Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists
Certificate in Independent Prescribing (including the professional Independent Prescribing Preparatory Certificate)
- Mode of study
- Part time
- Start date
- September and February
- Duration of Study
- 7 months
- Subject Area
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - £3,000
Independent Prescribing (IP) is becoming an essential skill for pharmacists, to enhance their existing role or to act as a catalyst for role change.
Keele University was the first UK University accredited to provide prescribing courses for pharmacists in 2003. The dedicated IP Team continues to develop the curriculum to ensure that students meet the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) learning outcomes and are appropriately prepared for their future prescribing practice.
About the course
The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, part of the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering at Keele University, has a reputation for online distance learning programmes tailored to the needs of pharmacists, general practitioners, nurses and other members of the health care team. Our high-quality learning materials have been developed and updated with our extensive network of current multidisciplinary clinical practitioners and includes advanced clinical skills training to help prepare prescribers for a wide range of current and developing prescribing roles.
We are very proud that The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning in the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering 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 our UK leading programme trained the first Pharmacist IP graduate in the UK in 2007. Over a 1000 Pharmacist Independent Prescribers have graduated with us since and we are now accredited to use the Designated Prescribing Practitioner role
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.
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 on pages 7-9 here: Learning outcomes
The course has been designed to allow students to meet all of the GPhC’s learning outcomes.
In addition, students are required to meet some selected prescribing competencies that are included in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s prescribing framework.
February 2021 Study Dates (provisional):
Tuesday 9th February 2021
Wednesday 10th February 2021
Tuesday 9th March 2021
Wednesday 10th March 2021
Tuesday 11th May 2021
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Wednesday 9th June 2021 (OSCE exams)
Wednesday 18th August 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.
There will be additional travel and accommodation costs (if required) to attend the face to face study days
How the course is taught
Distance learning and a personal portfolio provide the backbone of the IP course with additional practical skills taught on seven compulsory face to face teaching study days at the University. Student development is achieved via structured and self-directed learning and measured by achievement of learning outcome and prescribing competencies.
How you'll be assessed
A variety of work-based assessments and coursework is used to meet students’ individual learning needs and maximise experiential learning opportunities
- Case presentation - oral presentation.
- Case discussion - conducted and assessed by Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP).
- 2,500 word practice-based audit - written.
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
- Reflective portfolio
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.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2021/22 academic year)
UK/EU students £3,000 per year
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
Your learning will be supported by our experienced team of course managers, tutors and administrators. Our study days are also supported by a team of specialist IP’s and medics whose expertise will ensure you the best start in your prescribing career. More information about members of the team can be found in the staff biographies.
You will study most elements of the Programme at a distance, in your own home or your workplace. The self-study materials comprise of a range of electronic resources that can be accessed through an interactive learning environment. The module is also used to enhance student support during the course and provide a forum for exchange of ideas and discussion of issues that arise. Communication, consultation and other skills are taught on face-to-face study days at Keele.
Keele University Library has many resources for your subject, both on campus and on-line.
You will need regular access to a computer, email and the internet. Additional costs may include textbooks, inter-library loans, potential overdue library fines and those costs associated with travelling to the study days.
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:
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.
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.