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Education and training

Health Education England opens registration for interim foundation pharmacist programme

The new interim foundation pharmacist programme, starting this autumn, aims to support provisionally registered pharmacists in England as they transition to full registration.

hopsital preregistration trainee


The new interim foundation pharmacist programme is predominantly a vocational training programme in which provisionally registered pharmacists use work-based experiences to develop their skills

Health Education England (HEE) has opened registration for the interim foundation pharmacist programme (IFPP), which is due to start in September 2020.

The one-year programme is intended to support provisionally registered pharmacists in England as they transition to full General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration.

The programme was first announced in a letter from HEE and NHS England in July 2020, which said the interim programme would start ahead of a permanent foundation programme that would replace the existing preregistration year across the UK from summer 2021.

According to the HEE registration page, the programme is “predominantly a vocational training programme in which provisionally registered pharmacists use work-based experiences and reflection to identify areas of good practice and further development opportunities”.

Registering with the IFPP also provides access to a range of online resources, including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS’s) e-portfolio for provisionally registered pharmacists, which includes supervised learning and self-assessment tools and can be used to collate evidence.

The programme is not compulsory but is “encouraged” for all eligible participants and complements existing workplace foundation training programmes, where these are offered.

“Your employer may provide you with access to other learning opportunities and courses … to meet your individual learning needs,” HEE said. “These can be used to meet your learning needs for the IFPP.”

The Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education (CPPE), which is offering the programme to community pharmacists, said in a statement that provisionally registered pharmacists “who have access to internal programmes should use those rather than the CPPE programme”.

“Some employers, such as Boots, have internal programmes which will take priority over the CPPE programme,” it added.

The CPPE said its programme will “develop and demonstrate proficiency against the HEE interim foundation pharmacists programme and the RPS foundation pharmacist framework 2019”.

The educational framework of the IFPP programme is aligned to the RPS’s interim foundation pharmacist curriculum, which will be published later this week.

Joseph Oakley, head of assessment and credentialing at the RPS, said the interim curriculum outcomes “are aligned to the principles of the national foundation curriculum and are designed to support provisionally registered pharmacists to deliver safe and effective person-centred care, placing medicines optimisation and service delivery at the heart of the pharmacist’s role”.

Oakley added that the RPS “has continued to lobby for provisional registration counting towards post-registration training experience and has developed this interim curriculum and supporting e-portfolio to allow provisional registrants to evidence their learning and progress during this formative period.

“The RPS interim curriculum is designed to ensure that those following it can transition seamlessly onto the national foundation curriculum, which is currently under development and due for launch in spring 2021.”

Pharmacists who complete the IFPP will receive a statement of progression from HEE through the programme.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208281

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