The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has approved and adopted the new Standards for the Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists on the 26 January 2021 as part of the process of the joint reform of the Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists, announced on 28 July 2020. The new Standards were also adopted by the Council of the GPHC in December 2020. These Standards have been developed through extensive joint consultation and engagement with stakeholders over the last few years including a major public consultation in 2019.

The implementation of the new Standards will transform the early years of education and training of pharmacists, enabling them to play a much greater role in providing clinical care to patients and the public from the point of registration. The Standards set out the knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional behaviours that a student / trainee pharmacist must demonstrate to join the professional Register.

The Standards also detail the requirements for providers of initial education and training. They have been developed to produce adaptable pharmacy professionals, confident and capable of operating in multi-professional teams, across a variety of healthcare settings to meet diverse and changing patient needs.

The Pharmaceutical Society NI is continuing to work with the GPhC to develop a transition plan for implementing the new Standards in a phased manner over the coming years, starting in July 2021 when the Pre-registration Year develops into a Foundation Training Year. Reforms to the pharmacy Undergraduate Programme will also be progressed in a phased manner.

We will provide further information to trainees and all other stakeholders about arrangements for the new Foundation Training Year, which starts in July 2021. All those affected will be fully informed and prepared for the improvements.

Further information on the Foundation Training Year 2021/22 is available here.

Dr Jim Livingstone, the President of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI commented:

“The adoption of the new Standards for Initial Education and Training by Council is the next step in the implementation plan for the joint reform of the early stages of education and training of pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

These are exciting reforms, which will equip the pharmacy profession to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving healthcare system and ever-changing patient need. The new Standards will be the bedrock which ensures that pharmacists continue to play a leading role in healthcare provision in Northern Ireland and that patient care and safety are of the highest standard. We continue to work with partners and stakeholders to ensure that these vital changes are introduced in an effective, efficient and timely manner and we are grateful to all those individuals and organisations that have engaged with us to date.”

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