC registration assessment that candidates are enrolled on the IFPP.
3. Is the IFPP mandatory?
No. The programme is not mandatory. However, participation in the programme will help you demonstrate progression against the IFPP and RPS Foundation Framework 2019. The programme also aims to support your future career development.
We encourage all eligible participants to opt into the programme while registration is open.
4. I am not currently in employment, will the IFPP offer support for those not in employment to get employment?
This is not covered within the scope of the IFPP. However, the programme enables you to access resource to will help you to continue to develop your knowledge which will help you to find employment and to prepare for the GPhC registration assessment.
5. Is the independent prescribing qualification part of the IFPP?
No. The independent prescribing qualification is not integrated into the programme. As the foundation pharmacist programme develops it is hoped that elements of training are incorporated to help pharmacists develop the skills they need to prepare for future prescribing roles.
6. What do I receive at the end of the programme? Are there academic credits attached?
When you successfully complete the programme you will receive a Health Education England statement of progression against the IFPP. This does not provide academic credits but will help you demonstrate progression against the IFPP learning outcomes and RPS Foundation Framework 2019. The programme also aims to support your future career development.
7. How can I divide my time between GPhC registration assessment preparation, this programme and my work?
Registering with the IFPP will give you free access to resources to develop your clinical knowledge and application in practice to prepare for the GPhC registration assessment. Engaging with the IFPP and working as a provisionally registered is the best preparation for your GPhC registration examination as that tests your ability to apply your knowledge in your practice.
8. What are the minimum assessment requirements of the IFPP?
The IFPP will support provisionally registered pharmacists to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes mapped against the IFPP learning outcomes.
The IFPP uses a series of activities including Supervised Learning Events to support the Foundation Pharmacist to demonstrate the outcomes of the Interim Foundation Pharmacist Curriculum. Further information on the Interim Foundation Pharmacist Curriculum and the minimum assessment requirements can be found within the IFPP Pharmacist’s handbook.
9. Is this learning online?
There is an emphasis on using online resources within the programme. This enables the provisionally registered pharmacist to tailor their learning to their personal development plan, whilst enabling a flexible delivery and access to content, to balance development needs whilst working.
10. How is Health Education England working with stakeholders to share information about the IFPP?
Health Education England is engaging with stakeholders as part of existing regional networks, meetings, and events to answer questions about the IFPP. Please contact your regional HEE team to find out more.
Complete your IFPP learning needs assessment.Log in via your existing RPS account or register for free