The Foundation Programme (FP) is designed to help all pharmacists working in a patient-facing role in Northern Ireland to acquire the practical knowledge and skills necessary for them to deliver safe and effective pharmaceutical care to individual patients.
The Foundation Programme focuses on experiential learning in the workplace and will normally take approximately 18-20 months to complete. During the programme FP pharmacists have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and experience in three core practice areas, plus one additional optional area relevant to their area of practice:
- Dispensary services
- Medicines optimisation
- Evidence based practice
- Technical services (hospital)
- Public health (community / primary care)
Each practice area has a specified set of competencies and practice activities which are used to plan, conduct and evaluate the pharmacist’s in-practice training. During their in-practice training, FP pharmacists will be supported by an Educational Supervisor (ES). Educational Supervisors may be assisted by workplace Practice Supervisors (PS) with specialist knowledge of each practice area.
In order to successfully complete the Foundation Programme, pharmacists must submit their FP portfolio of evidence, developed during their in-practice training, to NICPLD for verification. FP pharmacists must also undertake a final interview assessment. Details of the FP assessment process can be found in the FP handbook. On successful completion of both parts of the assessment process (portfolio and interview), FP pharmacists will be issued with a Certificate of Completion.
Whilst the Foundation Programme is non-award bearing, hospital pharmacists successfully completing it will be eligible to enrol with QUB directly on to the Diploma stage of the MSc in Advanced Pharmacy Practice programme.