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Travel Health IP Support Programme 

Welcome to the Pharmacy in Practice independent prescriber support programme.

What’s the big idea?

Have you ever felt professionally vulnerable when extending your scope of practice as an independent prescriber? I know because I have been there. Pharmacists have been described as ‘procrastinating perfectionists’. This means we are known for being cautious and in general terms uncomfortable with risk. In particular, we don’t like dealing with situations where we need to make decisions where the answer is not immediately obvious. Some might say pharmacists thrive in the black and white but for our profession to progress we need to start working in the grey.

The overall aim of the Collaborative project between Pfizer, Pharmacy in Practice and The National Pharmacy Association is to develop a range of training and educational materials about providing treatments and vaccination services to patients. The collaborative would like to optimise best practices within community pharmacies and therefore bring benefits to patients and pharmacy consumers, in accordance with national guidelines. The role of the Pilot group is to market-test the outputs and advance service development in their practice.

You can read about the wider collaborative working project by clicking here.

IP support programme objectives and benefits

This programme has several broader objectives but primarily it is aimed at assessing your competence as a prescriber in a given clinical area using a recognised subject expert. In essence, we are seeking to benchmark your competence, give you feedback and offer suggestions on how you may wish to develop your practice in future.

Other benefits include;

  • This process creates a contemporaneous record of your competence at the time of completion.
  • Going through the process will illuminate clinical areas where you are excelling but also where you require support or future development.
  • External assessment of your competence.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know. The process will help to guard against the problem of unconscious incompetence.
  • You will benefit by being able to have a peer discussion with a subject expert.
  • We will benchmark you against other pharmacist-independent prescribers.
  • This process can act as your revalidation record for this year.

What is the process and how much time will it take?

Step 1

(1 hour)

We need to know a little bit about you, your current practice in this area and how you would assess your own competence and scope of practice. We know it is difficult to write reflective statements on to blank page so we have created a structured questionnaire.

Step 2

(30 minutes)

Examination. The bad news is that any external assessment requires some form of examination. The good news is we don’t want you to do any preparation for this exam. We would rather you attempt this exam using your current knowledge to produce a true reflection of your current competence and clinical scope.

Step 3

(1 hour)

Viva interview. This element is a peer discussion with Johnathan and our subject expert. We will explore a range of scenarios with you and provide you with feedback on your practice to help develop yourself in the future.

Step 4

We will deliver a report articulating our assessment of your practice in this clinical area.

Community Pharmacy Travel Health Services

This pilot programme will focus on community pharmacy travel health services.

The current standards of practice of travel medicine vary between the main professions supplying this service. The Faculty of Travel Medicine at Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) provides a Good Practice Guide and a set of examined qualifications leading to Masters level. These qualifications are required for some professions to become specialists, but these are not mandatory for regulation to practice.

With the ongoing evolution of community pharmacy services into the private medical sector there is an increasing need for both public protection and professional regulation of such services as travel medicine. The profession has 2 main routes of supply of medicines for travel, these being supply against a PGD or prescribed as an independent prescriber (IP) specialising in that field.

With more IPs wanting to expand their prescribing skills then there becomes a requirement for them to demonstrate their competency to practice and also demonstrate this to insurers, and professional regulators and inspection bodies. This requirement can be delivered by micro-credentialing for pharmacists to identify their competency.

Competency within the pharmacy frequently is self-assessed for the supply of NHS-contracted services. In this contract, the NHS performs the watchdog role of assessment of practitioners competency and delivery of training which is an attendance and non-tested(examined) course. Within the private sector there is no such watch-dog role except when a complaint or serious clinical error is reported to the regulating body or coroner.

To reduce the degree of risk to patients (travellers) and also protect the standard of advice there is a need to review the assessment of the competency of a practitioner against the level of complexity identified within a travel risk assessment.

Our programme will support you to explore your current levels of competence and help to identify future areas for development. Pharmacist independent prescribers of any level of competence can join this programme. We aim to encourage progression in your prescribing journey by assessing your current levels of competence.


Please complete the registration form below. We will then shortly be in touch to invite you to a brief online meeting with other students where we will introduce you to the programme and also to our subject expert.

Membership Instructor

Education in Practice Education in Practice Author

Travel Health IP Support Programme