Pharmacist independent prescriber

Regulations to allow pharmacists to prescribe independently came into effect in 2006. A pharmacist independent prescriber may prescribe autonomously for any condition within their clinical competence. This currently excludes three controlled drugs for the treatment of addiction.

Becoming an independent prescriber

In order to qualify as an independent prescriber, you must complete a GPhC-accredited programme. On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a practice certificate in independent prescribing, making you eligible to apply for annotation on the register.

An accredited independent prescribing programme is typically run over a period of 6 months. The programme is part-time and often delivered through a combination of face-to-face teaching sessions (often one day per week) and self-directed study.

Some universities offer a programme with a larger distance learning option, however, all programmes will involve a minimum of 26 days of teaching and learning activity. In addition to this, each pharmacist must successfully complete at least 12 days of learning in a practice environment whilst being mentored by a medical practitioner.

Conversion programmes

Several universities now offer GPhC-accredited conversion programmes to allow supplementary prescribers to become qualified independent prescribers. The conversion course consists of at least two days' teaching and learning activity and two days' learning in practice.  

Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers 

Previous standards

GPhC accreditation criteria, learning outcomes and indicative content for pharmacist independent prescribing programmes

GPhC accreditation criteria, learning outcomes and indicative content for pharmacist independent prescribing conversion programmes*

* Requirements for supplementary prescribers wishing to train to become independent prescribers.

New standards

In January 2019 we published new standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers. Training providers are expected to design courses incorporating the new standards during 2019. We will transition to accrediting courses using the new standards during Summer 2019. From then on, we will to use them to accredit all providers.

See the new standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers here

Read the standards in Welsh

Transition period

There will be a transition period to for providers to move to the new standards until summer 2019.

If you are a provider, see our briefing on accreditation during and after the transition period

Evidence Framework

We have developed a framework to accompany the new set of standards.

Follow this link to download the Evidence Framework

This document is intended to support course providers as they design courses for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers. The framework also provides clarity for pharmacists and their designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs) around achieving learning outcomes within the standards.

Accredited independent prescribing programmes

You can find a list of the universities that offer independent prescribing programmes together with the latest accreditation reports.

For further information on the accreditation of independent prescribing programmes please see the Approval process for education and training providers

Independent prescribing entry requirements

Entry requirements for independent prescribing courses are set out in in our previous standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers.  Our new standards also stipulate entry requirements (find here our new standards).

Course providers may stipulate additional entry requirements, so it is best to check the full entry requirements with your chosen place of study.