Boots will contribute half of the cost of membership to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty and any assessment fees in 2015–2016, the company has told staff.
The subsidy — worth up to £50 off Faculty membership and £150 off assessment — will be offered to eligible employee pharmacists who renew by 1 March 2015.
The company will also continue to fund the 50% subsidy to membership of the Society for its employee pharmacists practising in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as for all pre-registration pharmacists. This was first offered in 2014 and is worth up to £96 a year.
In a letter to staff announcing the move, Peter Bainbridge, Boots’ director of pharmacy, said: “Funding half of the Faculty fee demonstrates our dedication to the professional development of our pharmacists and the strengthening of our links with the RPS.”
He added: “It’s really important for our professional leadership body to continue its evolution and I would urge you to participate in its activities and support its ambitions.”
Hannah Wilton, RPS Faculty development lead, says: “We are delighted that Boots has made this huge commitment to support their employees’ professional development, recognising that pharmacists need to continually develop and advance and be recognised for this.”
Employee pharmacists will also be able to recoup half of the costs of Faculty membership and assessment by paying upfront and reclaiming the amounts using an internal form. Boots pharmacists can continue to claim tax relief on the 50% of the RPS fees they have paid.
The company confirmed it will also retrospectively reimburse 50% of any annual Faculty fee that its staff paid in full since the Faculty’s inception in 2013.