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RPS launches national Foundation Pharmacist Framework

The new, nationwide framework has a greater emphasis on clinical capabilities, including preparation for prescribing.

Gail Fleming, director for education and professional development at the RPS

Source: Nic Bunce / The Pharmaceutical Journal

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s new framework sets out the capabilities that foundation pharmacists will need as their role moves towards increasingly complex clinical care across a range of settings

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published its revised Foundation Pharmacist Framework — marking the first step towards a nationwide, multi-sector foundation training programme for pharmacists across the UK.

Gail Fleming, director for education and professional development at the RPS, announced the framework’s launch at the Society’s 2019 annual conference, held in London on 17 November 2019.

“With the profession and pharmacy employers seeing an unprecedented demand for clinical knowledge and skills, it’s vital we move towards a sustainable, funded national model for foundation pharmacist training,” she said.

“We need to have a clear development pathway, so that when you join the profession you can see what will happen next in your career progression.”

The framework replaces the existing RPS Foundation Pharmacy Framework, which has been in place since 2014.

In a statement, the RPS said that the new framework sets out the capabilities that will be needed by foundation pharmacists as the role moves towards increasingly complex clinical care across a range of settings, and so the framework has a greater focus on clinical capabilities, including preparation for prescribing.

“[The framework is] intended to underpin the development of future curriculum, syllabus and assessment for foundation pharmacists across the UK,” the statement added.

The RPS will now develop the foundation programme’s curriculum and assessment procedures, and expects to publish the curriculum by summer 2020.

The training aspect of the national foundation programme will be led by Health Education England, NHS Education for Scotland, Healthcare Education and Improvement Wales and The Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development.

The RPS first proposed the concept of a consistent, nationwide foundation programme in July 2017. Since then, an Education Governance Oversight Board — which includes the RPS, the UK’s four chief pharmaceutical officers, the General Pharmaceutical Council, universities and employers — has been put together.

The board, chaired by Peter Kopelman, former principal of St George’s University in London, is tasked with overseeing pharmacy postgraduate education and training, including the foundation pharmacist programme.

“The RPS Foundation Pharmacist Framework is the first stage towards identifying standards applicable to the desired outcomes from Foundation training for all pharmacists across the UK,” Kopelman said.

“The Pharmacy Education Governance Oversight Board will continue to work with key stakeholders across the profession to assure the quality of a future curriculum and assessment strategy.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207339

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