Pre-Foundation Programme

We know that practitioners who are well supported and understand what is required are better equipped to adapt and deliver pharmaceutical care. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) provides support and development at every stage of every members’ professional journey by ensuring that members have access to:

  1. A complete range of up-to-date practical support guidance for all areas of pharmacy practice
  2. Support, advice and guidance to support members with their careers and professional development at every stage of their professional journey from students, through pre-registration, newly qualified, advanced and specialist practice to retirement and beyond.

In 2015, we published our vision for the Pharmacy Workforce and our Foundation and Faculty Strategy for 5 years. The final piece in the jigsaw is the support, development and recognition we provide for those from day-1 of their undergraduate degree, through to day-1 in practice. The following strategy document sets out the context, drivers and plans for developing and delivering a Pre-Foundation programme.

Our Vision

Our vision is for "all pre-foundation (student) members to have access to professional support and guidance during their undergraduate studies, so the transition from sixth form/college studies, through the different years of higher education and then pre-registration training is seamless".

This support will facilitate development and learning so they are suitably prepared for day one of training and professional practice.

The Pre-Foundation programme
A Pre-foundation programme is being developed to enhance and further support what students are required to already participate in during their Higher Education Institution (HEI) studies and alongside the GPhC requirements, to complement and align, much in the same way that the Foundation Programme runs for post registration pharmacists.

The existing Foundation Framework is being adapted to support 5 years of pre-qualification training (currently 4+1), but will allow for future models (including the 5 years of “integrated” undergraduate training and co-terminus registration / graduation).

The programme will offer pre-registration trainees a seamless transition from undergraduate to pre-registration trainee to Foundation pharmacist and through the three stages of the RPS Faculty, for those who choose to progress as such.

The Pre-Foundation programme will provide a golden thread of support, development and recognition from pre-Foundation, through Foundation and into advanced practice through the Faculty journey.

The Foundation aspects of mentoring and tutoring will also be used to give students very early exposure to being both a mentee/tutee and mentor/mentee to align with GPhC expectations of pharmacists with regards to leadership. The programme will make use of the RPS’ mentoring service to match students to peer mentors and tutors, in essence providing support, development and advancement from day-1 as a student that builds towards day-1 as a qualified pharmacist. This is in line with both the RPS and the BPSA visions for professional development.

The Pre-Foundation programme will additionally offer guidance to placement providers on in-course and vacation placements as they will have an awareness of the expectations set out by the Pre-Foundation in addition to the requirements set by the HEI, this will help to facilitate a consistent and high-quality experience by all pharmacy students.


Our Pre-Foundation deliverables are:

  1. Develop a pre-foundation framework that will be piloted with students and trainees, and published by end of 2016.
  2. Identify gaps and areas of professional support required by students and trainees.
  3. Ensure the pre-foundation programme enhances and builds on national pre-registration training developments.

In order to deliver this we will:

  • Establish a working group who can lead and support the development of the pre-foundation programme.
  • Work with HEIs and employers and work with them to ensure that the programme aligns to existing and local training and development.
  • Work with national bodies including HEE, CPPE, NES, WCPPE.
  • Work with our champions to raise awareness of the programme.

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