Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Professional Integrity and Ethics

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

The seventh attribute domain within the Professional Attribute Framework for Trainee Pharmacists is Professional Integrity and Ethics. It should go without saying that this domain will underpin many questions that you’ll see in an SJT.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: An Overview of Questions

This domain can be seen to span many others, or incorporate elements of many others. Questions could focus on working within both your professional remit and within the confines of relevant laws and regulations; showing responsibility and a willingness to admit when you’re wrong, and to face the consequences; an awareness of the importance of diversity; always being honest and open when communicating with others; standing up to poor behaviour when you notice it.  

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Example Questions & Process

The scope of example questions here is broad, but let’s consider two that are very clearly focused on this domain.

The first is that you are a pre-reg pharmacist on a medical ward, and you are under the supervision of a senior pharmacist who has worked at the hospital for many years. They have repeatedly come into work smelling of alcohol, and seem to be still drunk at some points.

This question, in various different forms, is a classic of situational judgement tests. Here as a health professional your focus must be on patient safety. That means giving immediate thought to how to deal with the issue. As outlined below, one of the core attributes expected of a pharmacist is that you are prepared to challenge others when required – so you must select an option that involves a one-on-one discussion with the senior – in a respectful manner, of course. Next, sensible options will typically involve some level of support for the fellow professional – perhaps advising them that they can speak to you about their issues and asking how you might assist. Of course, beyond this you must show a willingness to take more serious steps if the issue isn’t being resolved – which means involving a senior figure if the other professional isn’t reporting themselves and taking the appropriate steps.

A second question might involve you being asked to plagiarise, seeing someone else plagiarise, or otherwise being witness to plagiarism – there are many variations on this theme. No matter how the question is phrased, you must show that you’re aware that plagiarism is entirely unacceptable. You should therefore rank options that feature speaking to the person plagiarising highly; you should rank options that accept the plagiarism at the very bottom.

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Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Specific Attributes Explored

7.1 Works within the law, ethical guidelines, and regulations, including confidentiality, consent and safeguarding

All of this is hugely important, especially the key words confidentiality, consent, and safeguarding. If there’s any doubt over whether a patient’s consent has been sought for a procedure or treatment, then this must be highlighted and acted on. Equally, any doubts over patient confidentiality should be quickly dealt with – for example, if you overhear another pharmacist gossiping about a patient within the public’s earshot, then you should professionally and subtly intervene as quickly as you can to prevent damage to the profession.

7.2 Takes responsibility for self and is accountable for one’s own actions or lack of actions & 7.4 Is open and honest about the mistakes they have made or when things have gone wrong

You must be willing to admit when you have made a mistake. If a question involves you making an error, select options that deal with this head-on – e.g. ‘admit to the patient that you made an error, and that you are now correcting it.’

7.3 Demonstrates honesty and trustworthiness (NHS Values 2)

This should be evident.

7.5 Is reliable and dependable in carrying out work duties and responsibilities

This must apply to others as well as yourself – if one of your team is shirking their duties, then you should speak to them about it and see how you can improve the situation.

7.6 Recognises and values equality and diversity, treating everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect (NHS Values 2 & 6)

It’s unlikely that you’ll be posed a scenario in which you fail to respect these qualities, but likely that someone else may not – so, as with all these questions, make sure to immediately speak up and do your best to correct the situation. Report the colleague if they fail to respond appropriately to your feedback.

7.7 Is prepared to challenge poor practice or behaviours, or speak up when errors or oversights are observed

This is central to many SJT questions – you should always seek a direct and professional solution to a problem, to prevent bad behaviour continuing and affecting others.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Professional Integrity and Ethics

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