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Education and training

No mentoring required for prescribers who supervise independent pharmacy prescriber trainees

Prescribers who will supervise pharmacist independent prescribers in training will not have to be mentored, contrary to earlier proposals, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said.

In March 2018, the regulator published proposals for independent prescriber training, which introduced the concept of extending the ability to supervise pharmacist prescriber training from doctors to designated prescribing practitioners.

The GPhC initially proposed that designated prescribing practitioners would have to be formally mentored, but GPhC council papers state that following responses to the consultation it had “removed the requirement for formal mentoring of designated prescribing practitioners (while retaining the general requirement for course providers to support and quality assure professionals working for them)”.

It added: “On reflection we have decided that a formal mentoring requirement may not be necessary as designated prescribing practitioners are required to be suitably experienced before taking on the role.”

The revised guidance for the training of independent prescribers will also continue to enforce an entry requirement of “at least two years’ appropriate patient-orientated experience in a relevant UK practice setting post registration” before applying to become an independent prescriber.

The consultation previously suggested this experience should not be required after the GPhC “received feedback from some course providers that time served (a quantitative measure) was not an effective substitute for evaluating the quality and suitability of an applicant’s experience”, and instead proposed that a greater emphasis be placed “on the nature of an applicant’s experience”.

However, the GPhC said respondents gave mixed views on the change and concluded that “course providers should evaluate both the quality and quantity of an applicant’s experience”.

According to the council papers, the GPhC is finalising an “evidence framework to accompany these standards and will test it with course providers in early 2019”.

The GPhC is set to discuss the revised standards at its council meeting on 6 December 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205845

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