Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Self-Directed Learning & Motivation

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

Self-Directed Learning & Motivation make up the fourth attribute in the Framework for Pharmacists. Whilst it might not stand out to the extent that a domain like Professional Ethics does, in reality many situational scenarios draw upon the specific attributes laid out here.

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

Questions here will typically feature a scenario in which either you or a colleague have failed to keep up with the learning that is required of you. Other common questions will include colleagues who are failing to demonstrate enthusiasm for the role, and are questioning their motivation; colleagues who are failing to motivate themselves to care properly for patients; and colleagues who are not staying up to date with progress in the field. 

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

There’s a huge amount of learning to be done as a trainee pharmacist. As such, you could expect a typical question focused on this attribute to be something like:

You are a pre-reg pharmacist working as part of a team that includes two other pre-reg pharmacists. One of them has repeatedly failed to show an awareness of basic knowledge that they ought to have gained at university. Although this has been politely mentioned to them, they have done nothing to develop their knowledge and bring it up to the level expected.

Here, you’d expect a top option that allows you to interact directly with the other pre-reg in question. Pharmacists are expected to take responsibility for gaps in their knowledge, and this colleague has failed to do that. As such, you should have a discussion with them in private to see what’s happening in the background and why they’re failing to motivate themselves. Other suitable options here might include helping them to find extra learning opportunities, and helping them to arrange a meeting with a suitable senior like your pre-reg tutor. Less suitable would be trying to teach them yourself, as this will eat into your own time – unless it’s phrased in an evidently positive manner. Least suitable is reporting them immediately, before having a productive discussion with them, or showing condescension towards them.

If the question focuses on your own motivation or learning – perhaps a senior has taken you aside and explained that you’re not at the level expected – then you should look for options that show a willingness to take responsibility. You should take feedback and action it, rather than ignore it. Good options here would include arranging extra teaching for yourself, speaking to the senior at a suitable time to explore their concerns further, or booking a course that covers the relevant topics.

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Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Specific Attributes Explored

4.1 Demonstrates curiosity, commitment and a desire to learn & 4.2 Shows enthusiasm and passion for the role

All of us will fail to demonstrate these attributes at some points – this is entirely human. However, you should deal with these feelings proactively. That means speaking to others if you feel that your enthusiasm for the career is waning, and seeking out a change in learning opportunities to become involved in if you feel your desire to learn is reducing.

4.3 Takes ownership for identifying own learning gaps and development needs; records progress / development activities and stays up to date

This is vital for SJTs. It’s your responsibility to understand what you should know, and to keep on top of this. This should obviously be extrapolated to colleagues – they ought to know when they’re falling behind.

4.4 Seeks, and acts upon, advice, support and feedback to assist their own learning and development (NHS Values 3)

In the example above in this guide, it would be vital to take the feedback positively and constructively and use it to grow as a professional. Therefore, always select options that use feedback, rather than that ignore it – even if the feedback is phrased in a negative manner.

4.5 Undertakes reflective practice; analyses and evaluates how they may have done something differently or what went well

This attribute is useful to remember as it could easily be used as a correct option in a scenario – reflecting on your practice would be a good ‘three of eight’ option, although would normally be ranked in the middle at highest in a ranking question.

4.6 Demonstrates awareness and acknowledgement of own limitations and boundaries in relation to knowledge and competence

You must be aware of your professional remit. If you don’t know something, be honest about this immediately.

4.7 Is a self-starter; demonstrates proactivity, initiative and willingness to take on opportunities and learn & 4.8 Is driven to achieve the highest standards of care and strives for excellence (NHS Values 3 & 5

Both of these attributes ought to be immediately evident and therefore shouldn’t have too much bearing on SJT options.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Self-Directed Learning & Motivation

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