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Non-white trainee pharmacists less satisfied with preregistration experience

Almost a quarter of preregistration trainees reported that their training failed to prepare them for their professional role

Duncan Rudkin

Chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council Duncan Rudkin says the regulator will explore the survey findings

Satisfaction with preregistration training for pharmacists in Britain is likely to be better in a hospital than in the community and likely to be worse for Asian or non-white trainees, according to the results of a survey of preregistration trainees.

The regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council, canvassed the views of 905 trainees in an online survey in November 2013 and has concluded that 77% were satisfied with the quality of training they received in their preregistration year.

Some 73% said that the training had prepared them for the professional role expected of them but 24% reported that the training failed to prepare them for the GPhC’s professional assessment for registration as a pharmacist.

Surveyed trainees in Scotland and Wales were more likely than those in England to rate their experiences as very good or good and the quality of their support as excellent, good or adequate. Most agreed that their training prepared them for their career as a pharmacist.

Trainees who completed their preregistration year in a hospital were more likely to rate the experience overall as very good or good and their support as excellent, good or adequate.

Assessing satisfaction according to ethnicity, the GPhC found that white trainees were more likely to rank the quality of their training, supervision and feedback positively than colleagues who came from an Asian or non-white ethnic background.

The GPhC said it was “unable” to draw any conclusions from the different experiences of trainees. The survey report says: “One reason for the higher levels of satisfaction in certain groups may be the more structured approach to education and training in Scotland and Wales and in the hospital sector.”

“However, most national chain pharmacies also have similar infrastructure in place to support trainees and tutors and … there was no significant difference from trainees based on employer type within the community pharmacy sector.”

The GPhC’s chief executive, Duncan Rudkin, said he was pleased that the overall training experience was “predominantly positive”, but added: “We are keen to further explore the significant differences depending on the country, region or pharmacy sector trained in, as well as ethnicity.”

The survey results will be used to inform decisions about the future education and training of pharmacists. The next trainee survey will take place this year and again in 2015 as part of a three-year initiative.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11139054

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