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Independent & Supplementary Prescribing for Pharmacists - HEA00085H

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Mike Kitching
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Professional requirements

Entrants who wish to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) as prescribers should have current registration as a practising Pharmacist with the GPhC.

Entrants who are not members of the GPhC may undertake the taught components of the programme but may not undertake the period of supervised practice or be accredited as an Independent and Supplementary Prescriber.

Entrants should:

  • Be capable of level 6 study;
  • Have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their preregistration year.
  • Have written endorsement, from the employing and/or sponsoring organisation that an area of clinical practice and need has been identified for the development of prescribing skills and the entrant has up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to reflect on their own performance, take responsibility for their CPD and how they will develop support networks for the CPD of prescribing practice.
  • Have identified a Designated Medical Practitioner.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Spring Term 2019-20
B Spring Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

The module aims to enable registered Pharmacists to acquire the competencies for Independent prescribing.

Synopsis of Module:

  • Course content is based on the original Department of Health (2006) guidance and learning outcomes together with competency frameworks produced by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (2016).
  • There is an emphasis on the application of the principles of prescribing in practice.
  • The module is mapped to the learning outcomes published by the GPhC.

The course includes 12 x 7.5 hour days supervised learning in practice under the guidance of a Designated Medical Practitioner.

Achieving 80% attendance is a requirement of the programme and attendance is formally recorded at all teaching sessions. Satisfactory attendance will be verified by the Module Leader/ member of the programme team in the portfolio of evidence.

There will be a series of mandatory clinical skills teaching sessions for Pharmacists and attendance will be formally recorded. Non attendance at clinical skills teaching sessions will result in discontinuation from the programme. For individual Pharmacists the specific clinical skills required for safe practice in prescribing will be developed further in practice under the supervision of the Designated Medical Practitioner.

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes from the General Pharmaceutical Council

At the end of this programme the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the responsibility that the role of independent prescriber entails, be aware of their own limitations and work within the limits of their professional competence - knowing when and how to refer / consult / seek guidance from another member of the health care team.
  2. Develop an effective relationship and communication with patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the health care team.
  3. Describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness, take an accurate history and carry out a relevant clinical assessment where necessary.
  4. Use common diagnostic aids e.g. stethoscope, sphygmomanometer.
  5. Use diagnostic aids relevant to the condition(s) for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy.
  6. Apply clinical assessment skills to: inform a working diagnosis; formulate a treatment plan for the prescribing of one or more medicines, if appropriate; carry out a checking process to ensure patient safety; monitor response to therapy; review the working differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer; consult/seek guidance as appropriate.
  7. Demonstrate a shared approach to decision making by assessing patients' needs for medicines, taking account of their wishes and values and those of their carers when making prescribing decisions.
  8. Identify and assess sources of information, advice and decision support and demonstrate how they will use them in patient care taking into account evidence based practice and national/local guidelines where they exist.
  9. Recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice at individual, local and national levels.
  10. Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively.
  11. Work within a prescribing partnership.
  12. Maintain accurate, effective and timely records and ensure that other prescribers and health care staff are appropriately informed.
  13. Demonstrate an understanding of the public health issues related to medicines use.
  14. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing.
  15. Work within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice and personal development.
  16. Participate regularly in CPD and maintain a record of their CPD activity.

Academic and graduate skills

Academic supervision is an integral part of this module and formative feedback will be given to the student throughout the module, in accordance with university guidelines.

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  1. Detailed knowledge and a systematic understanding of prescribing theory and practice.
  2. The ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned to make sound judgements and safe prescribing decisions.
  3. The ability to evaluate evidence to support and inform prescribing decisions.
  4. The ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility in their role as a prescriber.
  5. The ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to patients and colleagues.
  6. The learning ability required to undertake further study.


Task Length % of module mark
Departmental - attendance requirement
N/A 0
N/A 60
Objective Structured Clinical Examination - HS Dpt
N/A 0
Practice hours
N/A 0
University - closed examination
Independent & Supplementary Prescribing for Pharmacists
1.5 hours 40
University - closed examination
N/A 0

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 60
Objective Structured Clinical Examination - HS Dpt
N/A 0
Practice hours
N/A 0
University - closed examination
Independent & Supplementary Prescribing for Pharmacists
1.5 hours 40
University - closed examination
N/A 0

Module feedback

OSCE: Written feedback on a proforma specially developed for the OSCE will be provided within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Unseen exam: Cohort feedback will be provided in line with Departmental policy for closed examinations. Students may request to view their marked closed examination script. The application and a flowchart of the request process is available at

Portfolio of evidence: Written feedback will be provided within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Courtenay, M. & Griffiths, M. (2010). Independent and Supplementary Prescribing: An Essential Guide. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • The General Pharmaceutical Council (2017). Standards for pharmacy professionals. London: General Pharmaceutical Council.
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society (2016) A competency framework for all prescribers. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

For further resources please refer to the EARL Resource List

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

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