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The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has urged the GPhC and others to properly allocate necessary funding to bring proposed changes to the pharmacists’ initial education and training.

The association has also stressed the need to include field experts to transform education and training of future pharmacists.

The PDA said that it has been closely engaging with stakeholders as the proposals have been developed, adding: “As a structural shift in both the initial education and the post-registration lifetime, a continuing development process is needed to prepare pharmacists to undertake a greater role in providing pharmaceutical care which is envisaged in all UK countries.”

Collette Bradford, director of organising and engagement at the PDA, said: “It is important to note that the 2021-22 Foundation Training Year, which will impact on pre-regs this summer 2021, is a transitional year. The GPhC has developed and published a set of interim learning outcomes for this cohort.

“The PDA calls for the changes to initial education and training to be properly funded and IP supervisors, mentors and others involved in the delivery of the new standards and learning outcomes to be trained and supported through the change process, in order that they may provide a seamless and supportive training experience for each cohort of students and trainees.

“The PDA reiterate that the underpinning knowledge and skills for independent prescribing must be woven through the five years of education and training with appropriate supervised practice during the training year.”

During the development of the changes, the PDA contributed to a series of consultation meetings held by the regulator and submitted a paper to the GPhC setting out some points and key questions for consideration as the review progressed.

The paper highlighted that an integral part of the reforms must be in the embedding of equality issues within the whole process that the GPhC oversees and removing the current attainment gap present at institutions that provide the MPharm degree course.

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