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GPhC: Some pre-registration training 'not good enough'

Nigel Clarke: Addressing variation in quality will be a big challenge

The regulator's chair Nigel Clarke told a Westminster Health Forum event that placements can be "highly variable"

The quality of some pre-registration training is “not good enough”, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has admitted.

Research carried out by the regulator and anecdotal evidence suggest that the quality of pre-registration placements can be “highly variable”, GPhC chair Nigel Clarke told delegates at a Westminster Health Forum event last week (November 17).

While some training is “excellent”, the variation between placements is “really not where we should be”, Mr Clarke stressed. His comments came after a GPhC survey found 89% of hospital pre-registration students who completed their placements in 2013-14 rated the quality of their training as "good" or "very good", compared to 74% of community students.

Fixing this problem will be a “big challenge” that involves "a lot of different organisations...talking to each other", he added.

Mr Clarke’s comments echoed those he made at a GPhC education conference earlier this month (November 10), when he admitted some training is “not ideal”. 

“We all need to have a pretty good look at how pre-reg works. We need to better understand how the structure should [work], who needs to be inputting more, and what we need to do [in] that process,” he said at the time.

England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge used his speech at the same event to predict that some English students may have to pay for their own pre-registration placements in the future.


How could the GPhC improve pre-registration training?

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Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Main problem is the pharmacy schools take all and sundry to help the multiples and DoH hammer down wages. 

Gurjepal Pannu, Community pharmacist

*This comment has been removed for breaching C+D's community principles

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

I agree However some pre-reg students are not good enough. They should have never gained a place in a pharmacy college. What % of tutors rated students as' not good enough'

Do I Not Like This Dotcom, Primary care pharmacist

By the same token there are probably some pre-reg tutors that are not fit for purpose. What is needed is an independent assessor visting students during their training placement to assess the quality of training and satisfaction of both the trainee and tutor whjich their repective situations. Sadly, due to the resource implications this is unlikely to happen!

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Tough to mentor I suppose when you gave those really important MuRs to fit in.

John Carracher, Locum pharmacist

The GPhC should be assessing the quality of the teaching at the universitities, and if it is not upto scratch then that course should not be accredited. I have seen a lot of students who cannot calculate simple doses, this is not the fault of the tutors but of the universities who should have picked this up before the student graduated. How many pre- reg tutors hacve actually been trained, and in what form was that training undertaken. Have the tutors been assessed as to their capability if not why not. Do the tutors have the time to spend with the graduate, or is the graduate being used as another dispensing assistant. I know that they are supposed to be extra-numerate to the pharmacy, but this is not always the case Pre-reg tutors have a great responsibily in training the next generation of Pharmacists, and it is very important that they have the proper tools and credentials to provide this training and that is where the GPhC come in

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