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Practice Certificate Independent Prescribing

Key facts

  • Start date: January, March & June 2023
  • Accreditation: We're accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council to provide courses in independent prescribing
  • Application deadline: 3 October, 16 January, & 20 April 2023
  • Study mode and duration: Part-time - distance learning, pre-face-to-face course activity, two face-to-face periods and a period of learning in practice

Study with us

  • award-winning academic institution - the only to have won Times Higher Education University of the Year award twice
  • accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council to provide courses in independent prescribing
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Why this course?

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

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

The course of study involves:

  • pre-face-to-face course activity
  • distance learning material
  • two face-to-face periods
  • a period of learning in practice, under the supervision of a designated prescribing practitioner

You'll be awarded 30 ScotCat credits on completion of the course.

 

Pharmacist looking at drugs on a shelf

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

  • therapeutics from a choice of cardiovascular, respiratory disease, diabetes, substance misuse, renal medicine and co-morbidities
  • communicating with patients & colleagues
  • prescribing & public health
  • care planning

You'll also undertake a Period of Learning in Practice (PLP). The aim is to provide you with opportunities to develop competencies in prescribing. This period focuses on the patient group(s) in which you'll be expecting to prescribe.

Designated Prescribing Practitioner

The Period of Learning in Practice must be supervised by a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who may be a medical or non-medical prescriber. See the requirements for a DPP.

Requirements for Designated Prescribing Practitioner

A medical or non-medical prescriber wishing to act as Designated Prescribing Practitioner must:

  • be a registered prescribing practitioner in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights
  • be in good standing with their profession’s Regulatory body and work in line with legal, regulatory, professional and organisational standards in a patient facing role
  • be an experienced and active prescriber in a patient-facing role with at least three years recent active prescribing experience, consulting with patients and making prescribing decisions based on clinical assessment, with sufficient frequency to maintain competence
  • have active and relevant prescribing competence in the areas in which they will be supervising, which will allow the pharmacist to demonstrate outcomes in their area of prescribing
  • have up-to-date patient-facing clinical and diagnostic skills and evidence of demonstrating competence in an area of practice relevant to the trainee
  • have experience and/ or have had training in teaching and/or supervision in practice, with knowledge of different teaching methods to facilitate learning in practice and adapt to individual trainee needs
  • have the knowledge and ability to assess patient-facing clinical and diagnostic competence using a range of methods
  • demonstrate clinical leadership and are committed to supporting the trainee
  • have demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role
  • have reviewed and can demonstrate that they meet all of the competencies within the document A Competency Framework for All Prescribers
  • have engaged with their employing organisation (or equivalent) to ensure support and resources are available to undertake the DPP role, including access to patients
  • have their employing organisation’s agreement to ensure that appropriate governance structures are in place to support a safe prescribing practice
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Course content

The course of study involves pre-face-to-face course activity, distance learning material, two face-to-face periods and a period of learning in practice, under the supervision of a designated medical practitioner. You'll be awarded 30 ScotCat credits on completion of the course.

Assessment

Distance learning – completed before the first face-to-face period

  • Therapeutics Assessment – MCQ and short answer
  • Prescribing and public health – short-answer

Face-to-face period 1

  • Formative OSCE for the care planning class

Distance learning – completed after the first face-to-face period

  • Reflective reports related to care planning
  • Reflective reports related to communicating with patients and colleagues

Face-to-face period 2

  • Summative OSCE for the care planning class
Face-to-face study

This element of the course is at Scottish Masters (SHEM) level 5 throughout. It's delivered through two face-to-face periods that are taught here at the University of Strathclyde.

The first face-to-face period of five days includes four classes, worth five credits each:

  • therapeutics from a choice of cardiovascular, respiratory disease, diabetes, substance misuse, renal medicine and co-morbidities
  • communicating with patients & colleagues
  • prescribing & public health
  • care planning

Full attendance during the face-to-face period is essential. 

The second face-to-face period (one day) will normally take place approximately 12 weeks after the first face-to-face period. It involves peer review sessions designed to demonstrate clinical and ethical practice.

Period of Learning in Practice (PLP)

The aim is to provide you with opportunities to develop competencies in prescribing. This period focuses on the patient group(s) in which you'll be expecting to prescribe. The PLP starts after the first face-to-face period. 

The PLP is made up of a series of sessions (combination of full and/or half days) that involve prescribing and clinical activities. This should equate to a minimum of 12 days (90 hours), but is subject to decision by the pharmacist and their supervisor based on the challenges of the individual prescribing roles being adopted by different pharmacists.

This PLP time will be used to develop clinical skills including:

  • accurate assessment
  • history-taking
  • recognition and response to common signs and symptoms 
  • formulation of a working diagnosis

During this period you'll be supervised by a designated prescribing prescriber (DPP) who will be responsible for confirming your competence to practice.  The DPP must be a registered healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights, who is suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role, and who has demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role. Although an applicant may be supervised by more than one person, only one prescriber must be the DPP. The DPP is the person who will certify that successful pharmacists are competent to practise as independent prescribers.

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 in the area(s) for which they intend to prescribe.

The period in practice will normally be completed within 12 months of the face-to-face course. 

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Entry requirements

Pharmacists must meet all of the following requirements:

  • current registration with GPhC &/or PSNI as a pharmacist
  • in good standing with the healthcare regulator with which they are registered
  • having relevant experience in a UK pharmacy setting
  • ability to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice whilst training
  • identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning
  • ability to demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own CPD
  • ability to demonstrate how they will develop their own networks for support, reflection and learning, including prescribers from other professions
  • a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their period of learning in practice (further details above)

Pharmacists must provide examples of relevant experience that demonstrates a significant and positive impact on patient care.  This must include clinical/therapeutic experience in a patient-oriented/person-centred setting.  Examples of relevant experience may include, but are not limited to:

  • counselling patients whilst working in collaboration with multidisciplinary hospital pharmacy teams on a ward where shared decision making and consideration of patient dignity, capacity and consent are essential
  • drug history taking and medication reviews whilst assessing patients’ medicines as part of an annual review in a GP practice and where consideration of diversity and cultural differences influences their recommendations
  • resolution of prescribing queries potentially in a community pharmacy where service provision to a care home is part of their role
  • dealing with ethical dilemmas whilst working in a community pharmacy on a weekend and having to decide whether to supply medicines to a patient who has run out and they cannot discuss this with the patient’s GP
  • observation/involvement in specialist clinics in their local GP surgery where maintaining patient confidentiality will be essential, particularly as they know many of the patients who attend their community pharmacy
  • reflection on practice and recognising their limitations in competence potentially when faced with a request to treat a patient or issue a prescription for a condition that they are unfamiliar with whilst working in a GP practice
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Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2022/23: £2,450
  • 2023/24: £2,600
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2022/23: £2,450
  • 2023/24: £2,600
Funding

Applications for funding can be made through NHS Education for Scotland (NES). Those who are not being funded by NES should contact the course organiser directly before completing the applications form to arrange a telephone interview.

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 the commencement of a course on medical grounds, a medical certificate must be provided. Upon receipt of this, a transfer or refund will be issued.

International students

If you are an international student, you may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information. 

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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Apply

2023 courses

Please note: Applications for January 2023 start are now closed.

March 2023:

  • Deadline: 16 January 2023
  • Start date: 1 March 2023

June 2023:

  • Deadline: 20 April 2023
  • Start date: 1 June 2023

Face-to-face dates

Course entryFace-to-face dates
January 2023
  • 29 to 31 March and 3rd to 5th April
  • one day in week commencing 26 June (TBC)
March 2023
  • 5-9 June 2023
  • 24 August 2023
June 2023
  • 4-8 September 2023
  • 14 December 2023

 

Start date: Jan 2024

Independent Prescribing - January

Pract-cert
part-time
Start date: Jan 2024

Start date: Mar 2023

Independent Prescribing - March

Pract-cert
part-time
Start date: Mar 2023

Start date: Mar 2024

Independent Prescribing - March

Pract-cert
part-time
Start date: Mar 2024

Start date: Jun 2023

Independent Prescribing - June

Pract-cert
part-time
Start date: Jun 2023

Start date: Jun 2024

Independent Prescribing - June

Pract-cert
part-time
Start date: Jun 2024

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Contact us

Derna Campbell

Course Director

Email: derna.campbell@strath.ac.uk

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
161 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
G4 0RE