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'Roadmap to Advanced Practice' launched by RPS to support pharmacists throughout career

The RPS ‘Roadmap to Advanced Practice’ outlines the career pathways for pharmacists across Great Britain and the support and development required throughout each stage 

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has launched its ‘Roadmap to Advanced Practice’. The Roadmap, which is available to download from the RPS website as a full or abridged, overview version, is the first document of its kind to outline the career pathways for pharmacists across Great Britain, from pre-Foundation through to advanced practice, and the support and development needed at each stage.

The document pulls together the principles of the RPS Foundation and Faculty programmes, alongside the guidance, quality assurance and assessment tools needed to enable pharmacists to provide high-quality patient-centred care in line with the requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Catherine Duggan, director of professional development and support at the RPS

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Catherine Duggan says the RPS Roadmap seeks to pull together the learning, development and experiences from across practice in all the nations

“The RPS Roadmap seeks to pull together the learning, development and experiences from across practice in all the nations, to create a generic map that the entire profession can use at any stage of their professional career, across any sector of their practice,” explains Catherine Duggan, director of professional development and support at the RPS. “We are seeking to work with employers, educators and education commissioners to ensure that The Roadmap is supportive and relevant to new and emerging roles as well as existing roles, and can align with the changes in healthcare provision we face across GB.

“We will also be working with colleagues to ensure this is supportive of careers in science, academia and industry as well as direct healthcare provision.”

The Roadmap is divided into three principal career stages for pharmacists: stage 1 covers the pharmacy degree and preregistration training and refers to the RPS pre-Foundation programme; stage 2 links to the Foundation programme and the first thousand days of registered practice; and stage 3 focuses on a pharmacist’s advancement from foundation practice, whether as a generalist or specialist, and refers to the RPS Faculty programme.

To coincide with the launch of The Roadmap, the RPS and RPS Affiliated Partners (the full list of which can be found on the RPS website) announced plans on 4 November 2016 to design and deliver National Training Programmes in 2017 to all sectors of the pharmacy profession, aligned with the aims of The Roadmap.

The accredited training programmes will be clinically oriented to a specific topic or subject, such as palliative care or mental health, and will enable pharmacists to address gaps in their specialist knowledge.

The programmes will take the form of face-to-face training, supported by self-directed e-learning and support resources such as webinars and mentoring. Training can contribute towards pharmacists’ continuing professional development (CPD) and certificates will be earned by practitioners who have completed assessments linked to each component of the programme.

“[The] National Training Programmes will replace the current ad hoc, informal and opportunistic approach to training and career progression with a structured, integrated, accredited and quality assured training provision infrastructure to meet the needs of post-Foundation pharmacy practitioners,” says Ann Page, chair of the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA), one of the RPS Affiliated Partners.

Geoff Saunders, former chair of the British Oncology Pharmacy Association, another RPS Affiliated Partner, says that a broad scope of knowledge is essential in order to deliver community and primary care services: “Additionally, practitioners working in the hospital sector must maintain their broad knowledge as well as their specialist knowledge in order to deliver seven-day services.”

The RPS Roadmap is a strategy document that supports the RPS Vision for Transforming the Pharmacy Workforce.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201911

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