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.

Primary care pharmacy education pathway


In addition to the CPPE primary care pharmacy education pathway (PCPEP), pharmacists supported with the PCN additional role reimbursement scheme are expected to undertake independent prescribing (IP) training if they have not already completed this. The timing of this needs to be carefully managed to ensure the pharmacists have a solid foundation on which to build to become safe prescribers. Please see the section below on Timing of independent prescribing.

NHS England commissions IP training places at specific universities for pharmacists who have completed the pathway. CPPE is required to authorise the place for the pharmacists. This authorisation process is done through our website. Please see the section below on CPPE authorisation for an IP place.

If you are looking for information on independent prescribing training but are not eligible for the CPPE PCPEP please visit the NHS England website prescribing pages to find out more. For those not eligible for PCPEP we also run a programme to help you prepare for independent prescribing training – Preparing to train as an independent prescriber.

There is more information for pharmacists enrolled on the Primary care pharmacy education pathway on the section on Canvas. Please read this before applying for an IP course.

Timing of independent prescribing

NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), Health Education England (HEE) and CPPE have developed a policy that seeks to clarify the position with regard to the appropriate timing of independent prescribing training to keep patients and prescribers safe. It also seeks to clarify the position on learners on the CPPE pathway studying another non-mandatory training programme at the same time

It is important that employers and pharmacists have a complete understanding of the competences of basic pharmacist training and the additional training and experience pharmacists require, before undertaking IP training. The CPPE pathway and the work experience provide solid foundations to build on with IP training so that pharmacists become competent, confident and safe prescribers in a primary care setting. Further details can be found in the policy.

Pharmacists are expected to undertake the IP course after they have completed the pathway. In exceptional cases pharmacists can apply to do IP before the end of the pathway and they will find details on who may be eligible on the learners’ virtual learning environment, Canvas.

CPPE authorisation for an IP place or to apply for early IP

To apply for authorisation for your IP place or to apply do IP before the end of the pathway please use link and complete the application form. You need to decide which course you are going to apply for before completing the application form. If you are eligible you will be given a certificate of eligibility which you will either send to your chosen university or upload during their application process. Please use the link below.

Apply here for authorisation - This link has been disabled until NHS England announce the new list of courses.

PLEASE NOTE – Until NHS England announces the universities and the dates for the IP courses from April 2024 we cannot issue funding authorisation certificates for courses from April 2024. There will be funding and courses for those who have completed PCPEP but we do not know when the courses will be announced.

Studying another, non-mandatory, training programme at the same time as the CPPE pathway

Studying another course at the same time as the CPPE course adds a great deal of pressure to the pharmacy professional. NHSE/I, HEE and CPPE have made the decision that pharmacy professionals should not enrol in any non-mandatory training whilst completing the CPPE training pathway, in order to remain focused on this. In some cases, pharmacy professionals have already started another course when they start their new role in primary care; in which case there are three options for them which can be found in the policy.

The full policy can be found here

For any further queries please email primarycare@cppe.ac.uk