Trainee pharmacists in Wales can now register their interest for a funded post-registration foundation pharmacist programme, with training to begin in September 2022.
Pharmacists joining the register from July 2022 onwards will be eligible for the programme, which is being offered by Cardiff University with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).
In a statement, HEIW said that the programme is “part of the overall implementation of the new General Pharmaceutical Council standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists” and “provides a continuum of practice for new registrants early in their careers”.
Employers who host a post-registration foundation pharmacist will need to ensure protected learning time for both the foundation pharmacist and their practice supervisor, and will receive a learner grant of £8,034.79 per year as well as an annual practice supervisor grant of £2,731.09.
Details of the programme were initially revealed to The Pharmaceutical Journal in December 2021 by a HEIW spokesperson who said that part of £3m set aside for pharmacy training in Wales during 2022/2023 would fund “a new preregistration pharmacy technician programme, starting in February 2022, [and] a new post-registration foundation pharmacist programme, starting in September 2022”.
Cheryl Way, chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for newly registered pharmacists in Wales.
“The programme is based on the RPS’s ‘Post-registration foundation curriculum‘ and will help pharmacists provide care that meets more complex patient needs and aligns with the ‘A Healthier Wales’ agenda.”
Pharmacists who wish to apply for the course and employers who want to host a foundation pharmacist need to submit an expression of interest by 4 March 2022.
The programme aligns with a suggestion made by the Pharmacy Schools Council in August 2020, which recommended that pharmacy education and training take the form of “a four-year degree with a post-graduation foundation year 1, which in turn would be followed by foundation year 2 following registration”.
The first foundation year for pharmacists began in July 2021, replacing the former preregistration year.
In Scotland, funded post-registration foundation training began in October 2021, and a further intake was due in February 2022.
In England, pharmacists who completed their preregistration year in 2020/2021 can apply for the Health Education England (HEE) ‘Newly qualified pharmacists pathway’, which also uses the RPS’s ‘Post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum’.