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Outcome of Pharmacist Apprenticeship Meeting

The PDA held a meeting of stakeholders with the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IFATE) today to discuss the controversial proposal for a pharmacist apprenticeship.

Thu 2nd May 2019 The PDA

Today a meeting which had been organised by the PDA / IFATE was held in Birmingham. Representatives of the following organisations were in attendance.

  • Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA)
  • Institute for Apprenticeships & technical Education (IFATE)
  • The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC)
  • British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA)
  • Health Education England (HEE)
  • Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP)
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)
  • Company Chemists Association (CCA)
  • National Pharmacy Association (NPA)
  • Pharmaceutical Advisors Group (PAG)

A representative of an NHS employer was also present.

We made it clear that our participation was to fact find and raise the concerns of our members.  In no way should our attendance at the meeting imply that we are in support of the proposal.

Those attending then heard from IFATE about the apprenticeship scheme generally and how the pharmacy proposals had been developed thus far (see slides below).  It became clear that the specific proposal for a pharmacist apprenticeship is the responsibility of the employer “Trailblazer” group and that the content of the proposal originated from that group.

One of the key questions asked by the PDA was to clarify which employer organisations are members of this group in order to understand why the proposal does not seem to reflect emerging pharmacy practice and if the members of the group are representative of employers across all sectors of pharmacy.

The institute explained that under their normal process the members of the employer group are not identified until a later stage. However the PDA had hoped that, given the controversy of the proposal, the members of the group would have come forward to publicly answer the many questions being asked by pharmacists.

The institute undertook to pass questions asked at the meeting to the employer group and ensure they know there are many concerns related to their proposal and lack of transparency. It also agreed to provide written responses within the next few days to those questions which related to the institute’s processes.  PDA will make these details available to members as soon as we receive them.

During the course of the meeting it became apparent that more discussion is needed for all the potential implications of such a proposal to be understood.  The PDA proposed that the institute and employer group attend a full day session devoted to this purpose.  The meeting should include the organisations present today and should be held in the near future.  In discussions following today’s session the idea of a further meeting was supported by many other attendees.

In the meantime, IFATE will provide the employer group with a summary of the thousands of consultation responses it received.  It is then up to the employer group to consider what they do with their proposal.  We recommend that, at the very least, the employer group should withdraw their current proposal in order to enable the profession to have a fully informed debate.

We will continue to update our members as this situation develops.

Here are the slides which the IFATE presented today:

thumbnail of IFATE slides for Pharmacist Meeting at PDA

Read more about why the meeting was organised.

Read about the questions raised by PDA Members

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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