Independent Prescribing

The Supplementary Prescribing Course for pharmacists began in 2003 and when legislation changed in 2006 to enable independent pharmacy prescribing, the course was revised and is now known as the Independent Prescribing Course. Students who successfully complete the course are qualified as supplementary and independent prescribers.

This course (Post Graduate Certificate level) is divided into four modules and runs over a nine-month period. It includes 90 hours learning in practice, the purpose of which is to enable the student to transfer their learning from the theory element of the course and to develop and practise clinical examination skills relevant to the condition(s) for which they intend to prescribe. The pharmacist may complete their learning in practice at any point during the nine-month period.

Prior to 2022, to be eligible for acceptance onto the course, pharmacists must have been practising for at least two years post registration and, in addition, must complete the:

  • Confirmation of Eligibility form - To ensure that the most suitable pharmacists apply for and are accepted onto the course.
  • Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) agreement- When you have identified a suitable DPP, both you and the DPP must sign the agreement.
  • Learning Agreement – this must be signed by you, your DPP, your employer and by NICPLD.

Please note that the course takes place once per year and that all places on the course which will begin in August 2022 (Cohort 16) have been allocated. The next Cohort (Cohort 17) will start at the end of August 2023.

**NICPLD are now approved to use non-medical DPPs, as well as medical-DPPs, from Cohort 17 onwards and the updated application forms will reflect this. In addition to this, since October 2022, the rules for entry onto all Independent Prescribing courses have changed, including allowing pharmacists less than two years qualified to apply. However, all Independent Prescribing Course Providers (like NICPLD) must now apply to the GPhC to amend their application process on the basis of this latest change. NICPLD are submitting a request to change our application process with the aim of having our new application forms uploaded onto the NICPLD website mid- January 2023 (depending on turnaround of GPhC approval). Therefore, do not use the forms below (we have just left these available as a rough guide). If approval is granted before the end of December 2022, we are aiming to accept completed IP applications (using new forms) from Monday 16 January 2023 with a closing date of Monday 6 March 2023. Updated information and application forms will be posted here in due course. **

The following resources provide an overview of the independent prescribing programme and outlines the responsibilities of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP). These resources may be useful in helping a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) decide whether or not to mentor a pharmacist through the programme.

General Form
Information for prospective DPPs

The Role of a DMPOnline course:

Whilst this course is primarily intended for DPPs after they accept the role of mentorship, the course provides a good overview of the responsibilities of a DPP and therefore may be useful when deciding whether to undertake such a role.

Click to download the three application forms and guidance on how to complete the COE form:

Application Forms
COE form
Guidance on COE form
DPP agreement
Learning agreement

Last updated: 23rd July 2019