Welcome to our September issue of Regulate. With students starting a new year at school, college or university, now seems a very appropriate time to give you an update on our work to review our standards for initial education and training
Earlier this year we asked you for your views on our discussion paper Tomorrow’s pharmacy team: future standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff. In that paper we set out our analysis of the policies for health, pharmacy and pharmacy education provision in each of the countries of Great Britain. We then drew some preliminary conclusions about what the policies may mean for the future roles of the pharmacy team and the education and training they will need to fulfil those roles.
And we asked pharmacy professionals, pharmacy students and trainees, employers and education providers and patients and the public if they agreed with these conclusions, particularly the skills and abilities that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and members of the pharmacy team will need in the future.
Although we’re still in the process of analysing all the responses we received (more than 130 of them), I’m happy to give you an early snapshot of what you’ve told us and how we intend to use what we have heard when developing the new standards.
There was overwhelming agreement with the core skills of the pharmacy team we identified in our paper; professionalism, communication skills, and multi-professional team working.
A broad range of views were expressed about the core role and core skills for pharmacy technicians and for support staff which require further exploration and discussion. We also received wide-ranging views on what it means to be a professional; an area we’re exploring as part of our ongoing work around patient-centred professionalism and the revision of our current standards for pharmacy professionals.
Overall there was strong agreement around the direction of travel pharmacy education should take and we’re really grateful to all those who contributed to this discussion. We now have a really helpful platform on which to build our future standards for education and training, and we will continue the discussion with all those with an interest in pharmacy education to help identify answers to some important questions that were raised during the listening exercise.
A major focus of our work in the next twelve to eighteen months will now be on drafting the standards.
The first step will be to hold a national conference in November which will bring together key education and training providers, pharmacy professionals, employers and patient representatives from across the UK to discuss how education and training of the pharmacy team may need to change to respond to future challenges. The conference will consider key issues including how to improve trainees’ experiences during pre-registration training; you can read more about trainees’ and tutors’ views of pre-registration training at the moment in this update.
I look forward to sharing with you some of our thoughts and learnings that come out of that conference in the next edition of Regulate.
Throughout the first half of 2016 we’ll also be running a number of events for the pharmacy team to help us draft the education and training standards before we begin the formal consultation on the new standards.
Thank you once again to all those involved for continuing to help and challenge us as we develop the new standards. Keep watching this space for updates and opportunities to get involved.