Consultant Pharmacist Credentialing process

Credentialing as a Consultant-ready pharmacist

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Our Consultant Pharmacist credentialing process will help you to understand the requirements to enter consultant-level pharmacy practice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.*

It sets out the entry-level knowledge, skills, behaviours and levels of performance expected of consultant pharmacists. These form the basis of the assessment, which you will be credentialed against.

If you successfully complete the consultant pharmacist credentialing process, you'll be eligible to take an approved consultant pharmacist post.

* The Scottish Pharmacist Postgraduate Career Framework includes practice at a level equivalent to consultant in this curriculum.

Access your e-Portfolio

Use our handy e-Portfolio to collect all the evidence of your learning against the curriculum outcomes.

Once you've completed your learning, it's easy to submit your e-portfolio for assessment.


The Credentialing Process

Overview of the credentialing process

Consultant pharmacist credentialing is available to all pharmacists practising in patient-focussed roles i.e. pharmacists whose roles have a direct influence on the care of individual patients and/or patient populations. The consultant pharmacist credentialing process is open to all pharmacists, both members and non-members of the RPS.

Credentialing process

What is the RPS consultant pharmacist curriculum?

The Consultant Pharmacist Curriculum is based on the RPS Advanced Pharmacist Framework, and in line with the entry-level standard detailed in the NHS consultant pharmacist guidance. The outcomes-based curriculum is based on five broad domains:

  • Person-centred care and collaboration
  • Professional practice
  • Leadership and management
  • Education
  • Research.

The curriculum has been developed in line with the RPS curriculum development quality framework which defines the standards to be met by any RPS post-registration pharmacy curriculum.


Who is the curriculum designed for?

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Consultant pharmacist credentialing is available to all pharmacists practising in patient-focussed roles i.e. pharmacists whose roles have a direct influence on the care of individual patients and/or patient populations.

To be able to start the credentialing process, individuals must:

  • Have experience of working at an advanced level in a patient-focussed role in at least one sector of pharmacy practice
  • Have experience of influencing practice beyond their own organisation with opportunities to shape and contribute to local, regional and/or national policy creation in their area of clinical practice
  • Hold a senior role in their organisation to gain experience of strategic leadership and senior governance
  • Have previous (indirect) experience of the management of individuals and/or groups, including providing support for professional development
  • Have experience of undertaking research activities within their area of clinical practice in collaboration with the wider multidisciplinary team, working with external stakeholders to generate new evidence to inform practice and improve patient care.   

It is also expected that pharmacists working towards these outcomes gain experience in developing and delivering educational interventions in their area of clinical expertise in collaboration with external educational stakeholders, influencing local workforce education in line with national policy.

The Programme of Learning 

The Consultant Pharmacist curriculum is made up of five domains, each comprised of a set of capabilities, learning outcomes and descriptors.

Consultant Pharmacy Domains and Capabilities

Key definitions


Domains are collections of commonly themed capabilities and learning outcomes.
There are five domains in the consultant pharmacist programme of learning.


Capabilities are high-level, complex professional capabilities which are flexible and adaptive in a wide range of contexts; they require the complex synthesis of knowledge, skills, behaviours and experience enabling practitioners to manage real-life clinical scenarios.
Each of the domains in this programme of learning is made up of between one to three capabilities, and there are nine capabilities in total in the programme of learning.


Outcomes describe what is to be achieved by pharmacists by the end of the programme; these describe the knowledge, skills, behaviours and experience of those who successfully complete the programme and demonstrate their ability to practise at entry-level consultant-level through the programme of assessment.
Candidates will be assessed against these in the programme of assessment.


Descriptors detail the level and depth of performance required to satisfactorily meet the curriculum outcomes. They provide greater detail for pharmacists undertaking the programme on what is expected of them in practice to reach the required standard.

Consultant pharmacist curriculum: domains, capabilities, outcomes and descriptors


Support requirements

Recommended Support

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We recommend that you have three different types of support roles to help you to achieve the outcomes; these support roles are called collaborators:

  • Observers
  • A professional coach
  • Expert mentors.

Individuals undertaking these recommended support roles:

  • May be based outside the pharmacist’s organisation and meetings may be carried out remotely
  • Do not need to be pharmacists and may be drawn from other professions or areas of expertise
  • Do not need to be members of the RPS
  • May deliver more than one role depending on their experience e.g. one individual may act as a professional coach and an expert mentor or may be an expert mentor in more than one of the recommended areas. If this is the case, however, it is important to clearly define the discrete roles and responsibilities for each role.


To collate evidence needed to meet the curriculum outcomes, you will need other individuals to observe you and make judgments about your performance. These collaborators may observe you once at a single point of time or may observe you on multiple occasions over a period of time. There is a lot of flexibility with those who can carry out supervised learning events with you. They may be other healthcare professionals, non-clinical colleagues and/or patients, depending on the nature of the supervised learning event and what you are wanting feedback on. The important thing is that the collaborator has the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to make a valid judgment of your performance in that context.

The observer quick guide document will provide observers with the key information they will need to effectively carry out a supervised learning event with individuals.

Professional Coach

All pharmacists undertaking this programme should have a dedicated professional coach who is responsible for supporting them with managing their overall progress through the programme. They should help guide the pharmacist with their personal and professional development; they should also understand best practice in educational theory and coaching senior healthcare colleagues.

The professional coach should support the individual to:

  • Understand the range of learning, assessment and support opportunities for learning in the workplace to cover the curriculum
  • Identify and organise appropriate support, training and teaching both within and outside of their organisation
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to monitor and support progression towards the outcomes
  • Work autonomously at this highly advanced level
  • Review learning and provide formative feedback for reflective practice
  • Review work-place evidence and general progress.

Expert mentors

The following expert mentor types are recommended to provide targeted and specific support in the key areas of the curriculum. Some individuals may be able to act as a mentor in more than one area of expertise depending on their experience.

Clinical expert mentor

  • Responsible for supporting individuals to achieve the Domain 1 and 2 outcomes
  • Must be an appropriately trained senior colleague with clinical knowledge and skills to supervise
  • Will include supervision of the individual as they develop new complex clinical knowledge and skills, with support tapering off appropriately as the individual is judged to be proficient to practise autonomously at this highly advanced level.

Leadership and management mentor

  • Responsible for supporting individuals to achieve the Domain 3 outcomes
  • Will include supporting pharmacists develop and implement their strategy for service provision in their specialist area, guiding them to expand their influence beyond the organisational level.

Education mentor

  • Responsible for supporting individuals to achieve the Domain 4 outcomes
  • Includes supporting individuals to develop their knowledge and understanding of best practice in clinical and educational supervision and the delivery of clinical education to both the pharmacy and wider multidisciplinary team
  • Should work with the individual to help them shape and influence the development of the workforce in their clinical area.

Research mentor

  • Responsible for supporting individuals to achieve the Domain 5 outcomes.

Support Structure

The Programme of Assessment

The programme of assessment lays out how pharmacists will be assessed against the curriculum outcomes and the tools available for formative and summative use.

  • Individuals undertaking this programme will be required to compile an electronic portfolio evidencing their learning against the curriculum outcomes in line with the programmatic assessment principles defined above
  • Using a variety of formative and summative assessment instruments evidencing their learning, referring to the descriptors to help guide them on the level of performance required, individuals will be able to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes
  • The RPS has sought to provide sufficient guidance as to when and how to use each assessment instrument whilst allowing the individual and their expert mentors and professional coach the freedom to make an informed judgement as to which method or combination of methods are most appropriate in any given learning situation
  • For some higher-stakes outcomes, mandated assessment guidance has been stated; this means that evidence mapped to these outcomes must include examples of these assessment types to be achieved
  • Collaborators, including expert mentors and professional coach, will be given access to the RPS e-portfolio to undertake supervised learning events, record feedback and provide judgements and narrative against the learning outcomes
  • Individuals will also be able to record the outcomes of their meetings with their expert mentors and professional coach using the relevant report templates and develop action plans to inform next steps 

Supervised Learning Events (SLEs)

A range of assessment instruments are included within the RPS consultant pharmacist e-portfolio that individuals undertaking the programme, as well as their collaborators, can use to record learning and demonstrate progress towards the curriculum outcomes.

The tools below can be used to demonstrate learning; however, individuals may choose to upload other forms of evidence to their portfolio to demonstrate their learning.

Work-based assessment instrument


Directly observed procedure (DOPS)

To evaluate the performance of an individual in undertaking a clinical procedure.

Mini clinical evaluation exercise (Mini-CEX)

To evaluate a global clinical encounter with a patient assessing the synthesis of skills essential for clinical care such as history taking, communication, examination and clinical reasoning.

Direct observation of non-clinical skills (DONCS)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s non-clinical skills.

Acute care assessment tool (ACAT)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s clinical assessment and management, decision making, team working, time management, record keeping, prioritisation and handover over a continuous period of time across multiple patients.

Case-based discussions (CbDs)

To retrospectively evaluate the pharmacist’s input into patient care. A structured discussion is undertaken remotely from the patient(s) and is used to explore the clinical reasoning, decision making and application of complex clinical knowledge in practice.

Case presentation (CP)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to effectively present a case to colleagues demonstrating effective clinical assessment and management, decision making, team working and time management.

Journal club presentation (JCP)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to effectively present a journal paper to colleagues demonstrating knowledge of research methods and critical evaluation skills

Patient survey (PS)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s communication and consultation skills from the patient’s perspective.

Patient survey summary reflection (PSR)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to reflect on and identify areas of development based on patient feedback.

Teaching observation tool (TO)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to deliver an effective learning experience to others.

Reflective accounts (RA)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to reflect on an experience, analyse their learning and identify areas of development to inform future practice.


Quality improvement project assessment tool (QIPAT)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s ability to undertake a quality improvement project to improve service provision in their area of expertise.

Multiple source feedback tool (MSF)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s level of performance in the relevant domain.

Leadership assessment skills (LEADER)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s non-clinical leadership and team working capabilities

Expert mentor report (EMR)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s overall performance and progress in the relevant domain/s.

Professional coach report (PCR)

To evaluate the pharmacist’s overall performance and progress towards achieving the consultant pharmacist outcomes.

Evidence types additional to supervised learning events will also be required to demonstrate achievement of the curriculum outcomes. The individual undertaking this programme is free to upload any evidence type they feel demonstrates achievement of the curriculum outcomes.

Examples could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Published journal articles
  • Evidence of published research
  • Copies of anonymised written feedback from patients and stakeholders
  • Copies of anonymised documents evidencing active involvement in the design of care pathways
  • Videos or recordings of presentations and/or meetings.

Assessment blueprint and evidence requirements

The blueprint below shows the recommended assessment instruments for each outcome; it is, however, at the individual’s discretion as to which assessment instruments they choose to evidence each outcome. It is not expected for the individual to use all the recommended potential instruments – these are provided simply as guidance and the assessment tools used will depend on the nature of the learning and the educational context.

The level of stakes for each outcome was determined by the consultant pharmacist task and finish group and is based on each outcome’s potential risk to patient harm. All the curriculum outcomes should be considered as equally important in terms of demonstrating consultant-level practice and all outcomes must be achieved in the programme of assessment to pass.


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The assessment process

Throughout the credentialing process, you will need to maintain an e-portfolio of your learning and evidence using the RPS consultant pharmacist e-portfolio. The assessment process is shown below:

Consultant Pharmacist Credentialling assessment process6

Who assesses my portfolio?

Portfolios will be assessed by an RPS consultant pharmacist competency committee, which will be comprised of a minimum of three experts with the following areas represented in its membership:

  • Expertise from the applicant’s area of clinical practice
  • Pharmacy system leadership experience
  • A practising consultant pharmacist
  • Academic expertise

The committee will be chaired by a senior RPS representative.


The potential assessment outcomes of the consultant pharmacy competency committee are as follows:

Standard met

If the CPCC agrees that you have demonstrated achievement of all the curriculum outcomes, then you will be credentialed as consultant-ready and will be eligible to take up approved consultant pharmacist posts. The RPS will maintain a directory of all credentialed individuals.

Standard not met

If the CPCC agrees that you have not yet demonstrated achievement of all the curriculum outcomes, you will be required to resubmit for reassessment of the domain(s) where outcomes were not achieved. You will not be required to resubmit you evidence for those domains where the CPCC agreed all the outcomes in that domain had been met.

Insufficient evidence

The outcome indicates that, while some of the evidence provided indicated that you may be practising at the expected level, the gaps in the evidence were such that the panel was unable to confidently conclude the outcome had been fully achieved. You will be required to resubmit for reassessment of the domain(s) where there was insufficient evidence provided. You will not be required to resubmit your evidence for those domains where the CPCC agreed all the outcomes in that domain had been met.

All candidates will receive formative feedback on their submission from the committee regardless of the outcome of the assessment.

When can I submit my portfolio for assessment?

RPS consultant pharmacist competency committees will meet remotely four times a year to review portfolio submissions. There will be a submission window and a final portfolio submission date.

2024 dates


Final submission deadline

Anticipated outcome date

Application 1

28 January 2024

7 March 2024

Application 2

28 April 2024

13 June 2024

Application 3

27 October 2024

12 December 2024



The fee for a portfolio submission to be reviewed is £450 for each attempt.

Payment will be taken via card. We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express (AMEX).

Payment will only be taken once you have submitted your portfolio for assessment.

Is there a fee for resubmission and how much is it?

Any reassessment will incur an assessment fee dependent on the number of domains being reassessed. 

  • Up to three domains: 50% reassessment fee (£225)
  • Four or more domains: Full reassessment fee (£450)

Are there any recurring maintenance fees after I have been credentialed?

No. Once individuals are credentialed, there are no recurring maintenance fees. Maintenance of competence will be through GPhC revalidation. 

Will I need to resubmit a portfolio to maintain my credentialing?

No. Maintenance of competence will be through GPhC revalidation.



What are the differences between faculty and consultant pharmacist credentialing?



Any Questions?

Do you have any questions about the Consultant Pharmacist Credentialing process?

Email us at [email protected]

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