The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has said the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) did not reveal which employer organisations are part of a group driving forward the controversial pharmacy apprenticeship proposals during a meeting yesterday.
The meeting in Birmingham was designed to find out more details about the plans and who is behind them. According to the PDA, IFATE did not respond to the question of who makes up that “trailblazer” group but said it would pass questions asked at the meeting on to the group to “ensure they know there are many concerns related to their proposal and lack of transparency.”
Other concerns have included how the apprenticeship will sit alongside the pharmacy degree and pre-registration exam, how individuals who take up the apprenticeship will be protected from exploitation by employers and why the proposals were made without a more thorough engagement with the pharmacy sector.
The PDA said IFATE agreed to provide written responses to questions asked during the meeting in the next few days.
The PDA and IFATE were joined in the meeting by representatives from the General Pharmaceutical Council, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, National Pharmacy Association, Pharmacy Schools Council,
British Pharmaceutical Students Association, Company Chemists Association, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, Health Education England and Pharmaceutical Advisors Group.
“One of the key questions asked by the PDA was to clarify which employer organisations are members of this group in order to understand why the proposal does not seem to reflect emerging pharmacy practice and if the members of the group are representative of employers across all sectors of pharmacy,” the PDA said.
“The institute explained that under their normal process the members of the employer group are not identified until a later stage. However the PDA had hoped that, given the controversy of the proposal, the members of the group would have come forward to publicly answer the many questions being asked by pharmacists.”