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Everything You Need To Know About Pharmacy Foundation Training

Foundation training for pharmacists has been talked about for years, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a swifter-than-expected introduction for the concept.

The idea is a simple one. All these informative topics can be easily highlighted to the readers in an essay format by an expert essay writer. The pharmacy degree and the preregistration year do not cover the range of skills that newly qualified pharmacists need to work across all sectors of the health service. Extra on-the-job training is needed as pharmacists’ roles are changing rapidly and training is struggling to keep pace.

But it took a global pandemic for the start of a national scheme to be announced in England. From September 2020, a voluntary interim foundation programme has been available to provisionally registered pharmacists, who were unable to take the preregistration exam due to the pandemic. 

In Scotland, provisionally registered pharmacists are able to sign up for NHS Education for Scotland’s (NES’s) Pharmacist Foundation Training Programme, which has been running for some years. 

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) support for provisionally registered pharmacists includes self-assessment competency frameworks and signposting to other resources, including continuing professional development. 

The General Pharmaceutical Coucil (GPhC) has set out plans for a permanent, nationwide scheme, planned for launch in 2021, in what would represent the biggest change to pharmacy education in a generation. Although the details are still being worked out, this article summarises the latest information we have on how it might work in practice.

Why is pharmacy foundation training needed?

Foundation training is something medics have benefited from for some time. In the UK, doctors begin a two-year foundation programme immediately after graduation and, at the end of that programme, they receive a full registration to practise from the General Medical Council. Dentists must also undertake a one-year foundation programme before they can practise independently in the NHS. After getting that informative content, now a free essay writer can highlight that topic to the readers in an essay format.

Until now, pharmacists have had patchy access to post-registration training, but according to a Health Education England (HEE) report, ‘Advancing pharmacy education and training: a review’ published in June 2019, the rapid changes in medicine and medical technologies are “driving the thinking about the need for a new career framework”.

An understanding of pharmacogenomics, advanced therapeutic medical products and digital health will be crucial to the pharmacy workforce in the near future, says HEE, adding that the current approach to pharmacist foundation training will not meet demands for a “sustainable clinical pharmacy workforce” that is ready to meet the challenges of dealing with complex conditions across multiple settings.

This is not a new idea, is it?

No — in its June 2019 report, HEE estimated that about a third of newly registered pharmacists in England were undertaking some form of foundation training. But pharmacy foundation training has always been optional, and there is a lot of variation in the programmes offered:

  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has been running a foundation programme since 2014. Open to Society members from all pharmacy sectors, the programme covers the first 1,000 days of practice. 
  • Rowlands Pharmacy and Boots are accredited RPS foundation training providers. Likewise, the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education’s foundation pharmacist training pathway is mapped to the RPS programme.
  • In October 2019, LloydsPharmacy introduced its own voluntary, one-year foundation programme. All these pharmacy content can be presented in the form of informative speech topics and its main purpose is to provide more information to the readers.

However, for the first time in September 2020, HEE offered a centrally funded Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme (IFPP) for all provisionally registered pharmacists in England. The programme is not mandatory, and can complement workplace foundation training programmes. 

As of 4 November 2020, there were 1,400 provisionally registered pharmacists signed up to the IFPP. 

In Scotland, hospital pharmacists have been able to undertake vocational foundation training since 2007, led by NES Pharmacy. In 2017, this was broadened to include pharmacists working in primary care and has since been accredited by the RPS. In light of the GPhC’s plans, a spokesperson for NES told The Pharmaceutical Journal  that “NES will review and reframe our post-registration foundation training programme in both name and learning outcomes when required.” The spokesperson added that “the intention remains that there will be a post-registration training programme for all newly qualified pharmacists in Scotland from September 2021, with supporting infrastructure. This will follow on from the current preregistration training year”.

In Wales, HEIW introduced a foundation programme for pharmacists, mainly in the community pharmacy sector, in 2020. 

Why has an interim scheme been introduced now?

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the registration assessment. So, for the first time, the GPhC created the status of “provisional registration”. Anyone who has passed the MPharm and completed 52 weeks of preregistration training in the last year could go onto a provisional register, legally allowing them to practice as pharmacists; albeit provisionally, and for a time-limited period. After getting these information an expert writers can easily write essay for me on that important topic of covid-19. It’s currently anticipated that the registration assessment will take place in the first three months of 2021.

The Interim Foundation Pharmacist programme was set up to support provisionally registered pharmacists as they move towards full GPhC registration. It is aligned to the RPS’s interim foundation pharmacist curriculum, and registering on the IFPP provides access to the RPS e-portfolio — where evidence of learning can be saved — and the RPS Provisional Registration Service Support Line. 

HEE also said that the programme is a “unique opportunity to accelerate pharmacist early years education and training reform”.  

What does foundation training involve?

This training aims to help pharmacists further develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours, as well as gather evidence of their existing skills and competencies. The RPS’s existing foundation programme includes areas such as patient consultations, medicines monitoring, transfer of care, communication skills, working in multidisciplinary teams and clinical governance.

Existing programmes last between 365 days and 1,000 days, and are undertaken in the workplace with support from a tutor. They feature a mix of workplace assessments and portfolio construction, and place emphasis on self-assessment and reflection. An essay typer can provide that medical related information to the students by highlighting it in essay format.

The provisional scheme in England provides pharmacists and employers with access to a range of online resources, including the RPS’s e-portfolio for provisionally registered pharmacists, which includes supervised learning and self-assessment tools and can be used to collate evidence of learning.