GPhC Council agrees revised education and training standards for pharmacist independent prescribers

The GPhC Council has agreed revised education and training standards for pharmacist independent prescribers, subject to some specific changes that were discussed at the Council meeting on 6 December. The standards will now be updated to reflect the changes discussed before the final revised standards are published in the New Year.

Council members carefully considered the feedback to the consultation on the revised standards, and made a number of changes to the standards based on what we heard.

The consultation had proposed removing the requirement for pharmacists to have worked in a relevant, patient-facing area for two years before applying to train as an IP, and replacing it with an assessment of the quality and nature of an applicant’s experience. Respondents’ views in the consultation were mixed and the Council agreed that the two-year requirement should remain in place, with course providers evaluating both the quality and quantity of an applicant’s experience.

The revised standards state that suitably experienced non-medical independent prescribers will now be able to act as designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs).  The consultation had proposed that there would be a requirement for course providers to arrange for formal mentoring of DPPs. After considering the feedback, which raised questions about whether this was necessary and the potential burdens of this requirement, the Council agreed that a formal mentoring requirement was not necessary as DPPs are required to be suitably experienced before taking on the role, and there was already a general requirement for course providers to support and quality assure professionals working for them.

An evidence framework is being developed to accompany these standards and we will test it with course providers in early 2019, before finalising it and issuing it to all course providers.

We will begin to accredit courses based on the new standards in 2019.

You can see the revised standards in the December Council papers.