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What are UK Pharmacy Training Programs Like?

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

There are a range of different pharmacy Foundation Training programs available to trainee pharmacists in the UK. They can be hosted across a variety of settings, but each must be accredited by the GPhC, and must include a minimum of 6 months in a ‘patient facing setting.’ Any training program will be 52 weeks in duration, although some programs may offer sub-programs within the greater program. These might include working in primary or secondary care outside the core placement, or in the pharmaceutical industry, for example.

Types of Employer in Oriel Pharmacy

There are numerous different types of employers, and they fall into different categories. Broader categories of employer include community pharmacy, general practice, health and justice (prisons), and secondary care. Within community pharmacy, you could expect anything from a larger chain store to a small, individually owned store.

Within secondary care, employers can be anything from large hospitals to smaller local hospitals. You may also find roles in some specialist hospitals – for example, psychiatric hospitals, paediatric hospitals, ophthalmology centres, etc.

What is a multi-sector program in Oriel Pharmacy?

A multi sector program will offer two or more placements, each 12 weeks or longer. The overall program must include a minimum of 26 weeks in a patient facing pharmacy sector, like a community or hospital pharmacy, and the remainder can be in a non-patient-facing or non-pharmacy setting such as the pharmaceutical industry or general practice. These programs are becoming increasingly popular amongst applicants, and therefore programs are being advised to consider adopting a multi-sector approach in order to attract more trainees. Benefits of this approach include enhancing the relationship between different parts of a healthcare system in a certain area; developing pharmacists who are able to work across the healthcare system better; improving pharmacists’ understanding of transfer of care and the issues associated with it; the ability for trainees in multi-sector posts to educate their colleagues in individual sites; promoting pharmacy in non-traditional sectors; the ability for trainees to develop a truly diverse skill set.

Details of Oriel Programs and Placements

It’s worth understanding in detail how programs and placements are defined. A program is the Trainee Pharmacist training position that is being offered to an applicant, and will be 12 months long. It will have a set number of places – this is the number of trainees that can be assigned to a program. Some will accommodate only a single trainee whilst others may have multiple trainees assigned to an identical training programme. Placements are the sub-sections of a program – a training program may be one single placement of 12 months, or it might be made up of smaller parts. Applicants can use the filtering options within Oriel to view multi-sector programs, which are those that have sub-placements within them. A placement reflects the practice setting that a trainee will work in, and programs can have a maximum of four placements within them. Placements can be in any of the following areas:

  • Hospital
  • Community pharmacy
  • General Practice
  • Integrated Care Board
  • Health and Justice
  • Industry
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When searching within Oriel, candidates will see information about the program. You can see information about its location, placements within it, whether it offers a Skilled Worker Visa, and more. This information can be vital for allowing you to choose programs that suit you, and that meet your requirements.

Some larger training programs might advertise themselves as having one postcode area – but in reality there are six places spread across this. This is commonly used by a chain of pharmacies, for example, that has a number of branches within one postcode area. If you apply to this program, you will then need to be allocated to a particular branch after you have accepted your offer – and there is a significant chance that you will then be competing over a more preferred branch with others that were also accepted onto the same program. In other words, there are multiple places on the program, and they will not all be identical. In general, you should be aware of this tactic and ensure that you check with the program as to which branch you will be assigned – and if you have any doubts over whether a given branch is possible, consider not preferencing that program.

What are UK Pharmacy Training Programs Like?

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