In March 2019 the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) consulted on a proposal to develop a pharmacist degree apprenticeship standard.
The consultation received over 6000 responses which were overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal. We shared RPS member views with IFATE based on available information at the time which were primarily concerns that high educational standards might not be maintained either because of employer control, changes to the training programme or insufficient resourcing.
On July 18th the IFATE in conjunction with Skills for Health and Health Education England hosted a stakeholder meeting to provide clarification about what degree apprenticeships involve.
Gail Fleming, RPS Director for Education and Professional Development, said:
“Useful information was provided which helped provide some reassurance around quality of apprenticeships.
“It was confirmed that a degree apprenticeship must fulfil regulatory requirements, and that the quality of training in apprenticeships would be assured by the IFATE Skills for Health and Ofsted as well as the regulator.
“Examples from other professions of providing a breadth of placements within a degree apprenticeship were provided, and it was also stated that lock-in periods to employers at the end of an apprenticeship are not permissible.
“However, we remain concerned that the levels of funding available will be insufficient to support a high-quality educational experience. We will continue to work with our members to make sure that their views and concerns are heard.”
The employer group will reflect upon the discussions from the stakeholder meeting and has convened a further meeting to discuss next steps, which RPS will attend.
We encourage members who would like to share their views on apprenticeships to contact [email protected]