Pharmacist degree level apprenticeship not yet ready

23 May 2019

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has decided that a proposal for degree level pharmacist apprenticeships is not ready to go through to development at this time. Instead, Skills for Health will facilitate further discussions on the proposal.

The NPA will take part in the ongoing discussions, as our members rightly expect us to help shape any new approach to developing the pharmacist workforce.

Properly conceived and constructed degree level apprenticeships for pharmacists could increase access, enabling new talent to enter the profession, so we should take the time to get it right.

It is good that the IfA has clarified that this would be a degree level apprenticeship, as this wasn’t sufficiently understood at the outset.

The NPA is clear that any new approach to education and training must maintain or enhance the professional standing of pharmacists, the skills of pharmacists and the scope of pharmacist practice. We believe that a pharmacist is central to the very identity of any pharmacy, and that the future of community pharmacy lies in providing clinical services alongside the safe supply of medicines. It follows that we support the highest standards of education and training for pharmacists.

Further information can be found on the Skills for Health website or by emailing  Alternatively, NPA members can contact the NPA’s Policy Manager at