NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Pharmacy Quality Scheme deadline, or to increase your confidence in helping people with a learning disability, this section provides topic-specific pages that link to current NHS priorities. This section will support you in keeping your knowledge and skills up to date in order to provide high-quality pharmacy services and be service-ready.

Clinical pharmacy

Our clinical portfolio is expanding on a frequent basis, helping you to advance your knowledge and skills and deliver medicines optimisation in practice for all sectors of pharmacy. From two new focal points a year to our small group learning for hospital pharmacists – Optimise – this section focuses on clinical pharmacy, diseases and therapeutics.

Public health

The public health agenda is embedded in pharmacy, yet topics such as emergency contraception or stop smoking support are as prevalent as ever. As well as our public health workshops, use this section to access a wide range of resources to assure and maintain your competence, all underpinned by the Declaration of Competence system.

Newly qualified pharmacist programme

Training programme

Fully funded by HEE, the 12-month Newly qualified pharmacist programme takes a blended learning approach, and offers a mix of online learning, workshops, assessment and work-based support through a designated CPPE education supervisor.

The overall aim of the programme is to support newly qualified pharmacists to develop, and demonstrate, confidence and competence in core areas of pharmacy practice. The programme is designed to support learners to become better equipped to adapt and deliver safe and effective patient care, and overcome the challenges of this new stage of their career.

The programme is aligned to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Post-registration foundation curriculum. This curriculum is underpinned by the RPS Foundation Framework 2019 and has been designed to support early career pharmacists further develop their capabilities to deliver safe and effective person-centred care. The outcomes place the patient, medicines optimisation and service delivery at the heart of the pharmacist’s role.

The Newly qualified pharmacist programme does not include an independent prescribing qualification. It is, however, mapped to the RPS Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum learning outcomes that have been designed to develop prescribing competence. By, using these learning outcomes, this programme helps you develop the skills and competence you need to prepare for a prescribing course. The experience and awareness gained from the Newly qualified pharmacist programme will act as a springboard towards IP training.

Learning outcomes of the programme

The Newly qualified pharmacist programme is designed to enable pharmacists to demonstrate outcomes in the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum. The programme is designed to develop pharmacists who can:

  • communicate effectively, placing the person at the centre of any interaction
  • deliver holistic person-centred care
  • collaborate with the wider pharmacy and multidisciplinary team
  • apply clinical knowledge and skills in practice
  • draw upon and critically evaluate appropriate information to inform decision making and manage uncertainty and clinical risk
  • use data and digital technology to enhance patient care and improve outcomes
  • promote pharmacy services and develop the profession
  • recognise opportunities for change, innovation and quality improvement
  • demonstrate self-awareness, resilience and adaptability
  • support the education and development of colleagues
  • participate in research.

Online learning

The Canvas online learning platform will be a virtual ‘classroom’ and networking site throughout the programme. We will provide you with Canvas login details and an induction to the platform.


The programme includes the following online modules:

  • Module 1: Person centred care and collaboration
  • Module 2: Clinical knowledge, skills and decision making
  • Module 3: Leadership and management
  • Module 4: Education and research

Each module has a self-assessment, an e-learning component and a range of workplace activities that are used to support the application of learning to practice. The modules are mapped to the domains, capabilities and learning outcomes in the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum to enable learners to identify evidence of competence for their portfolio.


The Newly qualified pharmacist programme will include attendance at two CPPE workshops. Pharmacists choose workshops in discussion with their education supervisor, relevant to their individual learning needs. We have a list of recommended workshops, including clinical topics, such as COPD and asthma, and workshops to support pharmacists to deliver community pharmacy services eg, emergency contraception.

The majority of CPPE workshops are delivered online and we will restart some face-to-face workshops in 2022.

Pharmacists will also complete Community Pharmacist Consultation Service training, which includes a self-directed online course.

Assessments, supervised learning events and e-portfolio

Assessments include e-assessments, supervised learning events (also known as practice-based assessments) and a portfolio. The assessment strategy is proportionate, providing assurance of patient safety within a manageable time.

The practice-based assessment strategy will support newly qualified pharmacists to complete a range of supervised learning events, that are assessed by their education supervisor. Assessment activities are recorded using standardised assessment tools to support a consistent approach.

The e-portfolio, provided by the RPS and Axia Digital, will assist newly qualified pharmacists and their education supervisor to record, upload, manage and review evidence to demonstrate progress against the learning outcomes in the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum.

At the end of the Newly qualified pharmacist programme, pharmacists will have a review meeting with their education supervisor to discuss their progression over 12-months, in relation to the outcomes in the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum and the evidence in their portfolio. The learner will also complete an end of programme learning needs analysis (LNA) and personal development plan (PDP).

Education supervision

Newly qualified pharmacists will be allocated a designated CPPE education supervisor, who will review progress in practice, and provide feedback and support. This support will develop the learner’s confidence and competence to deliver high-quality pharmacy services. The relationship between the pharmacist and their education supervisor is vital to successful development during the programme.

The education supervisor will meet with each pharmacist at the start of the programme to discuss their learning needs analysis and personal development plan. They will also meet with each pharmacist regularly throughout the programme, to complete end of module reviews and conduct supervised learning events. Meetings will be online, apart from some supervised learning events that require observation of practice in the workplace. The education supervisor will also complete a mid-point review and end of programme review.

The CPPE education supervisor’s role will include the following activities:

  • supporting pharmacists with LNA and PDP
  • providing developmental feedback
  • conducting supervised learning events (SLEs)
  • reviewing progress with the modules and how the pharmacist has applied the learning to their role
  • reviewing the e-portfolio and evidence of how the pharmacist demonstrates the outcomes in the RPS Post-registration Foundation Curriculum
  • competing an intermediate and end of programme review (education supervisor report).

Progression to independent prescribing training

In 2022, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) agreed to change the requirement for pharmacists to spend at least two years on the register before enrolling on an independent prescribing (IP) course. Pharmacists will be able to begin an IP course when they have demonstrated readiness, rather than simply completing a specified period post-registration.

The implementation date for the changes to the requirements for entry to independent prescriber courses will be confirmed once the GPhC Council has approved the guidance for course providers.

As described by the GPhC, applicants to prescribing courses must have relevant experience in a pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber. They also specify that course providers will be required to assess the quality of the applicant’s previous experience, to make sure that pharmacists have the necessary skills and experience before starting the course.

The Newly qualified pharmacist programme will support pharmacists to demonstrate readiness to enrol on an IP course by enabling them to:

  • develop relevant experience in a pharmacy setting
  • recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber
  • create a portfolio of evidence linked to the outcomes in the RPS Post-registration foundation curriculum
  • Feedback from learners

    The Newly qualified pharmacist programme builds on the success of the Foundation pharmacist programme which CPPE delivered in 2020/2021 as part of the Health Education England Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme. Feedback from learners who participated in the programme includes:

    ‘I started the programme in the summer and have found the mixture of self-reflection and guided study really useful. Creating a learning needs analysis has encouraged me to evaluate my own day-to-day practice and improve it. The consultations module has been really useful; it has really helped me to focus on how I communicate with my patients and the importance of establishing their agenda for the discussion. Having a tutor has also been invaluable; as pharmacists, we often work alone, and it can be really useful to get another point of view or advice as to how to handle different situations’.
    ‘Initially, I struggled to balance work and the programme. However, after my meeting with my education supervisor, she helped transform my mindset and gave me the encouragement I needed to find the balance. She helped me to not view the programme as another burden, but rather as a resource to improve my practice - which it has!’
    ‘Thank you for taking time out to come and visit me; it was lovely meeting you. I must say, I really enjoyed the face-to-face experience. Your constructive feedback has already allowed me to better my practice; for example, in the way I construct my NMS follow up conversations. Throughout the feedback session, you provided me with good tips and also referred me to certain resources such as NMS prompt sheets, which I have already started using in my consultations! Your frankness and honesty not only put me at ease but has also made me realise that there is always room for improvement, no matter how comfortable you are at doing a particular task. I look forward to meeting you again soon for our next meeting’.