Position Statement: Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs) for Foundation Training Year (FTY) Pharmacists


Across the UK, all current MPharm undergraduates have transitioned to the reformed MPharm from Sept 2023 except those entering their final (fourth) year of study, who will be “taught out” on the current MPharm curricula.   The FTY intake of 2025-26, (so those starting FTY in summer 2025 and finishing in summer 2026), will be prescribers on registration as a pharmacist across the UK. 

The 2025-26 cohort, in their FTY year, will have to complete a minimum of 26 days of teaching and learning activity AND at least 12 days (90 hours) of direct learning in a practice environment whilst being supervised by a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) or designated medical practitioner (DMP).  Each FTY will require an Educational Supervisor (ES) or a Designated Supervisor (DS) AND a DPP.   The 90 direct prescribing hours do not have to be with the same DPP or DMP. There are expected to be specific competencies and learning events throughout the FTY year which will enable the FTY to build a portfolio of evidence as a prescriber.  Final sign off as a competent prescriber will be by the FTY’s named DPP in conjunction with their ES/DS.  

At the time of writing, the GPhC/PSNI do not intend to include any prescribing specific questions in the Common Registration Exam – all decisions relating to “prescribing readiness” will be made by the DPP in practice.  This reflects the existing postgraduate training for pharmacist prescribers, however, it differs from the medical model in the UK, where all current FY1s must pass the Prescribing Safety Assessment prior to the end of their FY1 year, and in the future, a National Exam which will include prescribing related questions. 

Role of a DPP in supporting the FTY

  • The DPP has a crucial role in mentoring, teaching, providing feedback and importantly, assessing the novice prescriber.
  • Planning a learning programme which will provide the opportunity for the student to meet their learning objectives and demonstrate competence.
  • Providing opportunities to facilitate in-depth discussion and analysis of clinical management using a random case analysis approach when patient care and prescribing behaviour can be examined further.
  • Assessing, and verifying, that by the end of the course, the student is competent to assume a prescribing role1.

What do multi-professional colleagues do? E.g. Medicine

  • Clinical and Educational supervisors in Medicine are required to either complete a formal course to meet the required competencies or to produce evidence for each domain prior to recognition as a Trainer, with re-accreditation every 5 years to maintain this annotation.
  • The GMC publishes information about trainers on the medical register, including doctors who are recognised as a:
    • named postgraduate clinical supervisor.
  • named postgraduate educational supervisor.
  • Doctors who hold either of these roles have a note on the medical register entry to say, “This doctor is a trainer recognised by the GMC2-4.”

How much time in their job are Medical clinical and educational supervisors allocated in order to undertake these roles?

Health Education England (now NHS England Workforce, Training and Education) has given guidance on the roles and responsibilities together with the knowledge and skills required for Clinical and Educational Supervisors and Trust Specialty Training Leads, with an awareness that time must be made available through job planning.  In a job plan, the “unit of currency” is a Programmed Activity (PA).  During normal working hours, a PA is considered to be 4 hours, and outside of this time, it is considered to be 3hrs.  An example from Health Education England (now NHS England Workforce, Training and Education) North West is shown below5.

Educational RoleTypical allocation
Clinical Supervisor (CS)0.25 PAs per week per trainee i.e. 1 hour per week per trainee in usual working hours
Educational Supervisor (ES) / Designated Supervisor (DS)Minimum 1 hour per week per trainee Additional time for trainees in difficulty (ES/DS role in isolation)
Trust specialty Training Lead   Responsible for education in a specialty at Trust level. Key individual liaising with Trust DME and Training Programme Director(s).0.5 PA for up to 10 trainees in specialty (excluding Foundation). 1 PA for 11 – 20 (4 hours in usual working hours) 1.5 PAs for 21 – 40 (6 hours) 2 PAs for more than 40. (8 hours)

Key considerations for hospital teams across the UK planning for 2025-26 FTY training

  • How many ES/DS and DPPs do you need for your training site for the 2025-26 cohort?
  • Do you have a role description for a DPP for FTY in your training site?
  • What time / remuneration will be offered for those undertaking this role?
  • What mentorship and support will be provided to those acting as a DPP for the first time?

Outstanding considerations for pharmacy leadership bodies and the regulators

  • There is not one, standardised approach to “creating” a DPP – in some areas in the UK there are formal training courses, in others, a self-assessment form is used.  A clear set of required competencies and domains2 for a DPP is required.
  • Formal guidance on the expected time commitment to act as an ES/DS or a DPP should be produced to guide planning by training sites across the UK5.  DPPs’ job plans should be reviewed to enable achievement of this additional role or remuneration should be offered if it is undertaken in addition to existing duties.
  • Ongoing mentorship and support for DPPs should be established, to guide the decision making around prescribing competence prior to registration.
  • Annotation of the GPhC/PSNI register to reflect DPP or ES/DS status should be considered for all pharmacists who undertake this additional duty.


  1. Information for prospective designated prescribing practitioners.  Accessed from https://www.nicpld.org/courses/ip2/assets/2024/2024_Information_for_Prospective_Designated_Prescribing_Practitioners.pdf on 22nd March 2024.
  2. The Professional standards for medical, dental, and veterinary educators (2014).  Accessed from Layout 1 (medicaleducators.org) on 22nd March 2024.
  3. Royal College of Physicians.  Expectations of Educational Supervisors.  Accessed from Educational supervisors – what is expected | RCPCH on 22nd March 2024.
  4. General Medical Council.  Approval of trainers.  Accessed from Approval of trainers – GMC (gmc-uk.org) on 22nd March 2024.
  5. Guidance on job planning for educational roles (HEE NW).  Accessed from NW DEANERY / NORTH WEST SHA (nwpgmd.nhs.uk) on 22nd March 2024.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.