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.

Top pharmacy leaders programme


Unfortunately, due to withdrawal of NHS funding, this programme will not be available after March 2020.

If you are looking to develop your leadership skills and are not yet in a chief pharmacist or deputy role, you may want to consider our Leading for change programme. Alternatively, the NHS Leadership Academy offers a number of multidisciplinary leadership programmes which may meet your needs.  

If you would like to be informed of any future CPPE senior leadership offerings, please email michelle.styles@cppe.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list. 

The Top pharmacy leaders programme, previously known as the Chief pharmacist development programme is designed and delivered in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and will equip aspiring or new in-role chief pharmacists and other senior pharmacists with the necessary knowledge, skills, behaviours and experience to effectively perform a senior leadership role.

This fully funded programme is open to all senior pharmacists working for the NHS or in Health and Justice and offers a comprehensive mix of residential workshops, optional specialist study days, and small group support to build capability, confidence and networks across the wider system. 

Overview of the programme

The Top pharmacy leaders programme has been developed in conjunction with the NHS Leadership Academy as a self-directed programme delivered using experiential and action learning.

At the first residential block, participants will be introduced to Boyatzis’s model of self-directed learning (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2002).

Participants will be supported by their impact group and facilitator to determine their individual development needs and to plan their further learning requirements.

Components of the programme include:

  • compulsory residential block A: 3.5 days
  • compulsory residential block B: 2 days
  • optional specialist study days: up to 5 days
  • online interaction via discussion forums   
  • personal study time
  • local networking
  • mentoring
  • one-to-one coaching if required.


Residential blocks

CPPE will deliver residential leadership training in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and this will include input from experienced senior leaders from across the NHS.

There are two residential blocks of training, three months apart, 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.

Specialist study days

In addition to the intensive residential blocks of training, there will be a series of optional specialist workshops on offer annually. These will be open to those who have identified particular areas of development. Study day topics may include:

  • Finance
  • Commissioning and procurement
  • Technical services
  • Legal issues
  • Emotional intelligence

These workshops will be held on an annual basis according to need.

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.

There will also be the opportunity to keep in touch with participants from all waves of the programme via online discussion forums.


Pharmacists participating in the programme will be supported to find a mentor if they do not already have one. 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. Mentors can include alumni from previous waves of the programme.


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.