Opening access to pharmacy training

Client challenge

This is an exciting time to be entering the pharmacy profession.  Training in both universities and industry is being reformed to deliver a workforce for the future.

As part of this, every pharmacy student will, for the first time, undertake clinical placements as an undergraduate – and Health Education England (HEE) is leading the reform of clinical training for pharmacists.

Our solution

An important part of this is to ensure that pharmacy education, training and professional development pathways are open to all potential students – fully meeting accessibility and equality standards.

So, we worked with HEE on a listening exercise to explore in detail what trainees themselves feel either encourage or present obstacles to professional training, with a particular focus on students from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and culturally diverse communities; those facing potential barriers through disabilities, sensory impairments or mental ill-health; LGBTQ+ trainees; those from disadvantaged backgrounds; people who began training as mature students.

The Verve team sought views from a diverse and representative range of pharmacy students and trainees – helping to ensure that the pharmacy education reforms are designed to be inclusive from the outset.

The outcome

We heard the experience of students from many different backgrounds which enabled the Programme team to think through potential barriers and make use of the rich insight and ideas of the students themselves.

And our published report made practical recommendations to help open opportunities to join the profession to all.

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