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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Foundation Training Year (FTY)

We manage the educational infrastructure for trainee pharmacists in Scotland through the Foundation Training Year (FTY)

The main components of the FTY include; a centralised recruitment process, a standardised training programme and quality assurance of the national programme.

Pharmacist Initial Education and Training Reforms

The reforms to Pharmacist Initial Education and Training introduce important changes to ensure pharmacists are equipped for their future roles. The implementation of these reforms will transform the education and training of pharmacists, so they are able to play a much greater role in providing clinical care to patients and the public from their first day on the register, including by prescribing medicines. To find out more information and to stay up to date with developments, select the following link Initial Education and Training reforms for 2025/26 - Communications page

FTY national programme

The FTY seeks to prepare pharmacists for registration, with the knowledge and skills defined in the GPhC Learning Outcomes, and the ability to deliver pharmaceutical services across the sectors in NHS Scotland.

All trainee pharmacists recruited into the FTY follow a similar training programme with learning objectives as specified in the GPhC Learning Outcomes and Registration Assessment syllabus.

The core FTY programme is a framework of distance learning and supported events, dovetailing as much as possible with employer training programmes.

It features the following:

  • a template workplace training programme which ensures that the needs of the GPhC and NES are met.
  • a programme of core direct learning events and specified distance learning materials all of which must be attended/completed by all trainee pharmacists in the FTY.
  • a bank of additional optional resources to meet trainee pharmacists individual learning needs.
  • a practice registration assessment to be undertaken by all trainee pharmacists in the FTY.
  • a period of cross sector experience which may be undertaken by all trainee pharmacists in the FTY.

Quality assurance of the FTY

The obligation of employers to participate in the FTY quality assurance processes is detailed in an Educational Agreement or Service Level Agreement between NES Pharmacy and the approved training provider. The employers are required to sign the agreement to participate in the FTY and to receive funding.

The quality assurance process centres on the approval of the training sites and the approval and training of the designated supervisors.

NES Pharmacy have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the GPhC which allows NES to undertake training site approvals on behalf of the regulator for all training sites which require to be registered with the GPhC for FTY training. The approval criteria will ensure that the necessary facilities and support are in place to provide the trainee pharmacists with the level of training required.

NES Pharmacy ensures that all designated supervisors are suitably trained and approved and provided with on-going educational support to meet quality standards and approval and facilitate on-going development of individuals as designated supervisors. The NES Pharmacy approval of designated supervisors is based on the GPhC criteria, with the additional requirement to participate in NES Pharmacy designated supervisors training and annual designated supervisor appraisal scheme. The designated supervisor is required to complete core training via online core training modules and participate in an appraisal process where they assess their performance against the regulator standards.

Pharmacy Foundation Training Year Recruitment

We coordinate a centralised recruitment process whereby the selection of suitable eligible candidates into the Foundation Training Year is by means of a standardised, quality assured process. The placement of successful trainee pharmacists is focused on the both the preferences of the trainee and the training provider.

The Foundation Training Year gives trainee pharmacists the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and experience in real-life situations under the guidance and supervision of a GPhC approved designated supervisor.

For more information and guidance on the recruitment process, you can access the Pharmacy Recruitment - Foundation training pages on our website.

Last updated: 01/01/2021

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