The majority of pharmacists applying to receive ‘advanced’ level credentialing from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) work in primary care, analysis has shown.

The credentialing assessment is designed to assure that pharmacists have the entry-level capabilities to deliver advanced level care to patients.

Since the ‘advanced’ credentialing assessment was introduced a year ago, 39 pharmacists submitted evidence to be recognised as being able to work at an ‘advanced’ level, the RPS has said in a new report.

Of the these, 24 (62%) met the standards required by the RPS Core Advanced Pharmacist Curriculum, while 15 did not.

And 36 (92%) of the total 39 applicants practise in a primary care setting, while 37 (95%) practise in England.

Almost two-thirds (24 out of 36) of the primary care candidates submitting credentialing applications met the required standards.

The RPS noted that the number of candidates in many demographic groups ‘remains small’ and said ‘it would be misleading to draw hard and fast conclusions relating to performance trends from these data at this stage’.

But it highlighted that nearly four times more female candidates (31) than male candidates (8) submitted RPS advanced credentialing applications.

And there was a 71% pass rate among female candidates, compared to a 62% pass rate overall.

Around two-thirds of pharmacists on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) register are female, according to recent data.

The RPS also noted that 18 of the total 39 candidates – or 46% – described their ethnicity as White, while 14 (or 35%) were from an Asian or Asian British background, and 2 candidates (or 5%) were from a Black or Black British background.

According to the GPhC’s latest report on diversity within its registers, 39.2% of pharmacists in Great Britain identify with a White ethnic group, 39.7% with an Asian or Asian British group, and 7.7% with a Black or Black British group.