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Review of education and training

The Advancing Pharmacy Education and Training (APET) review examined the current model of education and training for the pharmacy workforce to establish what training structures and funding models will best support a pharmacy workforce able to meet future patient need.

The review built on responses received to our draft Workforce Strategy and previous work on Modernising Pharmacy Careers. It takes account of an increasingly complex health and care system, technological advances and a changing trend in patient and service needs. The review is also aligned with the NHS’ Long Term Plan.

The review make a number of recommendations that are evidence based, cost effective, future focused, and meet the needs of the future workforce and patients.

The Advancing Pharmacy Education and Training Review and a slide summary can be found at the bottom of this page.


Related work

We are working with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians (APTUK) to analyse the roles of pharmacy technicians in the early stages of their careers.

We have asked the Work Psychology Group (WPG) in partnership with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to lead on the work, which will look at roles across the health systems in the UK. The WPG will be carrying out research wit a range of pharmacy stakeholders.

In early 2020 APTUK and the RPS will undertake a survey to capture views on of a range of behaviours and attributes considered important for early-career pharmacy technicians to possess.

APTUK will use the analysis to guide the design and review of a UK-wide Foundation Pharmacy Technician Framework that will inform professional capabilities to be tested at the point of entry, during development and upon completion of training programmes. 

This work is an important step for identifying the development of pharmacy technicians, ensuring we have a flexible workforce that will support all care settings in line with the findings from Health Education England’s Advancing Pharmacy Education and Training review and the NHS Long Term Plan.

Commenting, Dalgeet Puaar, HEE National Lead for Pharmacy Technicians said

"HEE is delighted to be working with partners on this research. The role analysis will contribute towards our understanding of the current demands and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians working at foundation level. This is a timely and welcome collaboration which will inform future education and training provision and support the development of a flexible workforce which is both competent and confident to work across care settings, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.” 


Commenting, Liz Fidler, President of APTUK said

"This work is critical to enable the full range of skills and knowledge of the pharmacy technician profession to be fully utilised. Understanding the skillset of pharmacy technicians is a key enabler to ensuring pharmacy services can evolve through effective skill mix within the pharmacy team. The results of this analysis will lead to supporting an evidence-based career pathway underpinned by standardised education, which will benefit the patients and the pharmacy profession."


Commenting, Gail Fleming, RPS Director of Education said

"For pharmacy to optimise its role in a multidisciplinary environment, the contribution of each member of the pharmacy team needs to be defined and recognised. This work is an important step in understanding the current and future roles of pharmacy technicians across different sectors of practice. We are delighted to be involved and to proactively support the development of the whole pharmacy team."

We are working with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to analyse the roles of pharmacists in the early stages of their careers.

We have asked the Work Psychology Group (WPG) to lead on the work, which will reflect roles in all four UK health systems. The WPG have now completed the initial role analysis of early career pharmacists that included desk research as well as interviews and focus groups with a range of pharmacy stakeholders. They also undertook a survey asking participants for their views on of a range of behaviours and attributes considered important for early career pharmacists to possess. These findings, once received will be used by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to develop a draft Foundation Pharmacist framework.

Commenting, Roz Cheeseman, Pharmacy Dean said

"The role analysis work will provide a valuable piece of evidence to inform a model for developing pharmacists during the early stages of their career. It will feed into HEE’s pharmacy review by informing the development of a common, sustainable education and training pathway for pharmacists so they can have a greater impact on patient care earlier in their career.  In drawing on a breadth of evidence from various pharmacy settings, this work will highlight multiple ways of working and inform more integrated models of practising across diverse health care systems".

Gail Fleming, Director of Education, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said

"This work is an important key step in realising our ambition to ensure that all pharmacists have access to high quality training and supervision in their early post registration years. It will help to assure that RPS Frameworks and curricula remain current and applicable across a broad range of settings benefitting both our members and the patients they care for".

HEE commissioned a piece of research examining pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ views on pre- and post-registration education and training to determine how prepared pharmacy professionals felt to carry out future roles and associated activities in their profession.

The findings from this research will help inform HEE’s ongoing work to support the pharmacy workforce and support the delivery of recommendations made in the Advancing Pharmacy Education and Training (APET) review.

View the Executive Summary and Full Report.