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Practice CertificateIndependent Prescribing - Conversion Course

Why this course?

We're accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to provide courses in independent prescribing (IP).

This course comprises two days of University-based training and a period of learning in practice of a minimum of two days.

What you'll study

You'll look at areas such as:

  • clinical (risk) assessment of patients
  • legal & ethical aspects of prescribing independently
  • professional judgement & responsibility

After the University-based training you'll start a period of learning in practice. This gives you the opportunity to develop the appropriate clinical skills required to meet the learning outcomes for independent prescribing

Course dates

March 2018

Residential dates 

  • 4 to 8 June
  • 30 August 

June 2018

  • 4 to 8 September
  • 28 or 29 November (to be confirmed)

Course content

University training

The first day of University-based training will include:

  • clinical assessment
  • formulation of a working diagnosis
  • patient assessment
  • monitoring
Before starting the course, you're required to submit evidence detailing your prescribing activities/patient orientated practice in your current role. 

This will be used to demonstrate competence to prescribe and current clinical skills.

The second day will normally take place approximately 12 weeks after the first residential period and will include peer review sessions designed to demonstrate clinical and ethical practice; professional judgement and responsibility.

Period of learning in practice (PLP)

The aim is to provide you with opportunities to develop competence 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 two days (15 hours), 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 appropriate clinical skills required to meet the learning outcomes for independent prescribing.

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 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 to prescribe.

The period in practice must be completed within three months of the residential days.

Designated medical practitioner requirements

It is the responsibility of the student to find a designated medical practitioner (DMP) prior to attending the course.

The DMP must be able to confirm that they: 

  • have had at least three 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
  • will assess the progress of the pharmacist 


Entry requirements

All pharmacists must meet the following requirements:

  • current registration with the GPhC or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) with annotation as a supplementary prescriber
  • be able to provide evidence of prescribing experience that is no longer than two years old
  • provide a statement of support from a medical practitioner that confirms their competence as a supplementary prescriber
  • demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own CPD
  • demonstrate how they have developed their own networks for support, reflection and learning, including prescribers from other professions

Certificate award

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

Fees & funding

The cost of the course is £300.

Applications for funding should be made through NHS Education for Scotland (NES). Those wishing to self-fund should contact the course organiser directly before completing the applications form.

A full refund (less a £50 administration charge) will be given if a cancellation request is received more than seven days before commencement of a course.

No refunds for cancellations received within seven 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.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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