Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

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The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing is a 30-credit professional development course, delivered at level 7. It is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and leads to a professional award that permits recipients to apply to the Registrar to have their entry on the register annotated as an Independent Prescriber.

This module will equip the individual pharmacist with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the GPhC learning outcomes and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to practice safely and effectively as a prescriber. 

Professional recognition- This module is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Who the module is aimed at 

Students undertaking this module will already be employed as pharmacists. It is aimed at experienced practitioners in primary, intermediate or secondary care. Individuals will have identified an area of clinical practice in which they wish to prescribe & have up-to-date clinical knowledge evidenced by relevant courses, post-graduate qualifications and/or experiential learning.

Entry onto the course and the course standards, syllabus and delivery are outlined by the GPhC in the document ‘Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers’ (the Standards), last updated in October 2022.


Benefits of taking the module to the individual, the organisation and the patient

Completion of the module will provide role development of the individual extending practice to effective prescribing. The programme will advance clinical practice and enhance career opportunities.

The organisation will benefit from the increased flexibility of a pharmacist workforce with advanced practitioner skills (independent non-medical prescribing).

Other benefits are improved access to medicines and patient care without compromising safety and increased patient choice in accessing medication.

What you learn 

You will learn the generic principles of prescribing and selected physical assessment skills and apply this knowledge to clinical practice, demonstrating safe and effective prescribing in your chosen area practice.

The course does not aim to teach therapeutics as entrants to the course are required to have knowledge of therapeutics related to their chosen area of prescribing practice. However, the course does include the clinical management of some therapeutic areas relevant to practitioners' learning experience within the general population.

Learning specific to the practitioner's chosen area of prescribing practice is progressed through structured independent learning, experiential learning and through the support of their mentor(s) during learning in practice.

Learning consequently focuses on the wider skills and principles required of a prescribing pharmacist and their application within a prescribing context, to establish patient centred, holistic, bio-psychosocial approaches to health.

General areas covered

  • Roles and responsibilities of independent prescriber, working within their own area of competence whilst being aware of when to refer on
  • Clinical skills including history taking, consultation and physical assessment using relevant diagnostic aids, including an understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and the ability to recognise signs and symptoms, monitor response to treatment and review working diagnoses and ultimately develop a treatment plan.
  • Effective communication both with patients and carers and within the health care team, demonstrating good record keeping skills.
  • Case-based scenarios employed within the teaching allow students to address real-life challenges within prescribing practice and support each other during the course. The range of case-based scenarios ensure that the principles of equality and diversity amongst our patient population are considered, whilst also ensuring that they are inclusive of participant backgrounds.


Skills gained for the workplace, technical skills or academic skills 

  • Advanced clinical assessment / examination skills
  • The principles of safe and effective prescribing
  • Critical analysis and synthesis
  • Reflective practice skills


Module assessment is made up of one or more assessment tasks. The assessment tasks for this module are:

EXAM/ OSCE: A written exam drawing on content from across the curriculum. The exam includes a numeracy section. The OSCE stations include a physical assessment skill and a consultation station.

Reflective Case Study: A critically reflective assignment on one patient case from practice supported by evidence to confirm achievement of the learning outcomes, including examples of prescription writing.

Portfolio: Satisfactory completion of a period of 90 hours practice learning and assessment of competence by a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) through a completed practice assessment document.

Satisfactory completion of a recorded case-based discussion (CBD) undertaken in practice, by a DPP.


Fees and Funding for 2023/24

Indicative price for stand-alone module

Home student: £1,720

EU / International students: £2,870- this is part-time study and therefore cannot provide sponsorship for Tier 4.

How to apply

To apply for either a self-funded, employer (private sponsorship), employer (NHSE Workforce Development / Workforce Transformation/CPD), or the Pharmacy Integration Programme*, please complete and return the application form below 4 weeks prior to the course start date.

PIP application form (PDF, 3MB)

DPP handbook 2024/5 (PDF, 584.1KB)

*Pharmacy Integration Programme - The National Health Service England (NHSE) has confirmed their intention to renew the Pharmacy Integration Fund contract for the upcoming academic year (2024/25). We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the September 2024 and January 2025 cohorts via the Pharmacy Integration Programme. A limited number of places are available for those seeking the NHSE funding route specifically for the Pharmacy Integration Fund (Categories 1 and 2). To ensure the best chance of securing a place, we encourage early applications. If the allocated positions are filled, you will be added to a waiting list and contacted if a place becomes available.

Pharmacy Integration Programme learners should be aware that information may be shared with third parties, this will form part of the formal enrolment contract.


Further information and Workforce Development Funding / CPD Funding online application form

  • Entry requirements

    Applicants are registered as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or, in Northern Ireland, with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

    Applicants are in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered.

    Applicants must have relevant experience in a UK pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice whilst training.

    For the purposes of developing their independent prescribing practice applicants must identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning.

    Applicants must have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice. The applicant’s DPP must be a registered healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights, who is suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role, and who has demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role. Although an applicant may be supervised by more than one Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers, only one prescriber must be the DPP. The DPP is the person who will certify that successful pharmacists are competent to practise as independent prescribers.

    Please note that for all DPP’s proposing to supervise more than one student at the same time, irrespective of university, they will be required to complete an additional form to enable quality assurance of the placement.

    The above must be evidenced in your application form

    The module is not available to pharmacists outside of the UK.

  • Attendance

    Delivery Method:

    Blended Learning this module will involve a limited number of face-to-face study days supported by online distance learning activities

    View our statement on notional study hours »

    Provisional timetable

    The provisional course and assessment dates are subject to change. Attendance is anticipated to be on campus for study day 4, the rest of the study days will be online via zoom. All dates are mandatory attendance on zoom (9am - 4pm) unless otherwise indicated. Final exams are held on campus.

    Study Day

    September 2024

    January 2025










    4 (Physical Assessment)

    17/10/2024 (face to face)

    13/2/2025 (face to face)










    8 (Mock OSCE)








    View our statement on timetable changes »

  • Assessment

    Module assessment is made up of one or more assessment tasks. The assessment task(s) for this module are:

    • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
    • Case Study
    • Practice Portfolio

    Successful completion of this module will earn you 30 level 7 credits

Further details

For further information please contact the module leader Mitch Lau - or contact the student experience team:

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