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Applying to Register as a Trainee

Information on Pre-registration training in Northern Ireland is available in the Standards for Pre-registration Training.

All applicants must hold a degree in pharmacy, obtained in a UK-based University which is recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society NI or the General Pharmaceutical Council.  All applicants must produce written evidence of having been awarded a degree in pharmacy before any period of pre-registration training can commence.

Not all universities provide this information to the Pharmaceutical Society NI unless you request it (only QUB and UU provide confirmation).  

It is the applicants responsibility to ensure that we have this written evidence before you begin your training; otherwise we will be unable to recognise your start date.

Pre-registration trainees must organise their own training placement where there is a suitably qualified pre-registration tutor in registered premises.  (See ‘Useful Contacts‘).

Only those premises registered for pre-registration training can accept a pre-registration trainee.

Pre-registration Training Application 2020-21 and Information

To simplify the process of students applying to join the Northern Ireland pre-registration training programme, the Pharmaceutical Society NI is introducing an online application process. This will make the application process easier for students, tutors and employers alike.

Further updates will follow.


The online application portal will open Monday 6 April 2020 and close Friday 15 May 2020.

Training dates

For the 2020-21 intake, pre-registration training may only start between 06 July 2020 and 14 September 2020.  If training starts before this date it will not count toward the 52 week total.


Subject to fulfilling all requirements for registration as a pharmacist, including completing all compulsory components of training and passing the Registration Assessment, the earliest date that you will be able to register as a pharmacist on receiving your results is detailed below:

  • Sitting the Summer Assessment – 23 July 2021
  • Sitting the Autumn Assessment – 29 October 2021

The deadline to start approved training in time to sit the Summer Assessment is 01 August 2020.

Trainees and employers should agree a suitable start date to training taking account of dates published above.

An applicant should NOT start training until they have written confirmation from the Pharmaceutical Society that their application has been accepted.



The Pharmaceutical Society NI require a solicitor’s certified photocopy of your original birth certificate (this will not be returned), see below:

A copy of the certificate can be certified as a true copy by either a notary* or a solicitor, a list of solicitors in Northern Ireland who are ‘Notaries Public‘ can be found on the Law Society of Northern Irelands website using the link below:

Where a certified copy of a document is provided this must be certified as a true copy of the original.  The certified copy must also be signed and dated and have the official solicitors stamp giving details of the name and address of the solicitor certifying the documentation.

*Under the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, all solicitors are commissioners for oaths, which mean that they can witness official documents other than those prepared by themselves or their opponents in a case.  A notary public is an officer who can administer oaths and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate documents, and perform certain other acts depending on the jurisdiction.

Please note the Pharmaceutical Society NI cannot accept/hold original birth certificates.

Information for EEA students

If you are from an EEA country and have obtained your MPharm in a UK based university you are eligible to join the programme.

Information for International Students

As part of the application process you are required to submit a certified copy of your birth certificate, if this states a country outside the EEA the Pharmaceutical Society NI will require clarification as to your status as an EU resident and your right to work.

You will be required to submit your original passport/Biometric Residents Permit or a certified copy (certified by a solicitor or a notary public).

Tier 2 (General)

If you wish to undertake pre-registration training under the Tier 2 visa sponsorship, as the regulator, the Pharmaceutical Society NI will require clarification as to your status as an EU resident as a visa will be required.  This is your responsibility and an employer will seek proof of your right to work in the UK , your employer will need to be in receipt of a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’, see link below:

As part of the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements students undertaking a pre-registration placement must meet their essential criteria, including a minimum salary including a minimum salary cap (for further details on salary caps, refer to the link ).

Some student visas will allow you to work for a certain number of months after graduating.  It may be possible to start you pre-registration training on your student visa, if the visa allows this. If you can begin training on your student visa please ensure that you apply for your Tier 2 visa in plenty of time.

If your VISA is not appropriate for you to work in Northern Ireland you will not be able to join the pre-registration programme.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa

Information relating about the Tier 5 youth mobility visa is available using this link Eligibility requirements can be accessed using this link

Birth Certificate

It is necessary to submit a certified true copy of your birth certificate, certified by a UK solicitor or notary public.

If this documentation is not in English, an applicant is required to provide a certified translation in English as well as a certified copy of the original. The following requirements must be met:

  • The translation must be completed by an authorised translator;
  • It must be a literal translation – not an interpretation of the original document;
  • All certification and ink stamps on the original document must also be translated;
  • The translator must put their business stamp on each document translated, sign and date the statement “this is a true and accurate translation” and attach the translation to the original language document or provide a list of the documents translated.

Passport/Visa (BRP)

The Pharmaceutical Society NI will also require you to submit your original passport and visa (BRP) for verification (this will be returned to you by special delivery within 5 working days).

Alternatively, if you do not wish to post any of these original documents you can submit a solicitor’s certified copies.

Here is a link to the UKVI which will provide you with more information.

Please note that the Pharmaceutical Society NI cannot accept scanned documents.

Employer Information

Any pharmacist who wishes to employ a pre-registration trainee must ensure their premises are registered for this purpose.  This process is now completed on an annual basis and is included in your Trainees application form (see Page 11 of the Pre-registration application form).

Trainees must have access to the current editions of the specified reference sources.

The Standards for Pre-registration Training contains information regarding pre-registration training requirements of employers.

Tutor Information

For a pharmacist to act as a pre-registration tutor he/she (i) must have been in practice in the aspect of pharmacy with which the particular establishment is concerned for a minimum of three years and (ii) must have attended a recognised tutor training course.

A pharmacist who has completed the tutor training course must attend a further up-date course every five years.

The Standards for Pre-registration Training contains information regarding pre-registration training requirements of tutors.