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How to thrive in the foundation training year

On Tuesday 2 July, PDA Education hosted an online event for fourth-year pharmacy students who will soon be starting their trainee year called ‘how to thrive in your trainee year’. The event focused on helping fourth-year students prepare for the year ahead and the run-up to the registration assessment.

Wed 10th July 2024 The PDA

The PDA member-exclusive event started with a presentation by Head of PDA Education, Kate Kensington, who gave an introduction on what would be covered in the session and information on things that will be helpful to those entering their trainee year. Kate then went on to discuss key features of the trainee year which are:

  • It takes at least 52 weeks
  • Trainees will train under one or more designated supervisors
  • Trainees must be formally assessed at least four times by their supervisor
  • Trainees must pass the registration assessment to become a qualified pharmacist and have three attempts to do so
  • There are limits on the time allowed to finish the trainee year.

Following this Kate explained some of the potential key pitfalls trainees could face such as supervisor relationships, managing money and mental health, problems with progress reports, understanding one’s abilities and limits, and more. Some tips on how to overcome these pitfalls were covered and members were encouraged to get support if needed as soon as possible. Members were reassured it’s better to get help early rather than later, even if at the time they feel the issue may go away on its own, the PDA is there to offer help and advice.

After the presentation members in attendance were given the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and get advice on any of their concerns. Some of the concerns that were addressed involved preparation for the registration assessment, progress reviews, and more.

The event concluded with members being reminded where they can get support such as from the PDA or Pharmacist Support. Members were also reminded that the GPhC does not release any past papers and that the PDA offers a free assessment revision programme exclusively for PDA trainee members in the run up to the assessment.

PDA member, Alex Armstrong said, “I found the course very helpful & informative to have attended prior to starting my training year. Both Kate & Paul were very friendly and supportive. I know where to go for further info and support.”

PDA member, Abeer Aamir said, “This course made me feel more at ease and prepared for my trainee year and all of our questions were answered by the kind and informative team at the PDA!”

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Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.







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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