Advanced Pharmacy Framework (APF)


Over the past decade, many frameworks and tools have evolved to support professional development across the profession. The RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework (APF) is a framework for identifying and recognising the stage of practice. It is applicable to all sectors and nations, building on what have previously been shown to work. This can form the basis of the professional portfolio.

This framework builds on the widely used Advanced to Consultant Level Framework (the ACLF), to ensure it is applicable to all sectors and specialisms across pharmacy in Great Britain (GB). Evidence supports its use across the profession, and more widely, for the development of both advanced and specialist practice, applicable to all who work in pharmacy.

The APF is intended for use once early or foundation years have been completed. It forms a useful supportive framework to gather evidence of advancement across the core competencies. It is also used as an enabling framework to 'host' a range of professional curricula which identify the key knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours, needed in different scopes of practice.

Clusters and competencies

The APF identifies six key areas (also known as clusters) that are important for development in and demonstration of advanced stages of practice, independent of sector.The APF comprises 34 competencies located across 6 clusters.

Expert Professional Practice (EPP) Expert Professional Practice (EPP)

1.1   Expert Skills and Knowledge 
1.2   Delivery of Professional Expertise 
1.3   Reasoning and Judgement 
1.4   Professional Autonomy

Collaborative Working Relationships (CWR) Collaborative Working Relationships (CWR)

2.1   Communication
2.2   Teamwork and Consultation

Leadership (L) Leadership (L)

3.1   Strategic Context
3.2   Governance
3.3   Vision
3.4   Innovation
3.5   Service Development
3.6   Motivational

Management (M) Management (M)

4.1   Implementing National Priorities
4.2   Resource Utilisation
4.3   Standards of Practice
4.4   Managing Risk
4.5   Managing Performance
4.6   Project Management
4.7   Managing Change
4.8   Strategic Planning 
4.9   Working Across Boundaries

Education, Training, and Development (ET&D) Education, Training, and Development (ET&D)

5.1 Role Model
5.2 Mentorship
5.3 Conducting Education & Training
5.4 Continuing Professional Development
5.5 Links Practice and Education
5.6 Educational Policy

Research and Evaluation (R&E) Research and Evaluation (R&E)

6.1   Critical Evaluation
6.2   Identifies Gaps in the Evidence Base
6.3   Develops and Evaluates Research Protocols
6.4   Creates Evidence
6.5   Research Evidence into Working Practice
6.6   Supervises Others Undertaking Research
6.7   Establishes Research Partnerships

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Each competency is described at three stages of development:

Advanced Stage I - Either early stages of specialisation and advancement, or established in a role, performing well, advanced beyond foundation years.
Advanced Stage II
 – An expert in an area of practice, experienced.  Routinely manages complex situations and a recognised leader locally/regionally.
Mastery - Aligned to recognised leader in community or primary care; Consultant and corporate level practice in NHS; equivalent leads in academia; business / corporate leadership roles in industry; business or strategic leader in community. Recognised as a leader in an area of expertise (nationally often internationally), alongside a breadth of experience.



Download further information about each of the clusters, and examples of how they relate to practice.