Pre-registration pharmacist training
Becoming a pharmacist starts with a passion to help people understand and use medicines and to live healthier lives. A driving passion is a useful resource when training to become a pharmacist which involves a minimum of five years training and passing multiple examinations and assessments before gaining registration and being authorised to practice.
The final year is called pre-registration pharmacist training and prepares pharmacy university graduates for practice in the real world. After successfully gaining a university degree in pharmacy via one of the 31 accredited courses you’ll need the right training and support in your pre-registration pharmacist training year to help you develop the skills, knowledge and experience to pass the challenging registration examination.
At Scientia Skills our experienced team have been through the process themselves, built up years of experience in practice and on top of that have over 73 years of combined experience writing and delivering pharmacy training. We’ve created a pre-registration training programme that covers everything you’ll need to know, includes one to one support and crucially doesn’t get in the way of your in the pharmacy practical training. Here is what you need to know about pre-registration pharmacist training.
What is a pharmacist?
A pharmacist is a person who is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Which doesn’t really help much unless you know what it takes to become registered. More on that shortly. Since the Royal Pharmaceutical Society was formed in 1841 pharmacists have been a trusted profession contributing greatly to the health of the nation. A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who is the expert on medicines and their use in the healthcare team. They are scientists with a thorough understanding of the chemical and biological actions of medicines and the conditions they effect. They are skilled at translating that knowledge to help patients understand their medicines and how to get the best out of them. Pharmacists deliver pharmaceutical care (care through medicines) via a changing and growing range of services directly to the public and to other healthcare professionals. They provide public health services helping people to understand their health and to act to protect and improve it. Pharmacists care for people in a wide range of settings from community pharmacies, to hospitals, to prisons, to GP surgeries, to developing new medicines in industrial settings. The role of a pharmacist is constantly changing, influenced by changes in science, healthcare, technology, politics and ultimately the needs of the people they serve.
There is a lot to learn! Don’t let this daunt you. It is worth the effort to be part of a profession with a revered past, a dynamic present and a bright future. Let’s look at how you become a pharmacist.
What do I have to do to become a pharmacist?
A person calling themselves a pharmacist must be registered with the GPhC. The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. It is their job to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of members of the public by upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy.
Years one to four
The journey to registration as a pharmacist begins with successful completion of a GPhC accredited pharmacy qualification which for the vast majority means a Masters Degree in Pharmacy. This is usually a four year, full time university degree with a couple of exceptions. There are 31 universities in the UK that offer this kind of degree all of which have had to gain accreditation for their degree course with the GPhC themselves. Good A level grades in the sciences and maths are required and competition for places is high.
Often students studying a Masters Degree in Pharmacy will complete short (4-8 weeks) summer placements within practical settings (community pharmacy, hospital or industry) to begin building experience and knowledge of pharmacy practice. These placements are invaluable in supporting academic study.
The next step on the journey begins after successfully gaining a Masters Degree in Pharmacy and is an additional year of on the job training called pre-registration pharmacist training. This training is usually arranged by the graduate themselves in the run up to competing their degree and is confirmed when they receive their results. Successful completion of pre-registration pharmacy training involves two elements:
- A pre-registration training placement: under the supervision of a tutor, trainees spend at least 52 weeks in an approved training site, developing their practice to meet a range of performance standards. Their progress is guided by and verified by their tutor, using progress reviews set out in the GPhC pre-registration manual.
- A registration assessment: trainees sit an assessment which tests specific knowledge and skills set out in the assessment framework. Trainees must demonstrate that they are making sufficient progress to meet all the performance standards by the end of their placement to be eligible to sit the registration assessment.
The GPhC provide extensive information on the detailed process here.
Competition for pre-registration training placements is intense and securing the right placement for you with the right support is critical. Selection often involves an interview so building your experience with summer placements, weekend jobs and voluntary work is useful. You can find help with placements in various places on the internet. E.g. Chemist and Druggist or Pharmacist Support. You can also approach a company directly if you are sure you want to train with them. Be sure to research whether a placement is right for you as much as whether you are right for it.
The vast majority of tutors seek additional support to help them train their pre-registration trainee in a structured way the covers all of the necessary requirements of the GPhC and prepares them for the assessment. Some larger organisations have their own in house training while many smaller organisations use external support.
You will need dedication, commitment and hard work to qualify as a pharmacist. You will also need some great support from people who know what it takes and are there for you when you need them.
Bradford, East Anglia and Nottingham offer five year degree courses with integrated pre-registration training.
If you aren’t sure about your next steps, get in touch and we’ll be happy to guide you. We are always happy to talk training.
Training with Scientia Skills
At Scientia Skills we provide a flexible, modern pre-pregistration training programme that is designed to fit around your day to day commitments and provide all of the knowledge and support you need to help you qualify. We’ll be with you from the first day of your placement until you qualify and even beyond providing structured training via 15 virtual classroom events in the evening to remove the need for expensive travel and time away from placement learning.
We don’t just stop there though. We believe that one to one support is important and gives you the best chance of success. An integral part of our programme is personalised support for every trainee provided by our experienced pharmacist trainers. We go over the best way to approach the assessment, both paper 1 and 2, with full mock assessments and feedback.
Whether you are a tutor looking for the right programme to support you and your trainee or you are a trainee looking for the right programme to supplement or replace your planned programme we offer the highest quality training in a way that suits you.
If you are ready to explore pre-registration pharmacist training in more depth take a look at our programme details and if you are ready to purchase go straight to our online shop and we’ll get you set up.
As always we want to provide the best support to both trainees and tutors. We don’t just send you a training pack and then leave you to it. That approach starts now. Get in touch whichever way suits you and we’ll happily answer your questions. We are always happy to talk training. Remember, the only silly question is the one you don’t ask…