Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme

This new education and training programme has been established to support the 2019/20 cohort of Trainee pharmacists whose training and registration was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides an opportunity to accelerate pharmacist early years’ education and training reform and supports delivery of the NHS People Plan for 2020/21.

Visit the IFPP website for more details including how to register. Topics covered on the website include:

  • Getting ready for the GPhC assessment
  • Benefits of the programme
  • Registration FAQs
  • Next steps after registering on the IFPP
  • Information for employers

If you have any further questions about the programme please email:

Foundation Trainee Pharmacist Recruitment Newsletter

The February edition of HEE’s Foundation Trainee Pharmacist recruitment newsletter can be found here. It includes: fill rates and regional variation, multi-sector placements continue to

attract interest, employer registration now open for 2023 cohort, Evaluation: The Professional Attributes Framework, Equality Impact Assessment, Contingency Plan for 2022, looking to the future.

Offers Update from Health Education England

Following the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and numeracy assessment that took place in September/October, 2,147 applicants were eligible to receive an offer via the Oriel IT system. The number of Foundation Training places within the recruitment scheme at the point that the offers were made was 3,476. The number of available places has decreased slightly compared to last year. Nevertheless, the demand for trainee pharmacists continues to exceed supply.

Those applying via the National Foundation Trainee Pharmacist Recruitment Scheme have undergone a rigorous process of screening and selection and have chosen to do this to be able to exclusively select programmes within the scheme that they consider to be of high quality. In order for the matching process to be successful and to avoid candidates selecting places which no longer exist (putting their foundation training year at risk), please do not recruit into any places advertised within Oriel, outside of the National Recruitment Scheme, until after Wednesday 15 December and when you are sure that those places have not been filled by the national scheme.


Allocated trainee pharmacist details

On Wednesday 15 December, the Health Education England and Wales Regional Pharmacy Teams will notify all employers via email by 6pm if their programmes have been filled or partially filled by the National Recruitment Scheme, or if they remain unfilled at the end of the recruitment cycle.

After this date employers will be able to recruit to any unfilled places.*

From 15 December, employers whose programmes have filled will be able to access the details of successful trainee pharmacist(s) from Oriel. Please see the guide on how to access the applicant data, which can be found here.

*Please note dates are subject to change

If you have any questions, please contact Helga Mangion at


25 April 2022: This update from Health Education England includes a message from HEE’s Pharmacy Deans; foundation training year – spotlight on education and research, new e-portfolio survey – one day left to share your views, patient satisfaction questionnaire; improving access to education and training workshops; placement fee update; Clinical Pharmacy Congress. It can be read here.

April 2022: HEE Clinical Stakeholder Briefing. This update looks at the Ockenden maternity review and actions that HEE is taking to ensure that maternity services are the best and safest they can be. You can read the briefing here.

30 March 2022: Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists Update #8 from Health Education England. This includes: Message from HEE’s Pharmacy Deans; foundation training year – new e-portfolio survey, ace your calculations, week 39 progress review: e-portfolio; new health and justice trainee pharmacist pilot; newly qualified pharmacist pathway: video resources; pharmacist education EDI summit – resources now online. Click here to read.

This update from Health Education England includes Pharmacy Integration Programme update; newly qualified pharmacist pathway – join the RPS webinar; Pharmacist Education Summit – EDI; LGBTQ+ History Month; spotlight on the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub; foundation training year e-portfolio – e-portfolio orientation workshops, multisource feedback resources, user guide update; reminder – summer 2023 foundation trainees. It can be read here.

8 November 2021: Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme Update #36 from Health Education England. This includes: Congratulations on completing IFPP, next steps, signposting to resources, IFPP Experience Survey Winner!  Click here to read.

The October 2021 edition of the Foundation Trainee Pharmacist Recruitment newsletter from Health Education England can be found here. Items include Covid disruption, welcoming Scotland, supporting applicants and evaluating and evolving the NRS.

22 October 2021: Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists Update #4 from Health Education England. This includes: Undergraduate clinical placement models; newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway; e-portfolio trainee registration deadline; new e-portfolio functionalities; trainee learning resources. Click here to read.

2 September 2021: Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists Update #3 from Health Education England. This includes: Message from HEE’s Pharmacy Deans; e-portfolio – non-Oriel trainees go-live; ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​e-portfolio access for designated supervisors; trainee learning resources – now online; Clinical Pharmacy Congress. Click here to read.

20 August 2021: Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme Update #33 from Health Education England. This includes: Your tasks for August; E-portfolio Statement of Development sign-off – now live!; download and save your E-portfolio; medicines information and critical thinking resource; clinical pharmacy congress IFPP presentation – an opportunity for you to participate. Click here to read.

10 August 2021: Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists Update #1 from Health Education England. This includes: Welcome from HEE’s Pharmacy Deans; new e-portfolio system for trainee pharmacists; tools and support; focus on the HEE Assessment Strategy; engagement opportunities. Click here to read.

3 August 2021: Update from Health Education England. This update includes: IFPP end of programme process; peer assessed learning – time to reflect; new e-learning programme on Integrated Care Systems; educational supervisors – have your say!

8 July 2021: Update from Health Education England. This update includes: Your tasks for July, 360-degree feedback, reflective summaries, medicines information and critical thinking, end of programme and Peer Assessed Learning – Action for Supervisors.

GPhC assessment: FAQs and webinar recording

If you are sitting the GPhC registration assessment in March, you can view and listen to the GPhC’s pre-recorded webinars:

  • Overview of the registration & assessment process webinar sets out the next steps needed to sit the assessment, after receiving confirmation that you are approved to sit. It also includes information on how the online assessment system will look and how it will work.
  • Registration assessment: Question and Answer webinar.

The webinars, and answers to other frequently asked questions, can be accessed from the GPhC website.

‘Getting exam ready’ resources and support

HEE has prepared a series of videos (one, two and three) to get you ‘exam ready’. These should be used in conjunction with the Exam Game Plan guide on the NHS Learning Hub. These resources aim to focus your revision by helping you to create a good study plan and provide practical solutions to manage your nerves.

Another resource is the new CPPE Clinical calculations for pharmacy professionals e-assessment. The assessment links to the clinical calculations for pharmacy professionals e-learning and is a resource to support your preparation for the GPhC registration assessment. Access via the CPPE website.

Managing exam stress and anxiety: Video from Pharmacist Support

A new video developed by Pharmacist Support includes a range of tips and techniques to help manage feelings of unease and also guides you through a mindfulness technique that you can practically use to overcome feelings of stress, pressure and anxiety.

Reducing stress and building resilience: Video from NHS Learning Hub

A video, available on the NHS Learning Hub, has been developed as an introduction to the topic of resilience, and provides a set of tools and strategies to help balance these emotions.

The IFPP offers a support line via the RPS:

RPS Provisional Registration Support Line, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, 0207 572 2737.

Or call Pharmacist Support on 0808 168 2233. You can also email or visit their website.

IFPP Leadership programme – Leading through Education to Excellent Patient Care

As the provision of health and care across sectors becomes increasingly integrated, the need to develop and support pharmacist leaders is essential. Pharmacists should be able to practice confidently within multidisciplinary teams, to meet diverse and ever-changing patient needs.

This training event provides an interactive approach to support leadership development:

  • As an individual
  • As part of a system
  • Building networks

It will cover two modules over two sessions:

Module 1 aims to develop leadership skills through understanding different leadership concepts and reflecting and developing personal leadership styles. Module 2 focuses on team development.

For more information, please look at the LEEP brochure and the IFPP Journey.

Planning your learning for the remainder of the IFPP

The next step on your IFPP Journey involves planning your learning and development activities over the remaining period of the programme.

The Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) tool is available within your ePortfolio and completing a mid-point LNA is one of the mandatory elements of the IFPP.

The LNA supports you in prioritising the IFPP learning outcomes so that you can focus your learning and development on the priority learning outcomes, developing action plans to meet each of these over the coming months.

This process should support you by:

  • Developing objectives and actions that are individual to you
  • Establishing priorities that are relevant to your situation
  • Providing a means of documenting your plans which can then be shared with others
  • Allowing you to evaluate your own progress

More about the LNA process and action planning at IFPP Microlearning: Learning needs analysis.

There is also the IFPP Learning opportunities guide. This guidance has been produced by HEE to support foundation pharmacists in creating action plans that result from their learning needs analysis. It provides you (and your supervisors) with links to free to access resources that are appropriate to support your learning and development throughout the IFPP – each resource has been mapped against the IFPP Learning Outcomes.

Changes to minimum assessment requirements

Following feedback from learners and supervisors, HEE say a small change has been made to the minimum assessment requirements for the IFPP. This relates to the Supervised Learning Events (SLEs), originally mandated for one of each type of SLE (CBD, DOP, Mini-CEX, MRCF). However, HEE say some learners in some sectors are struggling to undertake these assessments given the ongoing Covid-19 workplace restrictions.

As such, the revised requirements will now mandate four SLEs of any type, ideally one of each type where possible. For further information about SLEs refer to the IFPP Journey, which describes the remainder of the programme in more detail. Full details of the minimum assessment requirements for the IFPP are provided below:

Learning needs analysis (LNA)

  • Start or mid-point with 6-10 actions
  • Endpoint with 6-10 actions linked to a final Personal Development Plan

Supervised learning events (SLE) 

  • At least 4 supervised learning events (Ideally one of each where possible, but otherwise a total of four SLEs)

360-degree feedback

  • At least one

Peer assessed learning

  • One case submitted
  • Three cases reviewed

Reflective summaries

  • At least two


  • With mapped evidence demonstrating progression against prioritised IFPP learning outcomes.

E-portfolio sessions

Here are recordings of the E-portfolio sessions run by the RPS and HEE on 21 April. The focus of the sessions was LNA and the 360-degree feedback tool, together with a Q&A session.

New: 360-degree feedback tool guide – New guidance in the use of the 360-degree feedback tool has been developed by the RPS and HEE. This includes a flow diagram and guidance on providing effective feedback.

Integrated Care Systems and the Patient Journey

Integrated care systems (ICS) drive the provision of co-ordinated services between organisations, tailored to their local population through partnership working between the NHS, local councils and strategic partners. Pharmacists are key members of the ICS workforce and an understanding of how this new model of working operates is crucial to enable you to effectively contribute as part of the wider health and care system.

This originally planned real-time learning event will now be delivered through prepared resources which can be accessed as E-learning. This will provide you with flexibility to access the learning at your own pace. The following ICS learning event resources will be available on the Learning Hub:

  • A workbook which provides brief background information to ICS and related case studies that illustrate the various teams and partners involved in health and care delivery across settings for a defined patient case. The workbook also supports the documentation of action plans arising for yourself following your engagement with the learning resources and reference sources for further information.
  • A pre-recorded resource which includes presentations from leaders within established ICSs talking about how it works and discussions around case studies used to illustrate the patient’s journey through an ICS.

Peer Assessed Learning

One of the key milestones in your IFPP Journey is Peer Assessed Learning, an essential element of the programme. The Peer Assessed Learning tool provides a structured framework for submission of a patient case which will be reviewed anonymously by other learners. You will also be required to provide feedback on three cases. The process supports skills in reflection and providing constructive feedback to others. The Peer Assessed Learning tool will be available on the RPS e-portfolio from 8 June.

To take part you need to ensure you have an Education Supervisor (ES) as a collaborator. It is estimated that submitting a case will take approximately 60 minutes and each review will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

The Peer Assessed Learning tool is divided into 4 sections and actions must be completed within specified time periods.

Case submission (8-22 June)

  • Find a suitable case using the tips listed at the bottom of this page
  • Ensure you have gained verbal consent from the selected patient to use the case for your learning
  • Complete the case submission form on the e-portfolio

Case review (22 June–6 July)

  • Three randomly selected, anonymised cases will be available to access on your e-portfolio
  • Each case must be reviewed using the case review form to provide constructive feedback to the submitter

Supervisor review (6 July–13 July)

  • Each case and corresponding peer reviews will be sent to a randomly selected Educational Supervisor for moderation of feedback & additional comments

Reflection (13 July onwards – until the end of IFPP)

  • The moderated peer reviews and additional feedback will be available in your e-portfolio
  • Take time to reflect on the feedback and discuss your case and reviews with your Educational Supervisor.
  • You may find it useful to add a Reflective Summary to your e-portfolio to outline your learning

You will be asked to provide details of your sector of work and location when entering the e-portfolio. These details will be used to randomise cases in the system to encourage cross-sector learning and maintain anonymity of participating pharmacists.

Here are some tips to support you in deciding which patient case to use:

  • Start early – Try to identify a suitable patient before the submission window opens
  • Gain consent – Confirm that the patient is happy for you to use their case for your learning
  • Keep it anonymous – All patient identifiable information must be removed for submission
  • Keep it interesting – Choose a patient with between 3 and 5 pharmaceutical issues to discuss
  • Keep it focused – Choose a patient that demonstrates your contribution to their care
  • Keep it relevant –Avoid using patients with interesting but rare medical conditions as this will reduce the quality of the feedback you will receive
  • Access the free SCRIPT resource to help with your underpinning knowledge relating to your case.
  • The first round of peer assessed learning starts on 8 June.

Some of the benefits of taking part in this process include that it:

  • Enriches your learning through receiving multiple perspectives on your complex decision-making skills & contributions to a patient’s care
  • Provides assurance of the quality of your own work by benchmarking against your peers
  • Develops autonomous learning skills by reflecting on your practice
  • Development of your ability to provide constructive feedback
  • Facilitates learning across sectors

Information for supervisors

Participation in Peer Assessed Learning as a Remote Supervisor is a crucial aspect of the process to assist a learner to make sense of differing perspectives on their case. It is expected that you will provide brief feedback on case(s) allocated to you and moderate any inappropriate feedback.

Employment Support

With many IFPP learners now gaining full registration with the GPhC, some of you may be thinking about employment for the first time since your pre-registration training. For others it may be the end of temporary contracts and looking for substantive roles or you may just be looking for a new challenge and would like to move to pastures new.

To help you prepare, HEE have put together some tips and guidance. It includes links to online modules that have been developed by HEE with CPPE as a refresher for those starting employment or returning after a break. There are also some recruitment hints and tips that you may wish to read before applying for jobs and attending interviews.

For further information click here.

For further information please contact Helga Mangion at