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Aim for all new pharmacists to prescribe under GPhC-approved plans

The GPhC has approved the new standards for the initial education and training (IET) of pharmacists, which will make prescribing skills an “integral part” of pharmacists’ training.

The new standards, which cover the five years of education and training, “incorporate the aim of people being independent prescribers at the point of registration”, according to the GPhC papers published ahead of the council meeting today (December 10).

In a tweet today, the GPhC confirmed it had approved the IET standards for pharmacists.

The updated standards bring in a “number of important changes”, such as the introduction of a foundation training year – which will replace the pre-registration year – greater emphasis on the application of science in clinical practice and a focus on key skills such as diagnostic and consultation abilities, according to the GPhC papers.

Amended draft standards

Other amendments to the IET standards – the draft version of which was presented at the November council meeting – take into consideration the introduction of the foundation training year.

“This will involve the GPhC delegating responsibility to the statutory education bodies – Health Education England, Health Education and Improvement Wales and NHS Education for Scotland – to manage the quality of placements during the foundation training year”, the regulator said in the council papers.

Pharmacy students will need signed-off from both the designated supervisor and designated prescribing practitioner (DPP). If this is the same person, sign-off from another healthcare professional will also be required, the standards clarified.

The updated standards also add a requirement for pharmacists to “understand their legal responsibilities under equality and human rights legislation” and to “proactively seek to learn and understand communities and cultures”.

Earlier this year (July 28), the GPhC, the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland and the four UK chief pharmaceutical officers (CPOs) proposed that “one aim” of the foundation training year – expected to replace the pre-reg year in 2021 – would be for “new registrants to be independent prescribers”.

The UK CPOs and the two regulators said that, once the IET standards had been finalised, the reforms for a “continuum of five years of education and training” would be introduced in July 2021, with a “phased approach to implementation”.

However, the GPhC IET advisory group for told the GPhC council last month (November 12) that it was concerned there might be an “insufficient” number of DPPs to supervise pharmacy trainees during the new foundation training year.

What do you make of the new IET standards for pharmacists?

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