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.

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Pathway equivalence - reflective essay

  • Released: 06/2021
  • Reviewed: N/A

This pathway equivalence process is designed to be a consistent, transparent way of giving you appropriate credit for the knowledge, experience and qualifications you already have. To be able to give you credit for their existing knowledge and skills we need to understand:

  • the previous training and experience you have in the areas covered by the pathway modules. This learning may include CPPE pathways, academic qualifications, continuing professional development activities, and non-credit bearing courses.
  • how yo have applied their learning in their current or previous role(s).

Before you attempt this reflective essay assessment, you may find it useful to access the CPPE e-lecture on Reflection. This 30-minute learning programme looks at how we reflect and why this is a useful tool for pharmacy professionals. It will also allow you to develop your reflective skills and give practical tips on how to apply these to improve your practice.

This programme is not openly available, please see the details above.

Why should I do this assessment?

You can apply at any time, but you need to be in a patient-facing role in primary care because you will be asked to describe your role in your application. You also need to be an independent prescriber to undertake structured medication reviews (SMRs) which are a key part of the Network DES contract.

You may still apply if you feel you meet all the criteria except being qualified as an independent prescriber IP), for example, you could apply while you are completing an IP course.

How to do this assessment

Prepare to pass

We are looking for a personal account of your knowledge, skills and experience of working as a pharmacy professional in primary care to demonstrate that you have equivalent knowledge, skills and experience to the CPPE Primary care pharmacy education pathway (PCPEP). This includes specific details of what your role entails, and how you use your expertise in medicines optimisation. PCPEP is a vocational training programme so we are looking for specific examples of how you have used the knowledge skills and experience that you have gained. We are particularly interested in how you have delivered person-centred care and impacted on individual patients.

When we review your essays there are some key things that we will be looking for in your reflections. It may help to ask yourself the following specific questions as you write.

  • Have you provided some evidence that you have applied your learning and experience?
  • What impact has your learning and experience had on your practice? What do you do differently as a result of your learning?
  • How has your learning and experience benefited you, your team and the people who you care for?

We will not be marking your literary skills, but we will be looking for something that makes sense and has a good narrative flow. Sometimes we may return the essay to you unmarked. This will be when the essay, in the opinion of the assessor, has not been written as a narrative or where it is not comprehensible. Your essay will be marked as a pass or a fail, you will not be allocated a specific mark. If you do not achieve the criteria for pathway equivalence on your first submission we will provide feedback to support you in your next attempt.

Essay submission

Once you access the assessment and press the ‘submit’ button, you will see our terms and conditions for reflective essays. You must answer five questions to complete the reflective essay. Once you click ‘begin’ for one of the questions you will see a page to enter your reflective piece to answer that question. At this point you will not be able to exit the page and come back to the essay later.

We suggest you write your essay in a word document or other suitable file and then copy and paste your final submission into the assessment submission area when you wish to submit your answers to one of the questions. This allows time for true reflection and ensures you have a personal copy as evidence of your continuing professional development.

Use the five questions to help you organise the information you wish to include in your essay. Please note that if your answer to any of the questions contains more than the permitted number of words, your essay will be truncated at the word limit. If this happens you will be able to see what text has been included in your answer before you submit it. You can edit your submission either in the original document or in the assessment submission area before you submit.

Plagiarism and generative AI

Academic malpractice is any activity – intentional or otherwise – that includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results, and is considered a serious offence. Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other people or documents without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. It can also include a close paraphrase of written words. One way to prevent plagiarism is not to construct a piece of work by cutting and pasting or copying material written by someone else into something you are submitting as your own work. In recent years, the capabilities of generative artificial intelligence (AI) have rapidly evolved, with tools such as ChatGPT becoming widely available. Not using generative AI responsibly can be considered a form of plagiarism. As such, we ask that its use is openly and honestly declared. The University of Manchester Artificial Intelligence (AI) Teaching guidance states that “presenting work created by Generative AI without suitable acknowledgement is plagiarism, and must be treated using the same principles and processes as plagiarism of a person”. However, CPPE and The University of Manchester also recognise that, for some learners, tools such as generative AI can be beneficial in co-creating an essay from a series of their own concepts and ideas, where the individual may struggle with the task of long-form writing. When used appropriately, generative AI tools have the potential to enhance teaching and learning, and can support inclusivity and accessibility. This is considered to be a responsible use of generative AI.

We use reflective essays for a range of our learning programmes to encourage you to engage in reflective practice. The benefits of reflective practice are based on your personal learning and experience. Reflective practice can lead you to make positive changes for the benefit of people who use your services. Using a generative AI tool may help you in shaping and constructing your essay, but the personal elements that you need for your essay to pass cannot be generated by AI. If you use a generative AI tool, then you need to find a way to blend your personal experiences with the suggestions that the tool makes. If you use a generative AI tool to support you, you will need to complete a declaration as part of the essay submission process.

On submission, you may be asked to make a series of declarations. These will ask you to confirm you have followed good practice in constructing your essay and the work you are submitting is your own, original work. Additionally, you will need to declare whether you have chosen to use a generative AI tool to support you with this process.