GHP Statement on pre-registration training – for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 cohorts

May 2nd 2020

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists represents UK wide around 4,500 Pharmacists working across the profession of pharmacy including the majority of hospital Pharmacists, Pharmacists employed by Primary Care Organisations and Pharmacists employed by other public bodies such as the NHS England, Commission Quality Commission.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that all of our members have focussed their efforts on supporting the enormous change required to meet the demands of this crisis, and that all staff members in the Pharmacy Family were involved in this effort.

We are aware that due to this shift of focus, there has been an impact on the training of the current pre-registration cohort in NHS hospitals (the class of 2019-20). The Pre-registration year is designed to provide you with the opportunity to contextualise your knowledge and skills from a University setting into real patient situations as well as providing you with sufficient practice to evolve into a competent and confident practising pharmacist.

Many of you, both pre-registration pharmacists and pre-registration tutors, may have been redeployed to support high-risk areas or may be shielding due to pre-existing conditions. We, your colleagues in the profession of Pharmacy, have been overwhelmed by your willingness to offer your support in this crisis, despite the uncertainty about your own progression and registration. Thank you.

The joint statement from GPhC and PSNI on 26th March 20201 proposed that pre-registration pharmacists would register provisionally this summer due to the need to postpone the registration examinations in June and September to a later date. We know that this has led to some confusion for the current cohort of pre-registration pharmacists, and also for the incoming cohort of 2020-21.

Pre-registration cohort (GB based), 2019-2020; joining the register provisionally and getting a job in the NHS

The GHP believe that (although detail is still awaited from the GPhC on what a “provisionally registered pharmacist” will look like) pre-registration pharmacists wishing to work in the managed sector can apply for and start work as a pharmacist on an agenda for change band 6 postas soon as they join the provisional register.

The AfC profile refers to “Highly developed specialist knowledge, underpinned by theory and experience. Professional knowledge acquired through vocational master’s degree in pharmacy (4 years) plus 1 year pre-registration training and experience” which all applicants will have achieved at the point of starting their role2. We look forward to welcoming you to the NHS workforce and supporting you in starting your first 1,000 days of practice in your foundation training programme (or equivalent). This should be able to happen seamlessly as you complete your 52 weeks and start straight into your band 6 role.

Pre-registration cohort (NI based), 2019-2020; delayed PSNI exam (proposed for Aug 2020)

On May 1st, the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) issued a statement that, due to a difference in legislation between GB and NI, provisional registration as pharmacists in NI for the current pre-registration cohort will not be possible3. The PSNI have proposed a rescheduled exam for August 2020 for all eligible trainees, to ensure the minimum additional time as a pre-registration trainee. Funding for all pre-registration posts has been extended until this time.

Pre-registration cohort, 2020-2021; starting posts summer 2020

This is an exciting yet daunting time for many undergraduates as you study for finals and OSCEs in a unfamiliar online format, and graduate in absentia this summer. We, in the NHS, are looking forward to welcoming all of you into your hospital / primary care pre-registration year this summer and we are ready for you to start your training with us.

We are active on a range of social media fronts, and here is how to keep up to date with what we are doing and get in touch with us.

@GHPPharmacy @roisohare

Download the the statement