Is pharmacist pre-registration training equitable and robust?

Samuel David Jee (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Ellen Ingrid Schafheutle (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Peter Raymond Noyce (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Publication date: 12 August 2019



Against a backdrop of concerns regarding the quality and equity of the final practice-based pre-registration training year, the purpose of this paper is to examine how robust and equitable current education and training arrangements in Great Britain are in preparing newly qualified pharmacists (NQPs) for practice.


In addition to considering relevant regulator, policy and research literature, this paper presents findings from a longitudinal qualitative study that tracked 20 pharmacy trainees and their tutors during pre-registration training and early registered practice. Trainees were interviewed four times over a 12-month period; tutors were interviewed twice. Semi-structured interviews explored learning and development, work environment and support received. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically using template analysis.


Currently, there are no requirements tor training pre-registration tutors, or for accreditation or quality assurance of training sites. Longitudinal interview findings showed that community trainees developed knowledge of over-the-counter and less complex, medicines whereas hospital trainees learnt about specialist medicines on ward rotations. Hospital trainees received support from a range of pharmacists, overseen by their tutor and other healthcare professionals. Community trainees generally worked within a small pharmacy team, closely supervised by their tutor, who was usually the sole pharmacist. NQPs were challenged by having full responsibility and accountability as independent practitioners, without formal support mechanisms.


The variability in trainee experience and exposure across settings raises concerns over the robustness and equity of pre-registration training. The lack of formal support mechanisms post-registration may pose risks to patient safety and pharmacists’ well-being.



The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Jee, S.D., Schafheutle, E.I. and Noyce, P.R. (2019), "Is pharmacist pre-registration training equitable and robust?", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 347-358.



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