PDA Trainee Pharmacists

The trainee pharmacist (called pre-reg until end of summer 2021) year is the culmination of 5 years of hard work and dedication and is the final step on your journey to becoming a qualified pharmacist. The PDA is here to offer you support and advice during your trainee pharmacist and provisionally registered experience and then throughout your pharmacy career.

PDA membership is free to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and the first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified. The majority of trainee pharmacists are PDA members. If you are not, please join us for free and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Join the PDA for FREE today

Find out what you get for your FREE membership here.

Our commitments to you:

1. Seek clarity on the future assessment

We will do our utmost to make sure that any pharmacy work undertaken in the coming months and the accelerated professional development that this pandemic will help nurture, is considered in the design of any future assessment. It is likely in the coming months that all your efforts will be focussed on supporting the fight against Covid-19 and there will be little time to prepare for a traditional assessment. We are calling for a prompt announcement of the plans being developed by the regulators.

2. Represent your employment interests

The ‘Provisional Registration’ status must be fully explained, and we are already in dialogue with the regulator on this. A role as a second “pharmacist” during this period is a possibility which may impact upon your employment plans. We hope employers will assist in facilitating this change, but some may be less helpful. Our expert team of lawyers, pharmacist advisors and union officials are available to help ensure employers act flexibly, lawfully and in a reasonable way during these difficult times. We will give you advice and guidance on employment matters and represent you when you need help most.

3. Support safe practice

We are already engaged in regular meetings with senior NHS and government representatives as well as other pharmacy organisations. We are in contact with the health ministers of all four UK countries and we are calling for an urgent review of the current position about the provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) to all front-line pharmacy staff. While many GP practices no longer offer face to face appointments, community pharmacists have seen a 50% increase inpatient consultations. It is imperative that pharmacy staff are protected at work and tested as soon as larger-scale Covid-19 testing is available.

4. Reach out to Pharmacy Schools

The current year 4 pharmacy students are confused and uncertain about their final exams and trainee pharmacist placements. We are reaching out to the Pharmacy Schools to establish the collective response to the crisis is likely to be. With the threat of a normal trainee pharmacist experience being turned upside down, pharmacy undergraduates need reassurance and clarity about their future.

5. Enhance Indemnity benefits

Alongside trade union membership, PDA membership provides Professional Indemnity insurance. The government has asked us to extend these benefits to support pharmacy-related Covid-19 activities and we have done so. Pharmacy undergraduate and trainee pharmacist membership of the PDA is FREE, as are your first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified, which includes comprehensive professional indemnity insurance as well as the additional union and defence benefits of PDA membership.

6. Your health and well-being

We recognise the impact that this crisis may have on your mental health and well-being. The PDA regularly makes significant donations to Pharmacist Support who are the professions charity and we encourage you to use their services where necessary.

Read more on our trainee pharmacist Covid-19 support page, here.

Download our trainee pharmacist flyer

thumbnail of Pre-reg Union recruitment flyer – A5

Getting involved

Find out how you can become a PDA rep and play a key role in supporting our work, together with PDA staff, to increase awareness of the PDA and enhance our trainee pharmacist membership offer. This is alongside helping to develop our engagement and support for trainee pharmacists and provisionally registered members.




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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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