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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Pharmacist training programmes (foundation and advanced)

The pharmacist foundation training programme is a 2-year programme designed to support pharmacists early in their career. Both NES and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society provide a programme.

The NES programme is more specific to the processes and procedures within Scotland. If you have started a different foundation training programme, email the pharmacist foundation training team to enquire if you can transfer your learning as appropriate. 

The programme is delivered by the principal lead vocational training and specific senior educators for the pharmacist foundation training programme. 

To register to start the foundation training programme you need to be registered as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Pharmacist vocational programme foundation training video


Benefits of foundation training 

Foundation training provides foundation pharmacists (FPs) early in their career, helps develop confidence in areas of pharmacy practice, helps develop resilience and also helps through the various rotations FPs to decide in which area they would like to work. 

How to register

Registration is online, twice a year and opens on:

After you have registered you will receive welcome information within approximately 14 days. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you haven’t received the information. You need to book to attend an induction session via TURAS Learn.  

Why attend an induction session

The induction ensures you are familiar with the programme, the framework, the support to help you during your training and the standard required for evidence within your online portfolio. You can attend any induction session you wish.

What do I need to complete as part of the training?

The information is on TURAS Learn and you should access the Guidance document, Competency framework and the Assessment Handbook. Resources that you need to complete for each element of the framework are on the TURAS Learn pages.


The competency framework describes the variety of evidence types you will need to develop and templates for developing this evidence are available in the different areas of Turas.


Foundation pharmacists are supported throughout their training by:

  • a tutor/educational supervisor who are registered as part of the specific training programme
  • practice education coordinators (NES)/ senior educators (NES)
  • an education and training lead within your area of practices

Helpful resources

There are a variety of core and optional resources that need completed via the TURAS Learn page.


Assessment throughout your training is done in a variety of ways from appraisals to Work Based Place Assessment to more formal assessment at the end of the programme. For further details of the assessment processes see the relevant web page. 

If you have any other questions please contact

Become a foundation or advanced EPP tutor

As a prospective tutor you may wish to register as a tutor for the pharmacist foundation training programme or one of the advanced expert professional practice (Adv EPP) modules. 

More information about the pharmacist training programme

More information about the advanced EPP programme

Please note that the advanced GPCP programme is different to the advanced EPP programme and is specifically for pharmacists who wish to specialise in primary care, in a GP practice. 

The pharmacist foundation training programme and the advanced EPP programme are delivered by the principal lead vocational training and specific senior educators. 


To register as a tutor you need to be registered as a pharmacist with the GPhC and ideally you need to have completed the Pharmacist Foundation Training programme. 


Criteria for a Foundation Training programme tutor

How to register

Regsiter as a tutor here

The post registration process

Available support

Tutors are supported throughout by Practice Education Coordinators (NES)

Any questions contact

Become a foundation assessor

If you are a foundation training tutor or have at least two years experience of the programme you may wish to further your development to becoming an assessor, you will need to attend one of our foundation assessors workshops.

Initially assessors are trained in conducting portfolio assessments and should assist with several diets of these before undertaking training to assess at the final face-to-face assessments. 

The first workshop will inform and update you about evidence evaluation, the assessment criteria and processes applicable to Foundation pharmacists. As part of the training you will assess evidence and then be expected to submit a further 2-3 pieces of evidence after the workshop. On receipt of the evidence a member of the NES Pharmacy team will wish to discuss your scores with you and to ensure that you are equipped to help with the next diet of assessments.

To book on to one of the workshops, please go to TURAS Learn and search Pharmacy Foundation Training - VT Foundation Assessors Workshop (Day 1 -Portfolio Assessment) 

Assessor calibration session

Calibration sessions ensure that assessors are all assessing in the same way and interpreting the assessment information in the same way. We expect all portfolio assessors to attend at least 1 calibration session per year but ideally 2.

Book your assessor calibration session here

Any questions contact  

Foundation training assessments

The autumn assessments are underway. 

Following the assessment board we will inform the foundation pharmacist which date we are inviting them to sit the final assessment. We plan to give you enough time (6 weeks) between your portfolio outcome and the face to face assessment to prepare for your final assessment.

The two following dates are schedule for final assessments, and we advise current foundation pharmacists in assessment, to note these dates and ensure you are available if invited to attend.

  • 6 and 13 January 2021
  • 9 June 2021

Due to current government restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently holding assessments virtually online.

The format of the assessment will be the same as normal. 

Some foundation pharmacists may wish to defer their assessment to the next diet of assessments in autumn 2020 (details below).

Autumn 2020

  • portfolio assessments start 23 October 2020
  • final assessments 6 January 2021
  • final assessment resits 4 March 2021

Guidance for final assessments

Please see TURAS Learn pages and the Assessment Handbook

Paper based portfolios

After October 2020 we will be unable to accept paper based portfolios. If you need to discuss please contact a member of the team as email below. If you have questions please contact


The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Link to CPD recording page

Postgraduate Degree Course Funding




Last updated: Friday, November 13, 2020

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