Initial education and training for pharmacists

The standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists set out the knowledge, skills, understanding and professional behaviours a student and/or trainee pharmacist must demonstrate to pass their initial education and training and to join the professional register.

The standards also set out the requirements for organisations providing initial education and training. The standards ensure that newly registered pharmacists are competent to practise safely and effectively.

New standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists (2021)

We have recently published new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, which will be gradually implemented from 2021 onwards.

The implementation of these standards will transform the education and training of pharmacists, so they are able to play a much greater role in providing clinical care to patients and the public from their first day on the register, including through prescribing medicines.  

Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists (January 2021)  [PDF 929 KB]

Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists Welsh - January 2021 [PDF 989 KB]

Further resources

We have developed some supporting resources to help organisations and individuals to find out more about the new standards and to share this information through their networks.

We hope these resources will be useful in helping to explain the changes the new standards will introduce, what they may mean for different people, and the next steps for the implementation of the standards.

FAQ on the new standards

Presentation [PDF 209 KB]

Presentation speaking notes [PDF148 KB]

Newsletter article and social media posts [PDF 139 KB]

Standards published in 2011

MPharm students who began their studies in 2021 or earlier are currently being taught on courses which meet the standards introduced in May 2011:

Future pharmacists: Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists [PDF 826 KB]

Standards for education and training of non-EEA pharmacists wanting to Register in Great Britain:

Standards for the education and training of non-EEA pharmacists wanting to register in GB  [PDF 690 KB]

These standards set out the criteria against which we will approve education and training for non-EEA pharmacists who want to register in Great Britain. The standards ensure that pharmacists from outside of the EEA are competent to practise safely and effectively. These standards were also introduced in 2011 and are still relevant for non-EEA pharmacists.


If you would like more information about the education and training of pharmacists you can visit the education section of this site, as well as more information about the accreditation of training providers.