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Applying to Register as a Trainee

Information on Foundation training in Northern Ireland is available in the Standards for Foundation Training Year.

This document sets out the Standards for foundation training in 2021/22 and reflects the previous requirements that existed when training was referred to as pre-registration training. Within the document, there are some minor changes to terminology; tutors are now called Educational Supervisors and, from 01 July 2021, any changes in training arrangements should be directed to NICPLD who will be responsible for the management and development of the Foundation Training Year and for providing support to trainees and Educational Supervisors.

Applicants must hold a MPharm degree/OSPAP from a UK-based University recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society NI or the General Pharmaceutical Council. The Pharmaceutical Society NI must have evidence that you have been awarded a degree from a recognised University before any period of training can commence. If you do not have your degree certificate at this stage, we will accept email confirmation from your university.

NB – QUB and UU provide this confirmation automatically. For applicants from all other GB universities, it is your responsibility to contact your university and ensure that we have this evidence before you start otherwise you will not be able to begin training.

Potential trainees must organise their own training placement where there is a suitably qualified Educational Supervisor in registered premises. 

Only those premises registered for foundation training can accept a trainee.

Application for Foundation Training 2021-22 and Information

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The deadline for submission of applications to join the NI Foundation Training Year closed on 07 May 2021.

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An applicant should NOT start training until they have:

  • written confirmation from the Pharmaceutical Society that their application has been accepted 
  • provided evidence of confirmation of MPharm award (directly from university)

Eligibility to sit the Common Registration Assessment in 2022

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 Educational Supervisor.

It is recommended that trainees and employers agree to the earliest start date of training possible to meet eligibility requirements.

Supporting Documents


***IMPORTANT NOTES REGARDING SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS – PLEASE READ ****

The Pharmaceutical Society NI require the following supporting documents:

•  A scanned copy of your original birth certificate
•  A scanned 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

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

Birth Certificate (if not in English)

It is necessary to submit a scanned copy of your original 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 (elaine.rafferty@psni.org.uk). 

Right to work

Employers must ensure that correct the right to work checks are completed before training begins and that appropriate visa arrangements will be in place for the duration of training if applicable. Further details can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration

Employer Information

Any pharmacist who wishes to employ a trainee must ensure their premises are registered for this purpose.  This process is now completed on an annual basis and is included in your trainee’s application form (Page 14).

The Standards for Foundation Training Year contains information regarding training requirements of employers.

Educational Supervisor Information

For a pharmacist to act as a Educational Supervisor 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 accreditation course.

A pharmacist who has completed the accreditation course must attend a further reaccreditation course every five years.

From 01 July 2021, all Tutors who have up to date accreditation with the Pharmaceutical Society NI will automatically become Educational Supervisors. The term ‘Educational Supervisor’ will be adopted nationally within the pharmacy profession and is used across the healthcare professions to refer to someone with mentoring responsibility.

Tutor/Educational Supervisor accreditation and re-accreditation for 2021/22

The Pharmaceutical Society NI will continue to operate the accreditation events for pharmacists wishing to supervise a trainee in 2021/2022. Pharmacists who wish to gain accreditation to act as an Educational Supervisor for the first time, or those who wish to renew their accreditation and who were last accredited in 2016, will need to attend an accreditation event in 2021. Further details about accreditation events will follow in the coming weeks. Those pharmacists who are currently accredited from 2017 onwards will not need to attend a re-accreditation event in 2021.

The Standards for Foundation Training Year contains information regarding training requirements of Educational Supervisors.