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GPhC proposes education and training overhaul


GPhC proposes education and training overhaul

The GPhC is proposing wide-ranging changes to the education and training pharmacists receive, including proposals that would see academic training integrated more closely with practical experience and one that would see prospective students’ ‘values’ assessed before deciding whether to admit them.

The regulator has launched a consultation on these proposed changes, which is open for 12 weeks until April 3. The GPhC says that in the run up to the consultation it met with schools of pharmacy and other education and training organisations to seek their views, as well as setting up an education advisory group to help develop the proposals.

The proposed changes include:

  • Introducing a single set of standards and learning outcomes spanning the entire period of education and training up to registration as a pharmacist “with closer integration between academic study and practical experience”
  • Strengthening experiential learning and inter-professional learning
  • Making learning outcomes focus more on clinical and communication skills “while still retaining the critical importance of science”
  • Making pre-reg training “more rigorous and structured”, with more regular and documented progress meetings
  • Requiring course providers to “assess the values” of prospective students as well as their academic qualifications. The GPhC suggests doing this through “interactive activities such as mini interviews or group work”
  • Intensifying efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, e.g. by requiring course providers to assess admissions and student performance against the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “We know that pharmacists’ roles are evolving at pace in response to the current health and social care landscape. Now is the time to discuss how education and training should change so that the pharmacists of the future are fully equipped for the roles they will need to take on to deliver safe, high quality service to patients and the public.

“We have put forward a number of significant changes, including integrating academic study and workplace experience, as well as a proposal to revise the learning outcomes so that they are more focused on developing clinical skills and communications skills while still retaining the critical importance of science.

“We recognise that our changes may present a number of challenges for course providers, employers, commissioners and students, and may involve some difficult decisions. But we also believe it is the right time for us all to think innovatively about how education and training needs to change.”

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