“Some” community pharmacy employers have already confirmed the posts they wish to advertise in time for the August 2017 application process, HEE told C+D last week (January 12).
Employers who have shown an interest in centrally allocating their pre-reg placements are being asked to confirm the number of posts by this Friday (January 20).
A full list of employers involved in the scheme – and the number of posts available – will be published by the end of the month, HEE head of pharmacy Gail Fleming said.
“The IT platform will go live in June 2017," Ms Fleming added. "Students can apply in August 2017, and the selection will take place in September 2017 for an August 2018 pre-reg start.”
“Weaknesses in the system”
The scheme is part of HEE’s “wider look at pharmacy education”, which has so far uncovered “variation” in satisfaction levels of both tutors and trainees, as well as across the recruitment methods used, Ms Fleming said.
“We know there are some weaknesses in the system, which are evidenced by the General Pharmaceutical Council’s surveys on pre-reg training.
“You can also look at the variation in the results of the registration exam,” she added.
By centrally allocating the posts, HEE aims to ensure pre-regs and tutors are part of a “fair and equitable system”, Ms Fleming said.
When the scheme was first announced, Pharmacy Voice warned that it could result in a “two-tier” system, with pharmacies not taking part “seen as [less] desirable” by prospective trainees.
Ms Fleming stressed that the scheme has been “open to everyone” and “no one has been excluded from it”,but there are quality assurances that trainers and employers must abide by.
"It is up to employers to decide whether they want to be a part of it or not," she said.
“Any training commissioned through HEE will be prioritised for those companies and employers who are part of HEE’s national recruitment scheme."
Last August, Boots confirmed it had met with HEE to express an interest in advertising its pre-reg posts via the scheme.
Search for latest pre-reg pharmacist vaccancies on C+D Jobs