Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


79% of readers firmly against five-year pharmacist apprenticeship

Four fifths of pharmacists and staff who responded to a C+D poll do not support the introduction of a five-year pharmacist apprenticeship.

Of the 202 respondents to the poll – which ran on the C+D website from April 18-26 – 160 (79%) said they do not support the introduction of a five-year pharmacist apprenticeship “under any circumstances”.

A further 32 (16%) said they were not sure, and “it would depend on the specific proposal and training provided”, while just 10 (5%) said they would be “confident in the pharmacists produced from such a scheme”.

Sector-wide reaction

The results come two weeks after C+D reported that a proposal for a level 7 pharmacist apprenticeship – equivalent to a master’s degree – was under consideration in a 10-day consultation launched by an employer-led public body.

The proposal prompted the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) to organise a meeting with the body behind the proposals – the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education – next week.

Commenting on the poll results this morning (April 26), PDA Union national officer Paul Day said it is no surprise that C+D readers have rejected the apprenticeship proposal.

“[It] seems to have been developed in secret, by unnamed employers, with no wider sector involvement or conversation,” he said.

He also claimed the wording in the proposal that states “pharmacists…are not required to diagnose and manage medical care” misdescribes the role of a pharmacist across all community, hospital and primary care organisations.

The PDA aims to put its concerns to the institute next week, including questioning the claim that the proposals were driven by pharmacy companies looking for solutions to workforce issues in the sector. “What skills gaps are [pharmacy employers] trying to address?” Mr Day asked.

“Apprenticeships add value to the UK economy, but there needs to be full understanding of the implications of a pharmacist apprenticeship before it is considered,” he added.

“The process so far has not done well for the credibility of the apprenticeship scheme.”

RPS meets the institute

In a statement today, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said the institute has agreed to provide “much more detail” on the proposals, after RPS members raised concerns.

The RPS expects the institute to publish an “explanatory note on apprenticeships” soon. This “needs to be followed by a full, detailed explanation of the pharmacy degree apprenticeship proposals, which must be subject to scrutiny, and opportunity provided for feedback”, it stressed.

Read both sides of the pharmacist apprenticeship debate and find out everything we know about the proposals

Would you have considered a pharmacist apprenticeship if it was available?

Related Content


Pharmacy Manager

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts