A new training framework for newly-registered pharmacists aims to support ‘flexible’ working across sectors, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) announced yesterday (17 November) at its annual conference.

The RPS revised its foundation pharmacist framework based on an analysis of pharmacists' current role and how it is expected to change over the next five years, following a consultation with over 900 pharmacists and other stakeholders.

The framework says it supports a training programme that: ‘Creates pharmacists with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to work flexibly across sectors.

‘Pharmacists are currently siloed into singular sectors of practice [and] the profession needs more agile and flexible practitioners.’

Foundation pharmacists generally refers to those working in the first two years after joining the register, the RPS said.

A new curriculum for UK foundation pharmacists based on the framework is to follow by summer 2020, the membership body added.


‘Resilience and adaptability’


One of the nine attributes outlined in the framework that a pharmacist should have after successfully completing foundation training is ‘resilience and adaptability’.

This includes the ability to work ‘flexibly within unfamiliar environments’ and ‘adapt and work effectively across different sectors within the pharmacy profession by applying previous learning to new settings’, according to the framework.

In April, the Welsh Government announced that it would invest £3.6m in multi-sector pre-registration training – the first of its kind in the UK – to enable flexible working across community pharmacies, GP practices, hospitals and other settings.

The framework added that foundation pharmacists should also demonstrate resilience when managing ‘multiple priorities’, maintain accuracy in ‘challenging’ situations and be ‘open to seeking support’.


Promoting pharmacy


Another attribute outlined in the framework is ‘leadership and management’, including the ability to recognise opportunities for innovation and ‘promote the value of pharmacy’ to the public and other healthcare professionals.

The remaining attributes that a foundation pharmacist should demonstrate, according to the framework, are:

  • Applying clinical knowledge and skills
  • Giving person-centred care
  • Evidence-informed decision-making
  • Collaborative working
  • Communication and consultation skills
  • Professional accountability
  • Education, research and evaluation


‘Unprecedented’ demand for clinical skills


RPS director of education Gail Fleming said: ‘With the profession and pharmacy employers seeing an unprecedented demand for clinical knowledge and skills, it’s vital we move towards a sustainable, funded national model for foundation pharmacist training.’

Chair of the Pharmacy Schools Council, Duncan Craig,  added that the development of the framework is a ‘significant step forward’ in supporting pharmacists in the early stages of their careers – which the profession ‘can and should do more’.