2021-22 foundation training year

The foundation training year will replace the current pre-registration training year from July 2021.

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

These changes are part of the implementation of the new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists we published in January 2021.

We are 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.

Learning outcomes for 2021/22

The full set of learning outcomes for the foundation year [PDF 929 KB] include outcomes to enable annotation as an independent prescriber at the point of registration. We recognise that independent prescribing cannot be introduced immediately.

We have developed an interim version of the learning outcomes, [PDF 223 KB] applicable to the 2021/22 cohort, which will not require 2021 trainees to train as independent prescribers during their foundation training year. The interim learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills and attributes a trainee must demonstrate by the end of their foundation training year. These interim learning outcomes will apply for all settings and sectors from July 2021.

All training delivered for 2021/22 should be based on the interim learning outcomes and training providers will need to make sure that regular progress reviews monitor the trainee’s progression against the learning outcomes, rather than the previous performance standards.

We published a mapping of the interim learning outcomes to the pre-registration performance standards [PDF 438 KB] to enable those involved with the upcoming foundation training year and to support training providers to align their training plans with the interim learning outcomes. Please note that this is only one example, provided by NHS Education for Scotland and reviewed by the GPhC, and should be used as intended, as a guide. We would expect to see several variations and different interpretations depending on the individual trainee pharmacist objective’s, the context in which they are operating including the sector or setting and the influence of the training provider and designated supervisor too. 

No need to resubmit training plans

Training providers do not need to re-submit training plans that have already been submitted and/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.

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.

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.

Training approval remains the same

Training approval for 2021/22 remains as it has been in previous years. We will keep the requirements set out in the training manual including the 4 sign-offs and progress reports for this year. These sign-offs should consider trainee progress against the learning outcomes rather than the performance standards.

See our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for further information about these changes.