Provisional registrants will need structured support

On 1 August 2020, the first cohort of provisionally registered pharmacists started to practise. Those who find themselves, involuntarily, pioneering this new system will need plenty of support as they navigate the months ahead. Helen Chang, head of professional development at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, explains how the Society can help provisionally registered members as they begin their careers in these most unusual of times. 

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It’s been an extraordinary period for the profession over the past few months — not least for those coming to the end of their pre-registration training. On 26 March 2020, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) announced that the pre-registration exam was postponed, and a model for provisional registration was to be introduced. In the five months since that announcement, pre-registration trainee pharmacists have completed their training and are now joining, or preparing to join, the GPhC register as provisional registrants.

Registration is an exciting, but also challenging, period for new pharmacists. Adapting to a new role, a new environment and a new team can be unnerving under normal circumstances, and as a provisionally registered pharmacist, you are taking on all the responsibilities that come with being registered, including duties as a responsible pharmacist. The GPhC recognises that you need support during this time. It has outlined specific requirements for those employing provisionally registered pharmacists — including access to a senior pharmacist, helping to identify a mentor, encouraging the development of a peer support network and provision of study time.

We are encouraged that provisionally registered pharmacists will have access to such support, as we know that transition to practice is bolstered by structured education, training and development. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is committed to supporting the development of new pharmacists, including planning for a national foundation programme, to ensure our future workforce can meet government policies. 

We have already been supporting our members to navigate the changes to pre-registration training and to prepare for provisional registration. We have received more than 1,000 enquiries to our support team, and during webinars. We have been asked about visa requirements, the practicalities associated with provisional registration, and the impact of changes to their future education and training. We have collated all the questions received into an FAQ list, to help keep everyone up to date on current guidance and announcements.

To ensure that provisionally registered pharmacists have access to everything they need, we have automatically extended pre-registration membership until the delayed registration assessment takes place and results are announced.

In addition, we have developed new products and services for day-to-day practice. Members of the RPS have access to a one-stop shop of resources, including:

Just this week, we launched a new e-portfolio for provisionally registered pharmacists to help you collate evidence of your learning, as required by the GPhC. It includes:

  • A monthly report template aligned to the GPhC’s requirements. This can be used to structure your reviews with a senior pharmacist. Records can be printed and shared with the GPhC, if requested;
  • A self-assessment tool aligned to our interim foundation curriculum. This can be used to identify your strengths and also your learning needs, for focused development;
  • A range of supervised learning tools to guide and structure your development in the workplace. These have been designed to be flexible, so that they can be completed by you or as directed by an employer or training provider;
  • Continuing professional development templates to allow you to build evidence of practice and demonstrate life-long development. These can also be used for revalidation submissions. Our e-portfolio is for life, not just provisional registration.

We have integrated the interim foundation outcomes into this portfolio, to provide a clear educational structure for learning. These outcomes will inform the design of support and training programmes throughout the period of provisional registration and beyond, while the national foundation curriculum is finalised. These bridging outcomes are designed to allow a seamless transition to national foundation training programmes when these launch next year, allowing any learning you undertake during your provisional registration period to be captured for future use.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Provisional registrants will need structured support;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20208262

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