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.


It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the young and vulnerable people in society. Are you confident you would recognise the signs and signals that might indicate potential abuse or neglect? Would you know what action to take if you suspected abuse or neglect?

Safeguarding training and competency requirements for pharmacy professionals

The minimum level of safeguarding training for pharmacy professionals (pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) is level 2 for all areas of safeguarding. These areas are children and young people, looked after children, and adults.

If you would like to find out more about the competency and training requirements for the different levels of safeguarding, you may find it helpful to access the documents below which set out the national framework.

Adult safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare staff Looked after Children: roles and competencies of healthcare staff

Level 2 safeguarding learning to support you to meet mandatory training requirements

The e-learning for healthcare (elfh) safeguarding e-learning and assessments cover the most important policies, guidance and legislation that governs safeguarding in England. This will provide you with the relevant underpinning knowledge that is aligned to the nationally agreed Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) learning outcomes and is consistent with the safeguarding learning and competencies for other healthcare professionals across the NHS.

It is important to note that each level builds on the previous level(s), so meeting the competencies in level 2 also requires meeting those in level 1. Pharmacy professionals are therefore initially required to complete both level 1 and level 2 training, which is all four of the elfh safeguarding programmes below. The competencies for looked after children are covered in the Safeguarding children e-learning programmes.

You can access these programmes via the links below:

Safeguarding adults level 1
e-learning and assessment

estimated completion time:
40 minutes(25 minutes e-learning + 15 minutes e-assessment)
Safeguarding children level 1
e-learning and assessment

estimated completion time:
30 minutes (20 minutes e-learning + 10 minutes e-assessment)
Safeguarding adults level 2
e-learning and assessment

estimated completion time:
40 minutes (25 minutes e-learning + 15 minutes e-assessment)
Safeguarding children level 2
e-learning and assessment

estimated completion time:
35 minutes (20 minutes e-learning + 15 minutes e-assessment)

Maintaining and updating knowledge and skills should be a continuous process. You should repeat safeguarding assessments every three years, as a minimum, to ensure your knowledge is kept up to date. Your employer or service commissioner may require you to repeat these more frequently. For example, the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework requires pharmacy professionals to demonstrate safeguarding level 2 attainment every two years. Ongoing refresher training can be at level 2 only, without the need to repeat level 1 training.

There are other education providers who provide nationally recognised safeguarding e-learning, which your employing organisation may use instead.

Level 3 safeguarding requirements

Some pharmacy professionals are required to complete level 3 safeguarding training. Your employer can confirm whether this applies to you.

Level 3 safeguarding training requires an element of multidisciplinary discussion about cases. E-learning can be used at level 3 and above, but it should not be your only form of learning. It can be used, for example, as preparation for reflective team-based learning.

It is expected that around 50 percent of the learning time for level 3 will be interactive and involve a multi-professional team wherever possible. This includes, for example, formal teaching or education, conference attendance and group case discussion, sometimes as part of regular multi-professional and/or multi-agency staff meetings.

e-learning for healthcare (elfh) has level 3 e-learning on safeguarding children and adults that all healthcare professionals can access. Some Safeguarding Children Partnerships and Safeguarding Adult Boards provide level 3 safeguarding training courses, and you may have access to other online safeguarding level 3 training through your employer.

elfh also have a one-hour recorded webinar, Safeguarding level 3 for Community Pharmacy Teams, which is tailored specifically for staff working in community pharmacies, hosted by NHS England’s Community Pharmacy and Safeguarding teams. You should check with your employer how watching this webinar can contribute to your level 3 safeguarding training.

If you are required to complete level 3 training, you will also need to complete training for levels 1 and 2.

Additional safeguarding learning

Safeguarding is an emotive subject but having an increased awareness of and knowing what to do when these concerns arise is important.

We have developed an e-learning programme, Safeguarding children, young people and adults: level 2 case studies for pharmacy professionals, to help you apply your safeguarding knowledge and develop the confidence and skills to identify and report safeguarding concerns you encounter in pharmacy practice. It will enable you to consider how you can take a person-centred approach to safeguarding and will help you to understand how you can meet your safeguarding responsibilities in whichever areas(s) of practice you work.

Please note: The CPPE Safeguarding children, young people and adults: level 2 case studies for pharmacy professionals is not sufficient on its own to meet your mandatory level 2 safeguarding requirements. It should be used to further your learning and apply knowledge gained through programmes such as the e-learning for healthcare (elfh) programmes and assessments.

You may also find it useful to explore specific safeguarding concerns in more detail. There is further learning available to help you do this, some of which is outlined below.

Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation is a 15-minute video which presents a series of scenarios involving a young person at risk. The video provides some practical advice on how to act on your concerns.

Combatting CSE and the elfh Child sexual exploitation e-learning programmes are designed to help healthcare staff in preventing, identifying and responding to child sexual exploitation safeguarding concerns.

The elfh Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) e-learning is designed to improve your knowledge and awareness of FGM. It provides practical support to healthcare professionals facing challenges such as how to approach a conversation about FGM with people.

Safeguarding requirements for DoC

You will need to successfully complete recognised mandatory safeguarding training to ensure you meet the Declaration of Competence (DoC) core competencies. You will find a list of learning and assessments that can support you to meet the core competencies, such as the e-learning for healthcare (elfh) safeguarding programmes and assessments, in each DoC framework.

The CPPE Safeguarding children, young people and adults: level 2 case studies for pharmacy professionals e-learning programme offers an additional opportunity to develop your ability to apply your safeguarding knowledge to practice. This can be used to support you to meet the core safeguarding competency in the DoC frameworks but it is not sufficient on its own.