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Royal Pharmaceutical Society announces accreditation of Foundation Schools

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has announced three accreditation awards to Foundation Schools, in recognition of their commitment to the delivery of high quality professional development to pharmacists.

Cardiff School of Pharmacy, Liverpool John Moores School of Pharmacy, and King’s College London and University College Schools of Pharmacy (a joint award) have all been accredited as Foundation Schools by the RPS.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have always acknowledged the need for specific support and development for those in the very early stages of their career: their “first 1,000 days” of practice. In 2014, the RPS Foundation programme was launched for pharmacists who have just qualified, no matter the sector, and also extends to those changing sector or returning to practice after a career break. The programme provides professional support, networks, development frameworks, ensuring quality improvement of pharmaceutical care and the safety of patients and the public.  The Foundation Programme is a workplace education model, allowing pharmacists to build on the knowledge, skills, behaviours and experiences developed during undergraduate and pre-registration years, in their working environment.  

The next development in the RPS Foundation programme was the recognition, mapping and quality assurance of education, training and provision through an adaptation of the RPS accreditation models for this purpose, to recognise providers of education and work-based learning for foundation practice: the first RPS Foundation Schools and providers have now been accredited following the initial stages in development of this scheme.

Accredited RPS Foundation Schools work in partnership with employers to provide quality-assured workplace education and training infrastructures, tutor training, assessments based on competency and performance, with a quality-assured award that meets our standards for the RPS Foundation Programme.  Employers who are part of formalised partnerships with education providers, and who meet these standards, are recognised as RPS Foundation Training Centres.  By seeking RPS accreditation, HEIs and training providers demonstrate their commitment to the delivery of high quality professional development to pharmacists.  By undergoing Foundation Training through accredited programmes, pharmacists are supported whilst developing their practice to deliver safer, more efficient, patient-focussed care, to meet the needs of a growing, older population.  The scheme will be open for submissions to all relevant parties from July 2015.

Professor Peter Hylands, King’s College London Head of School of Pharmacy and Professor Duncan Craig University College London Head of School of Pharmacy have said of the accreditation: “King’s College London and University College London have been at the leading edge of pharmacist Foundation Training since 2007, and have worked with employers and stakeholders to ensure a rigorous foundation for early careers for over 1,500 pharmacists.  Being in the first wave of RPS-accredited Foundation Schools fits with our joint vision for a truly clinical workforce and continued strategic development for young practitioners. We are proud of our achievements to date and will continue to advance practice with our NHS partners."

An accredited RPS Foundation Training Provider delivers education and training mapped to the RPS Foundation Programme, and support and develop foundation pharmacists to the RPS standards.  Employers (who are not in a formal partnership with a RPS Foundation School) may work with accredited RPS Foundation Training providers, to deliver development experiences mapped to the RPS standards for the Foundation Programme.  We will be announcing soon the community pharmacy employers who will be in the first wave of Foundation Providers following the initial stages of development of this scheme. 

You can read more about the accreditation on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website.