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Inspire a future pharmacist

You may recall the individuals who helped shape your early career. It is to be hoped they were positive role models — people who inspired you to become the professional you are today. Or perhaps you came away from the experience with some tips about how not to behave in practice.

Coaching

Source: Iqoncept Dreamstime.com

Results of a General Pharmaceutical Council survey are made available this week, which reveal marked differences in the experiences of trainees depending on the country, region or pharmacy sector in which they trained, as well as their ethnicities. The GPhC was investigating some of the anecdotal feedback it had received from preregistration trainees on the quality of their training.

Although the GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin says that the experience of trainees “appears to be predominantly positive”, he acknowledges that the regulator would need to undertake further research before drawing any conclusions from the findings. The Pharmaceutical Journal has learnt that the GPhC is launching a survey of preregistration tutors later in 2014.

The deadline for eligibility to sit the summer 2015 registration assessment was last week, and the GPhC tells us that it has not been made aware of any preregistration trainees struggling to find a tutor for the coming year. By definition, if you have taken responsibility for a trainee then you are a tutor; there is no list of accredited tutors held by the GPhC. So variation in the quality of preregistration tutors might be expected, and it is somewhat of a lottery for trainees. Some tutors will be enthusiastically engaged — others may perceive they have been lumped with a prereg, again, this year.

The Pharmaceutical Journal would suggest that the value of a nurturing tutor-trainee relationship cannot be understated. Guidance on tutoring preregistration trainee pharmacists and pharmacy technicians was published by the GPhC in January, and we carry a Learning & development article in this week’s issue that puts the advice into context. If you are tutoring a trainee this year, we would encourage you to delve into the article and reflect on your own strengths and areas for development to ensure you are able to support this person well.

Or, if you are interested in becoming a tutor in the future, turn to our Careers article to find out more about the whys and hows.

Trainees will naturally be focused on the registration assessment that decides their immediate future. But the preregistration year is about far more than that. The profession can do more to ensure that every would-be pharmacist has a rewarding training year, assisted by (not in spite of) his or her tutor; a tutor who enables them to develop the skills and experience necessary to practise with confidence; a tutor who inspires them to continue developing as professionals throughout their foundation years and beyond as advanced practitioners.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11139082

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