Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing
The programme is managed by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies and usually runs concurrently with the School of Healthcare Sciences (available to nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals), taking advantage of the multidisciplinary learning this provides.
Sections of this programme will be taught to pharmacists, nurses and allied health professionals collectively, thus facilitating supportive networking, and a pooling of experiences.
Pharmacist Independent prescribing aims to provide patients with quicker and more efficient access to medicines and to make the best use of the skills of pharmacists. This forms part of the National Health Service modernisation agenda as recommended in the Crown Report published in 1999 (Review of Prescribing Supply and Administration of Medicines).
Since commencing the first training programme in 2004, more than 400 pharmacists have successfully achieved Independent Prescriber status.
We have two intakes for our 40 credit, level 7, Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing programme. The first intake is in September and will run jointly with the School of Healthcare Sciences. The second intake is in March and will be pharmacists alone.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) re-accredited the programme in July 2021 with no conditions or recommendations. For more details on their learning outcomes, accreditation process and the 2021 reaccreditation report, please visit the GPhC website.
We have developed this part-time (approximately 7 months) competency-based programme based on our experience of running non-medical prescribing programmes since 2004. We have gained a thorough understanding of our students’ requirements during that time and this programme is built on meeting students’ needs and providing an inspiring and excellent student experience. As such, the programme will concentrate on the development of your consultation skills, patient assessment skills and clinical decision making.
The programme consists of the following:
- 12 study days (six blocks of two days), held either online or at Cardiff University during the week
- directed and self-directed study
- 90 hours under the supervision of the Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP)
As the course is 40 credits, you will need to dedicate approximately 400 hours to this programme, which equates to around 8-10 hours of work each week (this excludes study days and time with DPP).
You’ll participate in 12 study days which are split into six blocks of two days. Three of the six study blocks are currently delivered online. Our teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, workshops, case studies and discussions. Consultation skills and patient assessment skills are of fundamental importance to the new prescriber, and we will therefore focus your learning in these areas. We will also involve you in realistic consultation scenarios involving real patients with real conditions in a controlled environment, as well as consultations with professional healthcare actors. By video recording some of these practice consultations, you’ll be able to reflect upon and critique your own skills. We have received exceptional feedback from previous students regarding these 'real-life' teaching methods. In order to successfully pass the programme, you must attend all the study days (100% attendance required).
Directed and self-directed learning
We will provide directed learning, guiding you to the appropriate reading in relation to the prescribing competencies you’ll be developing. You’ll also be expected to undertake specific directed reading in relation to patient assessment skills. This involves reading about the anatomy of the human body, as well as the assessment of the different human body systems. On-line resources are also available to help complement the teaching and to help you develop these skills.
Time in practice
Based on the current GPhC requirement, you will need to have a minimum of 90 hours of supervised time with the DPP. This time will give you the chance to critically reflect and apply the principles of prescribing to your scope of practice. Of the 90 hours, at least 45 hours needs to be directly with your DPP and the remainder can be with other agreed healthcare professionals. At least 20 hours needs to be spent with medics in the same scope of practice for portfolio related activities
Throughout the programme, you’ll undergo a range of assessments to ensure that all the learning outcomes for the programme are met. You will need to pass every assessment to successfully complete the course as there is no compensation between assessments. The GPhC also makes it clear that if, in any assessment, a student fails to identify a serious problem or gives an answer which would cause harm to a patient, the student must fail the programme overall.
The current assessment schedule is below:
|Description of assessment||Percentage contribution to module|
|Portfolio||40% of module mark|
|Therapeutic Framework||30% of module mark|
|OSCE||30% of module mark|
|Calculations assessments||pass/fail (must be passed at 100%)|
Your prescribing portfolio will illustrate the time you’ve spent in practice under the supervision of the DPP and demonstrate your ability to integrate theory into practice. It includes information on your scope of practice, clinical logs (events that have occurred in practice), GPhC revalidation records, patient assessment skills and a log of hours with the DPP and demonstration of how you have met the prescribing competencies.
The therapeutic framework is centred on the medicines that you’ll be prescribing in your scope of practice and allows you to research and become more confident in the condition(s), its progression and relevant guidelines that impact prescribing decision making.
The OSCE is a practical assessment to assess your ability to undertake patient assessments e.g. cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal and respiratory assessments. It is held at the University and assessed by experienced healthcare teaching staff.
The numeracy class test consists of 20 questions and takes 45 minutes to complete.
- Consultation skills
- Patient assessment skills
- Clinical decision making
- Programme Director - Dr Karen Hodson PhD, MSc, BSc (Pharm), MPharmS
- Programme Director - Dr Rowan Yemm PhD FHEA MRPharmS
- Additionally numerous Independent Prescribers working in practice
When you begin the programme, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor. Wherever possible, this will either be an experienced academic working within prescribing or an Independent Prescriber, with experience of the scope of practice.
To apply, you must:
- English language requirements - GCSE at a minimum Grade 6/B or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7
- The GPhC requires additional specific entry requirements for a pharmacist independent prescribing programme. These are:
- be a registered pharmacist with the GPhC or, in Northern Ireland, with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
- be in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered
- have at least two years' appropriate patient-orientated experience post registration, in a relevant UK practice setting
- have an identified area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice. The applicant must also have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in that area, which is suitable to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice while training
- have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice.
How to apply
At Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies, we have two intakes for our 40 credit, level 7, Pharmacist Independent Prescribing programme. The first intake is in September and will run jointly with the School of Healthcare Sciences. The second intake is in March and will be pharmacists alone.
For applications please contact the PGT Admissions Team at The School of Pharmacy by email for an application pack at Pharmacy-IP@cardiff.ac.uk. The application process consists of 3 parts:
- Part 1 – Cardiff University application process
- Part 2 – Candidate’s Application
- Part 3 – DPP’s Application
For part 1, you will need to provide a professional reference and personal statement describing your motivation for the course and the service that you hope to provide.
For part 2, you will need to describe the proposed area (scope of practice) and group of patients you will be prescribing for, and have considered how and with whom to spend time with learning in practice.
For part 3, the DPP must complete their own application form, providing contact details that they meet the requirements to be a DPP, whether they have had experience of teaching/supervision and assessment and how they are able to support your learning in practice.
For any questions regarding your application, please contact the PGT Admissions Team on Pharmacy-IP@cardiff.ac.uk
Postgraduate Admissions Team
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Fees and funding
The fees for the programme are £2,160 for home students and £4,880 for international students.
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) usually commission a number of places for pharmacists employed by Health Boards for the September intake. Please discuss this possibility with your Health Board leads.
Sponsored or part-sponsored students (other than HEIW sponsored) will need proof of sponsorship at the time of enrolment. This will be in a form of a letter from your sponsor.
Additional expenses, that you may incur, include:
- Books if you prefer to have your own copy
- Personal photocopying
- Travel costs to the course