Community Pharmacist Postgraduate Training

Postgraduate Training for Pharmacists is supported by NHS England and Health Education England (HEE) through the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF). It aims to strengthen and diversify the pharmacy workforce and help to improve patient care. The fund has been set up by NHS England to enable pharmacist and pharmacy technician integration in primary care as part of new multi-disciplinary healthcare teams, making the most of their clinical skills, particularly for the benefit of people with long-term conditions.

This educational opportunity provides funding for you to study clinical postgraduate modules to meet your individual learning needs and to support your own professional development up to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice*

This training is funded by the Pharmacy Integration Fund for both community pharmacists and pharmacists working in secure environment pharmacies in England.  Supported by NHS England and Health Education England through the Pharmacy Integration Fund, the training opportunities are designed to support pharmacy professionals to better integrate into wider primary care, with the aim of creating more efficient and effective patient care pathways. 

What is the Pharmacy Integration Fund?

Postgraduate Training for Pharmacists is supported by NHS England and Health Education England (HEE) through the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF).  The fund has been set up by NHS England to enable pharmacist and pharmacy technician integration in primary care as part of new multidisciplinary healthcare teams, making the most of their clinical skills for the benefit of patients.

Why choose to study at Keele University

At Keele University we have over 20 years’ experience of providing postgraduate pharmacy courses, designed with flexibility as a key feature through open distance and work-based learning, thus there is no requirement to attend the University.  Our CPD Plus pathway allows you to study modules at 10, 15 or 30 credits to meet your individual learning needs.  At Keele University you can commence your studies at any time throughout the year.  You will be fully supported by a team of experienced, friendly, and approachable academic, administrative and technical staff based at Keele.  The Programme is also supported by our network of experienced practising pharmacists who fulfil the role of tutors.  This postgraduate training provision allows pharmacists to study any of the modules listed below:

In order to qualify for this support you must:

  • have employer agreement to release and support you including the support of work-based assessments
  • be able to demonstrate the added value of your training to service delivery.  For example, evidence could include working as part of Healthy Living Pharmacies with level 1 status or above or provision of existing services such as NMS (New Medicine Service)/MUR (Medicines Use Reviews)/seasonal flu or locally commissioned clinical services
  • agree to share information and participate in the development of case studies to demonstrate the impact of role as part of transformation of pharmacy services
  • agree to your data being shared with third parties, eg De Montfort University (as the lead provider), Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England and any organisation appointed by HEE and NHS England to evaluate the training
  • agree to be part of a future evaluation of the impact of new skills on service delivery
  • demonstrate that you are working at least 0.4 WTE (15 hours a week) in a community pharmacy or Health and Justice pharmacy services (provided by NHS, private organisations or acute Trusts). If you work as a Locum Pharmacist you must have sponsorship support from a pharmacy to access the portfolio of modules.

Pharmacists enrolled on the following NHS England service pathways are not eligible to access this postgraduate training provision:

  • Integrating Pharmacy into Urgent Care
  • Pharmacy Integration in Care homes
  • Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Phase 1 and 2

Please note, PhIF/HEE only funds the cost of the course/module. It does not fund work place costs e.g. supervision or remuneration for time on the course.

In addition to the University on-line application you are also required to complete the following forms:

Please upload your completed forms into the online University application form.

The University on-line application form can be found via the link below:

For further information please contact either:

Gill Wilson, Postgraduate Programmes Co-ordinator

email:  cpd4all@keele.ac.uk

telephone: +44 1782 733755

 or

Shane Artis, Academic Postgraduate Pharmacist Educator (Teaching Fellow)

Email: s.artis@keele.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 1782 733277

Can I apply to Keele University if I live in the north of England?

Any community pharmacist working in England can apply to study Health Education England/Pharmacy Integration Fund funded modules at Keele University. Pharmacists working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are not eligible.


How many days will I have to attend the university during my studies?

There is no requirement to attend Keele University during your studies with us.  Keele have over 20 years’ experience of delivering training to pharmacists via distance learning. You will be supported in your studies by an academic tutor through email, phone contact or webinar as appropriate.  You are also very welcome to come to the university to discuss our studies with us but there is no obligation to do this.


I work three days a week in a GP practice and one day in a community pharmacy each week. Am I eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding you must be working at least 0.4wte (2 days a week) in a community pharmacy. See www.keele.ac.uk/pharmacy/pg/hee for more details.


I work as a locum pharmacist in a number of community pharmacists. Am I eligible for funding?

Providing that you work at least two days a week in a community pharmacy and provide services such as NMS/MUR or other locally commissioned services you may apply for funding. See www.keele.ac.uk/pharmacy/pg/hee for more details.


Can a pharmacist based within outpatient pharmacy environment enrol onto this course?

In order to be eligible for funding to study on this course you need to be working in a pharmacy that has a community pharmacy contract for at least 2 days a week and be providing enhanced services. See www.keele.ac.uk/pharmacy/pg/hee for more details. Pharmacists working in an outpatient setting, without a community pharmacy contract, are eligible to study on our Clinical Pharmacy Practice programme but you would need to self-fund this.


What if you change your job during your studies?

If you move to another community pharmacy employer then provided you have the support of your new employer, and that you still meet all of the other eligibility criteria, then you will be able to continue with your funded study. Should you move sectors and wish to continue to an academic award you could continue your studies with Keele by adding to the credits you have already achieved. However you would need to self-fund these additional credits.


What employer input is required?

You do need to obtain the support of your employer since you may need to, on occasion, access information from your work place to complete your assessments. If you are studying with us at Keele you will not need time off work to attend study days. However if you chose to study modules from some of our partners then there may be a requirement for this.


Do you have to have been qualified for a certain period of time before you can apply?

No there is no requirement for you to have been qualified for a minimum time. However we would say that it is important that you feel established in your community pharmacy role so that you will be able to dedicate time to your studies.


What is the maximum number of credits that can be applied for?

Each individual can apply for a maximum of 60 credits to be funded through the Pharmacy Integration Fund. This funding will be available until March 2020.


If you apply for the 60 credits to start with and then later decide you want to do less, is that ok?

Yes that is okay but it is best to make sure that you are committed to studying 60 credits before applying for this funding. However we do appreciate that unexpected events can occur that might prevent students from studying an intended 60 credits.


I don’t understand the different credit values – what does this mean?

You need 60 credits to gain an academic certificate and 120 credits for a Diploma.  HEE have agreed to fund up to 60 credits for each pharmacist on this pathway. All of our modules are offered at 10 credits and most at 15 or 30 credits. We would advise you to choose 6 x 10 credit modules in order to gain breadth to your studies, however you could, for example, choose to study 4 modules at 15 credits.


How long does it take to complete 60 credits?

In general terms 10 academic credits requires around 100 hours of study. To allow consolidation of this learning, reflection on and application in practice we recommend that you allow 12 weeks to complete a 10 credit module. We do, however allow students to complete two 10 credit modules concurrently over 12 weeks. This does require dedicated and diligent study. We would recommend that you allow up to 6 months to complete a 30 credit module due to the depth of study required.


Do you get to graduate when you complete 60 credits?

Yes, provided you have been awarded a Certificate from the University you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on completion of your 60 credits.  If you have gained credits from more than one institution you would need to check their ‘recognition of prior learning’ requirements to confirm that you are eligible for a certificate award.  We would encourage this as you plan your studies to avoid disappointment.


Can I self-fund a further 60 credits in order to obtain a diploma award?

You can self-fund further modules to obtain a diploma award, at Keele this can include the Independent Prescribing module.


Once the 60 credits are complete, can they be used towards a diploma at any university or just Keele?

Individual Universities will make a decision about whether they can accept 60 credits awarded from a different institution towards their diploma programme. This decision will relate to the range of modules studied, the learning outcomes and the assessments undertaken. Certainly Keele and DMU are working closely together and anticipate that they will be able to accept students onto their diploma programmes.


How are the modules assessed?

Assessment is normally a written piece of work such as a patient centred problem solving case and patient care plan or a practice based audit.  Some assessments such as our case presentation assessment involve an element of oral assessment – this is normally via a webinar.


Which modules should I choose to study

HEE have identified 5 core service themes to form the background for the training that is being offered. These are:

  • Service improvement
  • Extended skills
  • Patient activation
  • Delivering medicines optimisation and
  • NHS England clinical priorities

We would advise you to choose modules that meet your own learning needs across these themes that will enable you to add value to the services you currently deliver or to support you in extended roles.


What is the relationship between Keele and DMU/Bath in terms of module choices? Can we choose modules from different universities to total the 60 credits?

Yes you can, however in order to get an academic award you would need to study a minimum number of credits with any one University. If you have gained credits from more than one institution you would need to check their ‘recognition of prior learning’ requirements to confirm that you are eligible for a certificate award.  We would encourage this as you plan your studies to avoid disappointment.

Providing that the awarding university ‘recognises’ your credits from other institutions they would then issue you with the academic award and invite you to their graduation.


When is the deadline for application?

There is no specific deadline. At Keele we ask that applications are received by the 15th of the month for study to commence at the beginning of the next month. This funding from the Pharmacy Integration Fund is available until March 2020.


How many students can receive funding to study at Keele and are there a maximum number of students who can study the course at one time?

Because of our flexible distance learning approach we are not restricted in the number of students that can study modules on our postgraduate programmes. HEE through the Pharmacy Integration Fund have made available funding for delivery of 60,000 credits  across England for two years on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.


I missed your webinar about this opportunity. How do I find out more about it?

The webinar has been recorded and is available from the following link https://www.cpd4all.co.uk/events/funded-post-registration-training-for-community-pharmacists/.  Alternatively please contact Shane Artis s.artis@keele.ac.uk or Gill Wilson g.s.wilson@keele.ac.uk for further information.


I work in a Health & Justice Sector pharmacy. Am I eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding you must be working at least 0.4wte (2 days a week) in either a community pharmacy or Health and Justice pharmacy services (provided by NHS, private organisations or acute Trusts). See www.keele.ac.uk/pharmacy/pg/hee for more details.

Our partners:

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