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RPS secures promise of more details on apprenticeships

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said it has secured a commitment from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) to provide further details on its proposed pharmacy apprenticeship.

Pharmacy’s professional leadership body said it met with the chair of the pharmacist degree trailblazer group and Jonathan Mitchell, deputy director for standards development at the IFATE, to express concerns that the original consultation, just 10 days’ long, did not allow sufficient opportunity for feedback and that there was a lack of information about the plans.

The RPS said it would also attend an IFATE-led stakeholder meeting on May 2.

The concerns of RPS members include uncertainty over how the apprenticeship will sit alongside the current pharmacy degree and pre-registration exam and how individuals who take up the apprenticeship will be protected from exploitation by employers.

There have also been concerns about the timing of the apprenticeship’s introduction given the General Pharmaceutical Council is keen to press ahead with its initial education and training standards.

“IFATE and the pharmacist degree trailblazer group agreed with our request to provide much more detail on these proposals for pharmacists,” the RPS said.

“We expect the IFATE to publish an explanatory note on apprenticeships that we can share with our members soon.

“This needs to be followed by a full, detailed explanation of pharmacy degree apprenticeship proposals which must be subject to scrutiny, and opportunity provided for feedback.

“We have asked both groups not to ignore the valid questions being raised by RPS members. Without clarity and detail on pharmacy degree apprenticeships, no organisation, including the RPS, can support pharmacy degree apprenticeships.”

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