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The community pharmacists foundation training year will replace the current pre-registration training year from July 2021, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said an update.

“These changes are part of the implementation of the new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists we published in January 2021,” the pharmacy regulator said highlighting the new changes.

From July onwards, pre-registration trainees will be known as trainee pharmacists and tutors will be designated supervisors. Learning outcomes replace the performance standards.

The GPhC is currently working with Health Education England (HEE), NHS Education Scotland (NES) and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), pharmacy schools and other key organisations to gradually implement changes to the foundation training year over the coming years.

The training providers do not need to re-submit training plans that have already been submitted or approved. As in previous years, training providers should review and update their training plan in advance of their trainee starting.

As part of this process training providers should map the performance standards to the interim learning outcomes, the GPhC noted.

“Training providers do not need to share the updated plan with us – we will not review plans that have already been previously approved unless they are part of a new training arrangement, or part of an application where the current approval expires in 2021,” it suggested.

“We would encourage any training providers who have not submitted their training plans yet to use the interim learning outcomes if possible in their plans, but this is not necessary if training providers have already drafted their plan. We will approve training plans using the performance standards and training providers can map them to the learning outcomes later on as part of their preparation for the trainee starting”.

Meanwhile, the training approval for 2021-22 remains as it has been in previous years. The GPhC will keep the requirements set out in the training manual including the four sign-offs and progress reports for the current year. These sign-offs should consider trainee progress against the learning outcomes rather than the performance standards.

The latest move includes introducing new learning outcomes, which will replace the performance standards for trainee pharmacists, the regulator said.

“We have published new information on our website explaining what is changing and what this means for trainee pharmacists, training sites and designated supervisors,” the GPhC added.

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