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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

The training year for 2021-22 will begin on 01 July 2021, meaning that applicants can therefore start their training on this date, subject to a successful application and confirmation from the Pharmaceutical Society NI.

NB Training may only start between 01 July 2021* and 06 September 2021

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

The following information is for all applicants, Educational Supervisors and interested parties and outlines how the application process for foundation training in 2021-22 will work.

Application Process – Key Steps to Follow

We have designed the process to ensure that applicants and Educational Supervisors 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 Friday 07 May 2021.

Applicants, Educational Supervisors 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 Foundation Trainee of the Pharmaceutical Society NI

  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 Educational Supervisor(s) 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 Educational Supervisor(s).
  4. The employer Educational Supervisor(s) 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. Educational Supervisors 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 Educational Supervisor(s), 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 will be given instructions on how to make payment.
  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 foundation training during COVID-19

Pharmacy students should make an informed decision about their health when deciding to enter 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 training programme. All trainees must follow the latest Government advice and follow the correct social distancing measures.


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 Educational Supervisors 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.  

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


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 ( 

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:

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.