Pharmacy trainees will be given “at least 90 hours” of supervised practice in independent prescribing as part of the new foundation year programme — but it is not expected to come into effect until 2025, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said.
The GPhC agreed a framework at its November council meeting, which would enable trainees to acquire “simultaneous registration and annotation” as an independent prescriber, following the final year of an overhauled initial education and training pathway.
The aim for trainees to become independent prescribers at registration was first proposed by the GPhC and the four UK chief pharmaceutical officers in July 2020, when it was announced that the current pre-registration year would be replaced with a national foundation year from summer 2021.
The GPhC later clarified that independent prescriber training would not form part of the foundation year from 2021. Instead, the regulator has told The Pharmaceutical Journal that students starting the first year of their MPharm in 2021 would be “the first cohort who would receive their education and training under the new standards”, becoming independent prescribers at the point of their registration in 2026.
Under the latest set of revised initial education and training standards for pharmacists, students will be taught “underpinning knowledge and theory” around independent prescribing during the four-year MPharm degree.
This will be followed by a foundation training year that will include “specific practical learning” for independent prescribing.
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