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

Letter to GPhC re Pre-Reg Letter

We have written to the GPhC asking for further clarification on pre-registration training.

Dear Duncan /Brendan,

We are writing to you on behalf of the current pre-registration pharmacists (2019-20) cohort, due to join the register in 2020. On 26 th March, a joint statement was issued from the GPhC and the PSNI to inform current
pre-registration trainees that the registration examinations across the UK would not take place as planned in summer 2020 or autumn 2020. Pre-registration pharmacists were told, at this time, that they would enter the register “provisionally”.

Whilst we understand, and fully support the reasons for this given the current pandemic across the UK, and the interruption in training that this has caused for most trainees, we have had a number of queries from both pre-registration pharmacists and tutors across the UK. These questions include;

  • What does “provisional” registration mean? What would the restrictions be?
  • What will happen come the end of the 52 week training period, will provisionally registered pharmacists remain at their training sites, or should they be applying for jobs?
  • If existing pre-registration candidates will remain in-situ, how will this affect the incoming pre-registration cohort of 2020-21?
  • If existing pre-registration candidates will leave their training posts, and enter employment, how will this affect their roles and salaries when they work as “provisionally” registered pharmacist?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

Dr. Roisín O’Hare Bsc(hons) PGCHET MSc DPharm MPSNI(IP) FFRPS
Lead Teacher Practitioner Pharmacist, NI Universities Network /
Cardiology Pharmacist, Southern Health and Social Care Trust
President, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP). 
emails: /

Download letter

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Statement

Updated statement and links to an honorary contract template.

We understand that as pharmacists you may be feeling anxious about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and we wanted to get in touch and offer our support in these challenging times. Across the UK, public health organisations, government health officials and employers are enacting emergency plans to ensure that staff receive the right advice, care and support and that you are able to do your job in these challenging times. We advise that our members refer to the guidance specific to their location as information for e.g. employers, educational and health organisations can vary across the UK.

Pharmacists, as well as other health professionals, are facing an increasing responsibility in their workplaces to support patients across the UK during this pandemic. There is a lot of conflicting information relating to our practice as pharmacists during this period we urge caution as some advice may be out of date by the time you see it. It is important that during this time we all follow national public health advice and strive to follow up to date and evidence based guidance – even as this changes daily.

The GHP are liaising with employers, regulators, government and other pharmacy leadership bodies on a regular basis to address some of your concerns. We also recognise that our members have individual concerns regarding their circumstances and whilst we cannot answer everything in this statement, we have put together a list of FAQs to support you with the queries you have raised.

We recommend that this advice is read in conjunction with the advice drawn up from each of the 4 country governments and the Trade Unions.

Read our FAQs here.

CANCELLED: GHP Evening meeting for London area


We will reschedule in due course. 

Join us in London on 31st March 2020
Unite the Union, Boardroom ; 133—37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V8BB

Come and hear about developments for pharmacists working across the system from our expert speakers:

- Richard Goodman – Regional Chief Pharmacist 
- Emma McClay – Pharmacist Lead, Pharmacy Integration project, Specialist Pharmacy Services
- A representative from St Georges Hospital Pharmacy primary care services 
- A representative from Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust Integrated Medicines Optimisation service 

If you want to hear more / ask more about Contingent Medical Malpractice (CMM), Kevin McAdam is running a CMM clinic from 5.30-6pm and from 8-8.30pm.

Register here

Our GUILD Council representatives will be there including;
·   Roisín O’Hare (GHP President)
·   Ewan Maule (GHP Vice President)
·   Graeme Richardson (GHP Immediate Past President)
·   Seema Varma (GHP Regional Member, London)
·   Heather Weaver (Co-Chair of Terms & Conditions, GHP)

Our members are working hard to #KeepAntibioticsWorking

Thanks to all the amazing people who supported us with our World Antibiotics Awareness Week campaign on Twitter. We’ve had hundreds of people engage and our tweets have been seen over 40,000 times across the world. We’re demonstrating the importance of pharmacy and pharmacists in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

See what folk across the UK have been doing on our Twitter pages; @GHPPharmacy