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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 MPharm degree/OSPAP from a UK-based University 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

The Pharmaceutical Society NI has been reviewing all its activities in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as part of this work we have reviewed the publicised plans for applying to register as a trainee pharmacist in 2020-21.

In light of this review, it has been decided that the most pragmatic and fairest approach to the 2020-21 application process, is to make appropriate adjustments to the current procedure; making it as simple as possible whilst ensuring it remains robust for applicants, tutors and training organisations, under the current circumstances.

It has also been decided that the training year for 2020-21 will begin on 01 July 2020, meaning that applicants can therefore start their pre-registration training on this date, subject to successful application and confirmation from the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

NB Pre-registration training may only start between 01 July 2020* and 14 September 2020

*If training starts before this date it will not count towards the 52 week total.

The following information is for all applicants, tutors and interested parties and outlines how the application process for pre-registration training in 2020-21 will work.

General Approach

We have designed the process to ensure that applicants and tutors can complete the application form remotely, without having to physically meet or exchange hard copies of documents, which we know is difficult at this time. The closing date for the submission of application forms is 29 May 2020.

Applicants, tutors and employers should follow the steps outlined below:

  1. The applicant should Download the fillable PDF form from the Pharmaceutical Society NI’s website read it carefully and follow the detailed instructions therein:

Application to register as a Pre-registration Trainee of the Pharmaceutical Society NI 2020-21

  1. The PDF form must be opened in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to allow completion.
  2. The applicant should complete the application form using the Sign icon in the tool bar or by using the Fill & Sign option on the right-hand pane.
  3. Applicants should complete pages 1-3 of the application form; the applicant should then save a copy and send it to their prospective tutor via email only. Applicants should not complete the sections of the application form relating to health and fitness to practise declarations prior to sending the form to their prospective tutors.
  4. The employer and tutor should open the form in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader and complete the sections of the form relevant to them and send the form back to the applicant via email only.
  5. Tutors should note that the application form should be signed by electronic signature only. Instructions on how to make an electronic signature can be found here:
  1. Upon receipt of the form from their tutor, the applicant should complete the remaining sections of the application form, check the application form carefully, ensuring all relevant sections are fully complete.
  2. The applicant should note that the application form should be signed by electronic signature only. Instructions on how to make an electronic signature can be found here:
  1. The applicant should email the completed application form to, with all the required supporting documents as attachments to the form.
  2. The Pharmaceutical Society NI will confirm receipt of your application form, at this stage you should make payment. To do so please contact the office on 02890326927 and select option 4. A member of our Finance Team will take payment over the phone by debit card only.
  3. Once confirmation of payment has been received your application will be processed. Processing the application will take between 2-3 weeks, at which point the Pharmaceutical Society NI will contact you via email.

Important Health Message

Decision to enter -pre-registration training during Covid-19

Pharmacy students should make an informed decision about their health when deciding to enter pre-registration training during this period.  Students should understand the risks to their personal health. If you have an underlying health condition, which may place you at greater risk of severe illness, if you were to catch Covid-19, you should seek medical advice in relation to joining the pre-registration training programme. All pre-registration trainees must follow the latest Government advice and follow the correct social distancing measures.

Pre-registration trainee induction

We will correspond with all successful applicants about our approach to induction to the pre-registration programme for 2020-21. Whilst our approach will be dictated by the latest Government advice, we are currently preparing to carryout induction remotely.

Pre-registration training and tutors

We recognise that this is an extremely pressurised time for tutors and we greatly appreciate the commitment and support tutors are providing to the pre-registration programme and the profession. We acknowledge that there is ongoing uncertainty about how the current cohort of trainees will finish their pre-registration training. We will be providing an update on this situation soon. At this point, we would ask tutors and employers to complete the application forms with start dates as normal for the 2020-21 intake.

Tutor Accreditation

As we were unable to hold our April tutor accreditation event due to covid-19, we will be contacting those pharmacists who were registered to attend with details about our plans to complete their accreditation. In the meantime, we ask those pharmacists that have been planning to act as a pre-registration tutor for 2020-21 and have been unable to attain tutor accreditation, to continue with plans to take on a trainee on dates agreed. Plans will be put in place to allow tutor accreditation to be completed for all relevant pharmacists prior to 01 July 2020.


Because our offices are closed and we are working remotely, you may experience delays in responses to enquiries. Before contacting us with any queries we request that all applicants and tutors carefully read the instructions provided above, the more detailed instructions contained in the application form and attempt to complete the process. At this point if you are experiencing difficulties, please contact The responsibility for completing the application form remains that of the applicant.  

Thank you for your co-operation

Pharmacists, tutors and trainees have shown exceptional adaptability during this difficult period and we thank you for this. We have endeavoured to make the revised application process as easy and fair as possible for all involved, under the current circumstances and we appreciate your ongoing co-operation and support.

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

Eligibility to sit the Common Registration Assessment in 2021

Candidates intending to sit the Common Registration Assessment will only be eligible when they have completed a minimum of 45 weeks training and have satisfactorily achieved 39 weeks in training as confirmed by their tutor.

It is anticipated that the Summer and Autumn Registration Assessments will occur during week commencing 21 June 2021 and 27 September 2021 respectively.

Trainees and employers should agree a suitable training start date taking into account the dates above.

Supporting Documents


The Pharmaceutical Society NI require the following supporting documents:

•  A copy of your original birth certificate*
•  A copy of you proof of identity document – one of the following will be accepted:

– Current UK/EEA full or provisional photocard driving licence
– Current valid passport – must show photograph and expiry date
– Electoral ID Card
– EEA Identity Card

•  Current passport type photograph (See Page 16 of application for requirements)
•  A copy of your degree certificate/OSPAP (if already in your possession)

*International students, please refer to ‘Information for International Students’ section below.

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 a copy of your current Visa/Biometric Residents Permit, this must show photograph and expiry date.

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 copy of your birth certificate.

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.

If you have any problems getting documents certified due to the current pandemic please contact Elaine Rafferty ( 

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.