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NES awarded Foundation School status by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society


Announcement made at launch of new training programme (Primary Care)

Today NHS Education for Scotland (NES) achieved RPS Foundation School status from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) accreditation panel. The accreditation period is for a period of 5 years and recognises the exceptional quality of foundation training for pharmacists in Scotland.

The announcement comes as NES Pharmacy today launched the new Vocational Training (VT) Foundation Programme in Primary Care (GP Practice) – the first of its kind in the U.K. now giving pharmacists entering GP practice in Scotland access to structured training.

Professor Anne Watson, Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean, NES said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we’ve achieved this accreditation. Together with the launch of the new foundation programme, it represents a huge step forward in developing quality assured vocational training for early years` pharmacists and aligns with a programme that has supported new hospital pharmacists for many years. It will also allow a much more flexible workforce which will support the profession in meeting the demands of primary care transformation.”

Professor Watson, officially launched the new programme at an event attended by Professor Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland and Aileen Bryson, RPS Practice and Policy Lead for Scotland together with new trainees, tutors and invited guests.

The Foundation Programme in Primary Care (GP Practice) provides a structured career pathway for pharmacists new to primary care with a nationally recognised training programme. RPS accreditation means that trainees who now successfully complete the NES VT Foundation training programme will automatically receive RPS Foundation status if they are RPS members.

Traditionally, pharmacists would have worked in other sectors – hospital or community pharmacy - before entering Primary Care (GP Practice). However, with the current transformation of primary care services some early years` pharmacists are taking up roles working within the multiprofessional environment in GP practices to support person centred care.

NES Pharmacy, with support from NHSScotland, has developed and managed VT Foundation training for Hospital Pharmacists since 2007. The addition of Foundation training in Primary Care (GP Practice) reaches the first milestone of a pilot to create one Scottish Foundation Framework for early career pharmacists working in any sector - with `core` competencies for all as well as `sector` specific competencies. This will enable Foundation Training to be flexible and transferrable across all boundaries of care and will support cross-sector appointments as well as portfolio working/careers. The final element – the integration of Community Pharmacy sector competencies to the framework - will be complete and piloted in September 2017.

The RPS is the professional body for Pharmacists in Great Britain. Becoming a RPS accredited Foundation school involves a rigorous process of quality assurance against a set of principles and by successfully achieving accreditation, NES has shown that its Vocational Training (VT) Foundation programme meets the RPS standards for quality and content.


Reference: PR2017-003

Further Information From
Mary-Jo O’Brien, Corporate Communications, NES, Tel 0131 656 3213 email

Note to Editors
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national special health board working to provide education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. At any time, this means NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals and also supports the recruitment of professionals into Scotland.