NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Quality Payments 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.

Chief pharmacist development programme

The Chief pharmacist development programme, designed and delivered in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy, will equip aspiring or new in-role chief pharmacists and other senior pharmacists from across the wider NHS with the necessary knowledge, skills, behaviours and experience to effectively perform a senior leadership role.

The 12-month fully funded programme offers a comprehensive mix of residential training, specialist study days, and small group support. Dates for waves 8 and 9 are listed under Residential blocks below. 

Applications for future waves will open in due course. You can view the application form here.                     

For any queries about the programme, please contact the programme lead, Karen Wragg at karen.wragg@cppe.ac.uk.

Overview of the programme

The programme will be delivered over a 12-month period and will comprise:

  • residential block A: 3.5 days
  • residential block B:  2 days
  • specialist study days: 5 days (optional)
  • personal online study time
  • mentoring
  • one-to-one coaching if required.

At the first residential block, each participant will complete a self-directed learning plan to inform their learning. They will be supported by CPPE to determine their development needs and to plan their study day attendance. The number of study days attended may vary but the provision will be matched to learning needs, taking into account varying experience when joining the programme.

Residential blocks

There are two residential blocks of training as part of the Chief pharmacist development programme, both of which will take place at Warwick Conference Centre. The second block of training for one wave of participants will overlap with the first block of training for the next wave of participants. Bringing pharmacists together like this creates the opportunity for networking and builds strong collegiality to achieve success.

Seventh wave

  • Block A: Monday 12 November 2018 – Thursday 15 November 2018
  • Block B: Wednesday 15 May 2019 – Thursday 16 May 2019

Eighth wave

  • Block A: Monday 13 May 2019 – Thursday 16 May 2019
  • Block B: July 2019 – Wednesday 10 July 2019 - Thursday 11 July 2019

Ninth wave

  • Block A: Monday 8 July 2019 - Thursday 11 July 2019
  • Block B: Wednesday 27 November 2019 - Thursday 28 November 2019

Block A will run from 12:00pm on Monday to 4:30pm on Thursday.
Block B will run from 10:30am on Wednesday until 4:30pm on Thursday.

Residential training will be delivered by CPPE in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and will include input from experienced chief pharmacists.

Specialist study days

In addition to the intensive residential blocks of training, there will be a series of optional specialist workshops on offer. These will be open to those who have identified particular areas of development, depending on the route taken to become a chief pharmacist. Workshop topics may include:

  • Finance, commissioning and procurement
  • Technical services
  • Legal issues
  • Self-awareness
  • Annual alumni day

These workshops will be held on an annual basis in London/Birmingham.

Online learning/NHS Leadership Academy

All of the face-to-face training will be supplemented by a wide offering of online learning accessed via CPPE and the NHS Leadership Academy. Some of this will be required pre-workshop activity for the residential training blocks and study days, while other content will be self-directed to meet aspects of the personal development plan.

Networking and local learning

A key part of the programme will be to build networks within pharmacy and the wider NHS. This will be facilitated by the residential nature of much of the programme and by the overlap between the waves of participants.

Those who are geographically close to each other may also choose to set up local learning sets to allow further networking and sharing of best practice within a region.


Pharmacists participating in the programme will be supported to find a mentor. This will be a senior leader who can act as a sounding board and provide support and guidance to further develop their career and networks.


Some participants may identify particular challenges during the course of the programme for which coaching may be appropriate. All participants will have access to a coach should they require it.