quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

You are here

Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway

The NHS England Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway aims to link the initial education and training reforms to a continuum of development into post-registration. The pathway is intended to help pharmacists make the transition to more independent learning and acts as a stepping-stone towards enhanced and advanced practice. 

Step on to the pathway

newly qualified pharmacist pathway graphic

The goal is to establish lifelong learning along the pharmacy education and career continuum. 

This optional pathway is designed for learners across all sectors of pharmacy, to help them meet their development needs as they enter newly qualified practice. This will enable pharmacists to demonstrate their capabilities and should facilitate a more flexible workforce who can move between sectors.

Watch this short video to learn more:

Core elements

By working with partners and stakeholders, we have identified four core elements that will contribute to developing newly qualified pharmacists' learning and growth:

Diagram representing the four elements of the Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway: Curriculum, Portfolio, Learning Resources and Supervision 

Pathway delivery

This learner-led pathway has been designed to integrate with work commitments and complement existing workplace and postgraduate learning. It is designed to provide a consistent approach to training across service providers and across organisations.

There will be no mandated assessments or time out of practice. Structured learning events (SLEs) will take place in the workplace, enabling your educational supervisor greater flexibility and responsibility over assessing your progress against the RPS Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum.

Learner information

Who is eligible? 

The NHS England Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway is open to all pharmacists (including locums) in any pharmacy sector who:

  • Completed their foundation training less than three years ago
  • Have GPhC registration
  • Are employed in England
  • Have access to a workplace educational supervisor (those who are enrolled on the CPPE Newly qualified pharmacist programme will have access to an educational supervisor via CPPE)

Learners will not be eligible for the pathway if they:

  • Completed their foundation training more than three years ago
  • Have received funding for education supervision previously, such as a previous Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway or the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) cohort

What if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?

Please contact your regional NHS England pharmacy team or CPPE to discuss available options using the links below.

Contact details: 

How do I enrol?

For learners in NHS Trusts or working for Boots UK

Learners in these organisations may already have workplace and postgraduate learning and the pathway will deliver the four core elements (listed above) in a way that complements these training opportunities. 

To enrol, your employer will need to assign you to a workplace educational supervisor and ensure you have access to an e-portfolio which is mapped to the RPS Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum (such as the RPS e-Portfolio which you can access following this link).

For learners in Health and justice, community pharmacy (excluding Boots UK), and primary care*

CPPE provide access to a 12-month structured learning programme. This programme offers the four core elements of the pathway as listed above. Pharmacists who are returning from a career break may also be eligible to apply. To find out more and enrol for the CPPE Newly qualified pharmacist programme, click here*

*If you are working in primary care and employed as part of the PCN Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), you are not eligible to apply for the CPPE Newly qualified pharmacist programme. You will be expected to enrol onto the CPPE Primary care pharmacy education pathway (PCPEP) instead.

You can find out more about the Primary care pharmacy education pathway, including how to apply, by following this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway mandatory?

The programme is not mandatory. However, participation will help you demonstrate progression against the RPS Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum learning outcomes. The pathway is also intended to help pharmacists make the transition into more self-directed learning and to act as a stepping-stone towards advanced practice. 

I am already studying for a postgraduate pharmacy qualification; do I need to enrol for the Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway?

The Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway is not mandatory. However, the pathway is designed to complement existing programmes, including postgraduate diplomas. As such, we strongly encourage all eligible pharmacists to enrol, to benefit from the supplementary tools and targeted support.

Supervisor Information

The below video explains the following:

  1. The role of the educational supervisor in supervising learners through the pathway
  2. How the educational supervisor can integrate learning from the pathway into programmes
  3. How to use the e-Portfolio for submission of evidence


How do I support learners to enrol?

For learners to enrol, they must engage with the four core elements listed below.

For learners in NHS Trusts or working for Boots UK

Employers should provide in-house educational supervision for their learners. Funding will be available from NHS England to support employers with this and will be paid via existing payment mechanisms. Applications for this 2023/24 funding will take place later this year via a national survey which will be sent out to employers.

For learners in Health and Justice, community pharmacy (excluding Boots UK), and primary care*

CPPE is funded to provide support for all four elements of the pathway, including educational supervision. CPPE will provide details of enrolment deadlines on their website which you can access here.

*Learners who are working in primary care and employed as part of the PCN Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) are not eligible to apply for the CPPE Newly qualified pharmacist programme. They will be expected to enrol onto the CPPE Primary care pharmacy education pathway (PCPEP) instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the educational supervisor training requirements?

NHS England offers an e-learning for healthcare (ELfH) programme to support educational supervisors develop the skills and knowledge they require. We would expect educational supervisors to have completed Module 1 (Core Skills) within the last 2 years*. We would also encourage educational supervisors to undertake Module 2 (Enhanced Skills). Educational supervisors will be able to use this as evidence towards their advanced practice portfolio.

*Please note: We will accept equivalent learning through accredited providers (such as regional NHS England-funded courses, HEI-delivered educational supervisor training, or CPPE-delivered educational supervisor training).

Is there a timeframe by which the pathway must be completed?

As the pathway is learner-led with no endpoint, there is no defined timeline. We would anticipate newly qualified pharmacists will use the pathway for between one and three years. NHS England will provide access to the RPS e-Portfolio for a fixed time period, after which learners may wish to continue their access to enable RPS credentialing.

Eligibility issues

Where employers identify staff who may benefit from the pathway but don’t meet the eligibility criteria, they should contact their regional NHS England pharmacy team to discuss:


The pathway is designed to help you develop and progress in your role by:

  • offering you the opportunity to assess your own progress against the RPS Post-registration Foundation Pharmacist Curriculum learning outcomes
  • providing you with access to a funded e-Portfolio for professional development: helping you to assess your learning needs, develop an action plan and reflect upon your experiences over time
  • providing you with access to a virtual library of resources which are mapped against the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum to help develop your professional skills
  • facilitating access to educational supervisor support in the workplace
  • promoting learning in the workplace and practical application of knowledge through the completion of supervised learning events, enabling you to receive feedback and improve performance
  • preparing you for a future independent prescribing qualification by helping develop the skills and competence you will need to start building prescribing competence ahead of completing a course
  • facilitating career development and preparing you for your progression into enhanced or advanced practice

Independent Prescribing

The GPhC has removed the requirement of two years’ practice needed before starting an independent prescribing course.*

It has been replaced by the following requirement:

“applicants must… have relevant experience in a pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber. Applicants must also identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning.”

The Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway does not include an independent prescribing qualification. It is, however, mapped to the RPS Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum learning outcomes which have been designed to develop prescribing competence. Using these learning outcomes will help you to develop the skills and competence you need to prepare for a prescribing course, and achieve the requirement listed above.

Find out more about our work to support independent prescriber training for pharmacists.

*Although the GPHC has removed the requirement for two years’ practice before completing an independent prescribing qualification, universities providing accredited courses will need to continue to apply the previous entry requirements until they have been approved against the revised standards. Your chosen university will have more information about their specific entry requirements.