- Start date: March & June
- Accreditation: We're accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council to provide courses in independent prescribing
- Application deadline: 1 February & 1 May
- Study mode and duration: Part-time - distance learning, pre-residential course activity, two residential 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
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-residential course activity
- distance learning material
- two residential 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.
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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.
Closing date for applications is 1 February
Closing date for applications is 1 May
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
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. You'll be awarded 30 ScotCat credits on completion of the course.
Distance learning – completed before the first residential period
- Therapeutics Assessment – MCQ and short answer
- Prescribing and public health – short-answer
Residential period 1
- Formative OSCE for the care planning class
Distance learning – completed after the first residential period
- Reflective essay on the formative OSCE
- Reflective short scenarios on communicating with patients and colleagues
Residential period 2
- Summative OSCE for the care planning class
This element of the course is at Scottish Masters (SHEM) level 5 throughout. It's delivered through two residential periods that are taught here at the University of Strathclyde.
The first residential period of five days includes four classes, worth five credits each:
- therapeutics from a choice of cardiovascular, respiratory disease, diabetes, substance misuse and renal medicine
- communicating with patients & colleagues
- prescribing & public health
- care planning
Full attendance during the residential period is essential.
The second residential period (one day) will normally take place approximately 12 weeks after the first residential 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 residential 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
- recognition and response to common signs and symptoms
- formulation of a working diagnosis
During this period you'll be supervised by a designated medical prescriber who will be responsible for confirming your competence to practice.
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 residential course.
All pharmacists must meet the following requirements:
- current registration with GPhC &/or PSNI as a practising pharmacist
- be in good standing with the healthcare regulator with which they are registered
- have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience post registration, in a relevant UK setting
- have an identified area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice and have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in that area within the last six months
- 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 prescribing practitioner who has agreed to supervise their period of learning in practice
Pharmacists must demonstrate relevant clinical or therapeutic experience within the last six months. Examples may include the following:
- patient-facing activities in-person, via telephone or via appropriate video platforms
- sitting in with / shadowing other HCPs
- experience in multi-disciplinary aspects of prescribing
- CPD activities in the relevant area such as training courses or distance learning packages
Fees & funding
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
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.
Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
Self-funding (non-NES funded) applicants should contact the course organiser for a telephone interview before completing the application.
Start date: Mar 2022
Independent Prescribing - March
Start date: Jun 2022
Independent Prescribing - June