Commenting on a new proposal to develop an integrated degree apprenticeship for pharmacists, RPS Director for Education Gail Fleming said:
“The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is committed to supporting the education and development of pharmacists. We have sought the views of our Boards and members on pharmacist degree apprenticeships and have taken on board the experiences of other professional leadership bodies whose professions have progressed down this route. We are glad that the employer group has acknowledged the concerns raised by RPS on behalf of our members and has committed to increasing transparency.
“We believe that it is in the best interests of our members for RPS to actively contribute to discussions and debate in relation to pharmacist degree apprenticeships. Any proposal must have support from all sectors of practice and be aligned with parallel developments in pharmacy education, particularly the recent General Pharmaceutical Council consultation on the initial education and training standards for pharmacists. There are also serious risks if appropriate levels of funding are not secured.
“However an apprenticeship could provide opportunities for a fully integrated five-year degree with regulatory scrutiny of time in practice which does not exist in the current training model. It also may enable access into the profession for those who find the traditional route prohibitive dependent on their personal circumstances, whilst maintaining the integrity of degree entry.
“Our role is to ensure that that these important issues are all being considered and to push for wide engagement with the profession on this important topic.
“We continue to welcome views and questions from our members on pharmacist degree apprenticeships via [email protected]”