Certificate in Independent Prescribing (including the professional Independent Prescribing Preparatory Certificate)
- Mode of study
- Part time
- Medicine and Health Sciences
- Subject Area
In 2006 legislation was passed that permitted appropriately qualified pharmacists to assume the role of Independent Prescriber. This was an extension of prescribing rights from the initial supplementary prescribing role that many pharmacists had been fulfilling since 2004.
Pharmacists who wish to take on the prescribing role must complete an education programme that fulfils the requirements stipulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
About the course
Our preparatory course for pharmacist independent prescribers provides 60 Masters level academic credits. On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to register with the GPhC to carry out an Independent Prescribing and/or Supplementary Prescribing role; and will also be awarded the Certificate in Prescribing Studies (Independent Prescribing) postgraduate University award.
Choice and flexibility are key features of the School of Pharmacy Postgraduate programmes. The Independent Prescribing course may also be used towards a Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice or an Advanced Practitioner award.
Why choose to study the Independent Pharmacist Prescribing course at Keele?
The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, part of the School of Pharmacy at Keele University, has a reputation for providing stimulating education programmes for general practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and other members of the health care team. We offer a multidisciplinary approach that ensures our courses encompass a broad range of skills and are responsive to the changing health care environment.
We are very proud that The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning in the School of Pharmacy was the first education provider in the UK to have its course for preparing pharmacists as supplementary prescribers accredited by the RPSGB in June 2003. We were also among the first to provide an Independent Prescribing (IP) Conversion Course and a Keele graduate was the first pharmacist to qualify as an independent pharmacist prescriber in the UK in January 2007. Since 2007 in the region of 900 pharmacists have qualified as Independent Prescribers with Keele.
Our course is designed specifically for pharmacists and both the course manager and course tutors are qualified prescribers. In addition our course has been approved by the GPhC to be delivered by a distance learning format requiring only seven days attendance at the University over a 6 month period. The distance learning format of the courses enables busy health professionals to study where and when it is most convenient to them. If you are still wondering whether the IP course is for you have a look at the Preparing to Prescribe toolkit that was developed by Surrey University with input from Keele.
Aims of the course
Educational aims and learning outcomes
The aims and learning outcomes for the course are those stipulated by the GPhC for a full Independent Prescribing programme. They are expressed below in a manner that is compatible with Masters level study.
The overall aim is to enable pharmacists to practise and develop as prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Following completion of the course, pharmacist independent prescribers will be able to demonstrate all 32 of the GPhC learning outcomes, by applying knowledge of therapeutics and prescribing to the condition(s) for which they intend to prescribe, using an evidence-based approach that takes into account recent research and current professional practice. The learning outcomes are presented under four domains:
- person-centred care
- professional knowledge and skills, and
and can be accessed here: Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers
Only pharmacists with 2 years post-registration experience in a UK pharmacy setting are eligible to apply for a place on this course.
The entrance requirements are stipulated by the GPhC and the University. All entrants to the Keele University Independent Prescribing Preparatory Course must meet the following requirements:
- Current registration with GPhC &/or PSNI as a practising pharmacist and be of good standing with their Regulatory Body
- Have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience practising in a hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year;
- Identify an area of clinical practice and need in which to develop their prescribing skills;
- Have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice;
- Able to provide written endorsement from an appropriate Designated Prescribing Practitioner - (DPP) that s/he will supervise the 'learning in practice' element of the Course, in the clinical area in which the pharmacist intends to prescribe independently immediately on qualification.
The following resources will support you in your role as a DPP.
The course content has been designed to ensure that all of the GPhC learning outcomes are met and that the student can meet the prescribing competencies that are included in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s prescribing framework which is available here:
Teaching and assessment
This is a distance learning programme that includes six compulsory days (one day per month) face to face teaching at the University. Learning materials are delivered by distance learning technologies based on structured and interactive learning resources and may include on line group discussions, webinars and screencasts.
A variety of assessment methods are used to enable you to meet the learning outcomes. These include:
- Case presentation - oral presentation.
- Case discussion - conducted and assessed by Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP).
- 2,500 word practice-based audit - written.
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
- Reflective portfolio, including a Learning Outcomes/Prescribing Competencies Workbook.
For all programmes you will need regular access to a computer, email and the internet. However apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for our postgraduate programmes, with the exception of those listed below.
DPharm and Independent Prescribing course
There will be additional travel and accommodation costs (if required) to attend the face to face study days or meet with your supervisor (DPharm only) on these programmes.
How to apply
In addition to the University on-line application that you need to complete for this course, you are required to complete Forms 1-3 for your application.
Form 1: IP application form
Form 2: DPP application form
Form 3: Employer ref 2019
Example IP applicant profiles - Example student profiles that may facilitate you completing Section A of Form 1 on appropriate patient orientated experience.
Please upload your completed and signed forms 1-3 to the University's online application form.
The University on-line application form can be found here.
Current students do not need to complete the online application form for the independent prescribing course. If you are a current student we will only ask you to complete forms 1-3 and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting your student number.
We look forward to receiving your application.
Study Day dates
For the course commencing in February 2020 (Provisional):
- Tuesday 11 February 2020
- Wednesday 12 February 2020
- Tuesday 10 March 2020
- Wednesday 11 March 2020
- Tuesday 12 May 2020
- Wednesday 13 May 2020
- Wednesday 10 June 2020
- Wednesday, 19th August 2020 (OSCE resit, if applicable)
For the course commencing in September 2020 (Provisional):
- Tuesday 8th September 2020
- Wednesday 9th September 2020
- Tuesday 3rd November 2020
- Wednesday 4th November 2020
- Tuesday 8th December 2020
- Wednesday 9th December 2020
- Wednesday 6th January 2021 (OSCE exams)
- Wednesday 31st March 2021 (OSCE resit, if applicable)
N.B. It is compulsory that you attend all of the above study days in order to complete the Independent Prescribing course.