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Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists PG Cert

About the course

The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists has been validated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and provides pharmacists with the qualification required to practice as independent prescribers. The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists is available as a stand-alone 45 credit course or it can be taken as an option in the second year of the MSc/Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy, which is open to pharmacists from all sectors of the profession. Existing MSc/Diploma students are required to apply separately for the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing. A conversion course for those pharmacists already qualified as supplementary prescribers wishing to upgrade to independent prescribing is also available.

Course programme

Designed by expert pharmacists and clinicians , the course takes a practice-based approach to learning and assessment, and benefits from the continued input of experienced academics and practitioners from the fields of pharmacy , medicine and nursing.

The course runs for six months between October and March. It requires attendance at 11 compulsory study days on-site at De Montfort University (DMU). These are run roughly every 3 out of 4 weeks on Thursdays. Some of the study days are jointly run with nurses and other allied health professionals. There is also an element of online learning involved.

  • Validated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and provides pharmacists with the qualification required to practice as independent prescribers
  • Industry standard teaching facilities, specialist clinical skills suites and extensive use of our virtual learning environment enhance your learning experience
  • Our reputation of more than 104 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre
  • Designed and delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of expert academics, experienced pharmacists, clinicians and healthcare professionals, with a practice-based approach to learning and assessment
  • Benefit from the continued input of experienced practitioners from the fields of pharmacy, medicine and nursing; encouraging inter - disciplinary working and ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice
  • Our dedicated virtual learning environment helps to develop a community of learning, providing resources and support to develop life - long skills
  • With an emphasis on practice- based learning, you will benefit from inter-professional learning alongside pharmacists with different clinical experiences and other allied health professionals
  • Undertake 90 hours in clinical practice under the guidance of a designated medical practitioner

A conversion course for pharmacists already qualified as supplementary prescribers , wishing to upgrade to independent prescribing, is also available.

Quotes from past students :
'Sessions were informative and engaging, with plenty of time for discussion'

'Approachable and friendly tutors who are consistently positive and supportive'



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Key facts

Course code:PHAR 5557

Duration: One year part-time October 2015 11 taught days at the university (Thursdays) plus 90 hours in clinical practice

Attendance: The course runs for seven months between October and April; delivered over a period of 11 taught days and 90 hours in practice.

Location: De Montfort University

Start date: October 2015 - October 2016

Application deadline - All application documents must be recieved by 5.00pm on 19 June 2015.

Interviews will be held week commencing 6 July 2015.

Entry and admission criteria

2015 entry

  • Registration as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, or their predecessor for at least two years
  • At least two years’ patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year in the clinical area in which the applicant intends to prescribe
  • Identify an area of clinical practice in which to develop your prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your intended area of prescribing practice
  • Demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own continuing professional development
  • Support from your employer in your future prescribing role, learning in practice hours and study leave for the course
  • If you are not supported by your employer, then a statement from your local employer, GP commissioner or equivalent stating that there is a local need for a pharmacist prescriber in your chosen area of competence, and you will be provided with a prescribing budget if successful in completing the course
  • Support from a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who will mentor you during your 90 hours of learning in practice. This DMP meets the GPhC criteria for a DMP.

Academic Entry Criteria
You should have a degree in pharmacy, such as BSc (Pharm), BPharm or MPharm. Applications are welcomed from pharmacists with degrees from other countries who are practising as a registered pharmacist in the UK.

Requirements of the course are stipulated by the GPhC; further details can be found at: pharmacyregulation.org/education/pharmacist-independent-prescriber|

All suitable applicants will be subject to an interview selection process.

Teaching and assessment

Part of the application process requires you to identify why there is a need to prescribe in your area, how you will use your qualification in practice and how this will benefit patient care. You choose which therapeutic area you would like to prescribe in, in line with your practice - this then becomes your 'area of competence' and you undertake appropriate CPD to prove that you are competent in this area. You are expected to have a good working knowledge of your area of clinical competence when you apply for the course.  

If your employer is not paying your course fees then we also require a letter from your local trust/CCG/practice or other organisation to state that they support you becoming a prescriber in the area of competence you have chosen and they will support you as a qualified prescriber. See our website for information on how to apply to this course.

Please note that you must complete a DMU application form (if you have note studied with us before) in addition to a course specific application form, which is available on the website. Supporting evidence from your employer and DMP will also be required. Suitable candidates will be interviewed as part of the selection process for this course.

The small cohort size lends itself to an informal teaching approach in which discussion and debate amongst the group is encouraged. Our virtual learning environment provides a point of resource and communication between students and academics.

Practice-based assessment typically includes: a portfolio and reflective log of clinical experience, presentation of a treatment algorithm, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) assessment, and written assessments.

The course is delivered over a period of 11 taught days and competencies in the chosen clinical area are covered by 90 hours in clinical practice under the guidance of their designated medical practitioner. The five credit conversion course requires attendance at 16 hours of workshops and seminars on campus, and 15 hours in clinical practice.

Course modules

The course is a single 45 credit module, sessions include a broad range of topics including; psychology of prescribing , legal and ethical issues, evidence-based medicine and clinical and communication skills.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Evaluate and apply an evidence – based practice and patient partnership approach to prescribing decision making, including public health and clinical governance concerns.
  • Create and use individualised treatment and monitoring plans for patients within your area of competence.
  • Prescribe safely, ethically, legally, cost effectively and within a team, communicating effectively with patients, carers, other prescribers and other healthcare professionals
  • Perform patient examinations in order to diagnose and monitor the conditions within your area of competence.
  • Reflect upon prescribing practice and use this to develop audits and continue your professional development, recording this appropriately.
  • Use common diagnostic aids, e.g. stethoscope.

Academic expertise

The course is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of staff and external experts, including pharmacists, nurses and doctors. The module leader is a practising independent pharmacist prescriber. Industry standard teaching facilities and specialist clinical skills rooms enhance teaching and learning.

Over 100 years of pharmacy teaching and expertise at our institution ensures that our graduates are of the highest calibre.

Graduate careers

Upon successful completion of this course you will be awarded a Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing, which will allow you to apply to the General Pharmaceutical Council| (GPhC) for your register entry to be annotated to that of a prescriber. You will then be able to work as a pharmacist independent prescriber.

Fees and funding

Fees 2015

UK/EU
Full-time N/A
Part Time
5 credits £191
45 credits £1,716

How to apply

Students can apply directly to study this postgraduate taught course at DMU by using our online applications portal| using the programme code B23091.

NHS employees may also be eligible for LBR funding|.

Contact details


Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Admissions Team
De Montfort University
Edith Murphy Building
Leicester, LE1 9BH

Online enquiry form|

T: +44 (0)116 250 6070
E: hls@dmu.ac.uk|
W: dmu.ac.uk/hls|

If you would like further information or an informal discussion about the prescribing course, please contact the course leader, Nuala Hampson at nhampson@dmu.ac.uk |0116 2078276

What our students say

Sessions were informative and engaging, with plenty of time for discussion.

Approachable and friendly tutors who are consistently positive and supportive.

Feedback from students 2011-12

Useful sources of information

Learning in practice

The course requires you to identify a medical practitioner (known as a Designated Medical Practitioner or DMP) who will act as your mentor and allow you to observe prescribing in their practice.  Students spend 90 hours working in practice; this is in addition to the study days at DMU. For further information regarding the requirements of a DMP, please refer to the documents referenced above, and if you have any further questions, please contact the module leader directly, using the contact details above.

Application information

Part of the application process requires you to identify why there is a need to prescribe in your area, how you will use your qualification in practice and how this will benefit patient care. You choose which therapeutic area you would like to prescribe in, in line with your practice - this then becomes your 'area of competence' and you undertake appropriate CPD to prove that you are competent in this area. You are expected to have a good working knowledge of your area of clinical competence when you apply for the course.  

If your employer is not paying your course fees then we also require a letter from your local trust/CCG/practice or other organisation to state that they support you becoming a prescriber in the area of competence you have chosen and they will support you as a qualified prescriber. See our website for information on how to apply to this course.

Please note that you must complete a DMU application form (if you have note studied with us before) in addition to a course specific application form, which is available on the website. Supporting evidence from your employer and DMP will also be required.

Suitable candidates will be interviewed as part of the selection process for this course. 


 
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