Pharmacist independent prescribing

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Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

Full Course

The University of Strathclyde is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to provide courses in independent prescribing (IP).

Course details
The course of study involves pre-residential course activity, distance learning material, two residential periods and a period of learning in practice, under the supervision of a designated medical practitioner. Students will be awarded 30 ScotCat credits on completion of the course.

University training
This element of the course is at Scottish Masters (SHEM) level 5 throughout and is delivered through two residential periods that will be taught at the University of Strathclyde.

The first residential period (5 days) will comprise four classes, worth five credits each:

  • Therapeutics (from a choice of cardiovascular, respiratory disease and infection, rheumatology, diabetes, substance misuse, renal medicine, palliative care)
  • Communicating with Patients and Colleagues
  • Prescribing and Public Health
  • Care Planning

Some assessments will be completed prior to attending the residential period and some will be completed after. Full attendance during the residential period is essential.

The second residential period (1/2 day) will normally take place approximately six weeks after the first residential period and will involve peer review sessions designed to demonstrate clinical and ethical practice.

Period of Learning in Practice (PLP)
The aim of the period of learning in practice is to provide students with opportunities to develop competencies in prescribing. This period focuses on the patient group(s) in which the student is expecting to prescribe. The PLP will begin after the first residential period.

The PLP will comprise a series of sessions (combination of full and/or half days) that involve prescribing and clinical activities and in total equate to a minimum of 12 days, but subject to decision by the pharmacist and their supervisor based on the challenges of the individual prescribing roles being adopted by different pharmacists. This time will be used to develop clinical skills including accurate assessment, history-taking, recognition and response to common signs and symptoms and formulation of a working diagnosis. During this period the pharmacist will be supervised by a designated medical prescriber who will be responsible for confirming the pharmacist's competence to practise.

A portfolio providing evidence that the required time has been spent (minimum 90 hours) and the learning outcomes achieved will be submitted along with a statement of assessment from the designated medical supervisor. The assessment will confirm the pharmacist's clinical competence in the area(s) for which they intend to prescribe. The period in practice must be completed within 12 months of the residential course.

Entry Requirements
All pharmacists must meet the following requirements:

  • Current registration with GPhC &/or PSNI as a practising pharmacist.
  • Have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience practising in a hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year.
  • Have identified an area of clinical practice and need in which to develop their prescribing skills.
  • Have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own CPD.
  • Demonstrate how they will develop their own networks for support, reflection and learning, including prescribers from other professions.
  • Have a designated medical practitioner who has agreed to supervise period of learning in practice.

Designated Medical Practitioner Requirements
The designated medical practitioner must be able to confirm that they:

  • have had at least 3 years medical, treatment and prescribing responsibility for a group of patients in the relevant field of practice.
  • work within a GP Practice OR are a specialist registrar, clinical assistant or a consultant within an NHS Trust or other NHS employer.
  • have some experience or training in teaching and/or supervision in practice.
  • agree to provide supervision, support and shadowing opportunities and are familiar with the requirements of the programme.

Certificate award
Successful completion of the conversion course will result in the award of a Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing.

The cost of the course is £1300.  Applications for funding should be made through NHS Education for Scotland (NES).  Those wishing to self-fund should contact the course organiser.

A full refund (less a £50 administration charge) will be given if a cancellation request is received more than 7 days before commencement of a course. No refunds for cancellations received within 7 days will be given unless in exceptional circumstances. No refunds will be given after the commencement of a course. Transfer to another course may be considered subject to availability. If you have to withdraw after commencement of a course on medical grounds, a medical certificate must be provided. Upon receipt of this, a transfer or refund will be issued.


Course dates

June course
Residential dates: 7th-11th September 2015 and 3rd December 2015

Applications for the course are now closed



Course Director:
Derna Campbell
Tel: 0141 548 2450

Course Administrator:


for Jun 2017 entry to part-time Pract-cert independent prescribing (Admission Code : PIPJUN)

Study Location : OFF CAMPUS

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Jun 2015 entry to part-time Pract-cert independent prescribing (Admission Code : PIPJUN)

Study Location : OFF CAMPUS

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Jun 2016 entry to part-time Pract-cert independent prescribing (Admission Code : PIPJUN)

Study Location : OFF CAMPUS

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Jul 2016 entry to part-time Pract-cert pharmacist independent prescribing (Admission Code : SIPIPC)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.