Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on future pharmacists’ careers

Experts from Keele University’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering have been commissioned to research how Covid-19 is impacting on the careers of newly-qualified and future pharmacists.

Led by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the study aims to understand the experiences of clinical training for pre-registration trainees and provisionally registered pharmacists over the last 12 months, as well as how the pandemic has impacted on their preparations for sitting their registration assessments.

The findings will influence the GPhC’s work on reforming the initial education and training of pharmacists, with the Keele University academics being commissioned to carry out the research following a competitive tender process.

The researchers are conducting interviews with both trainees and provisionally registered pharmacists, as well as tutors and supervisors, focusing on their overall experience of clinical training during the pandemic and, in particular, asking provisional registrants and pre-registration trainees how well-equipped they feel to work as a fully registered pharmacist in the future.

Dr Katie Maddock, Head of Keele’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering and leader of the research said: “The Covid-19 pandemic meant that the registration examination for pharmacy trainees was postponed from June 2020 to March 2021. Rather than remove over 2000 trainee pharmacists from the workforce at such a critical time, the GPhC introduced temporary (provisional) registration for pharmacy trainees who have completed their degrees and their subsequent year of clinical training but have not been able to sit the delayed registration exam.

“This research is an excellent opportunity to gain understanding of what it has been like for provisional registrants working under pandemic conditions, including their views around working safely and feeling equipped to work as fully registered pharmacists upon passing the examination.”