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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Prescribing and clinical skills

Independent prescribing qualification and development of clinical, consultation and decision making skills underpin competence at the advanced stage of the pharmacist career journey.

Independent prescribing

NES Pharmacy supports Pharmacist Independent Prescribers (PIPs) during their training period and once registered as a pharmacist prescriber with the GPhC, implementation of their training into practice.

Robert Gordon University and University of Strathclyde run independent prescribing (IP) certificate courses twice a year. The universities provide information on criteria for application and course dates.

Pharmacists who practise in Scotland can apply to NES Pharmacy for funding to undertake these courses. Applications open in August for courses starting between January and September the following year and links to each course application form can be found here.

University Course Start Date Residential Week Application link
RGU Jan 2021 3-7th May 2021 IP 2122 RGU 1
RGU Sep 2021 10-14th Jan 2022 IP 2122 RGU 1
Strathclyde Mar 2021 31st May-4th Jun + 26-27th Aug 2021
IP 2122 SU1
Strathclyde Mar 2021 14th-18th Jun + 9th Sept 202
IP 2122 SU2
Strathclyde Jun 2021 30th Aug-3rd Sept + 9th Dec 2021 IP 2122 SU 3

Guidance videos on the independent prescribing course process can be viewed here.

Further resources when applying for the Independent Prescribing Course can be found at the TURAS Learn Independent Prescribing: Resources page. This includes information on Designated Prescribing Practitioners.

For those returning to Independent Prescribing Practice, guidance and resources for pharmacists who are PIPs, but have not been practising recently can be found on TURAS Learn Independent Prescribing : Resources page.

Clinical skills

NES organise and run courses to support pharmacist prescribers and those in training to develop appropriate clinical skills, at both core and advanced levels.

From 2021, pharmacists undertaking their Independent Prescribing (IP) certificate will be allocated a place on a five day clinical and consultation skills course spread over a period of 12 months as part of their IP course. Dundee Clinical Skills Centre co-ordinate these courses on our behalf. Courses run in

locations across the country- Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness and Lanarkshire in partnership with nursing and medical schools.

Clinical skills courses for prescriber ready pharmacists and General Practice Clinical Pharmacists are booked via TURAS Learn.

E-learning in preparation for clinical skills is available on TURAS Learn.

Consultation skills

Consultation skills courses will be organised and run by Dundee Clinical Skills Centre. Plans are in place for these to resume from Spring 2021.

Consultation skills resources are available on TURAS Learn. These include information and resources on conducting remote consultations.

Teach and treat

NES Pharmacy in collaboration with several Health Boards have developed Teach & treat centres to support qualified pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) working in primary care, who are not using their prescribing qualification. These multi-professional training programmes, led by experienced PIPs help develop appropriate clinical skills to deal with a specific patient caseload.


Last updated: 27/09/2020

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