Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists

Key Information

Programme Type

Short Course


26 Weeks Blended Learning (In Person and Online)


Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing



Next Start Date

September 2024

Course Overview

The University of Lincoln has been provisionally approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to offer this Independent Prescribing course for three years, with a monitoring event taking place after completion of the first cohort of students.

This short course enables experienced pharmacists to build on their existing knowledge as experts in medicines and acquire additional skills and competencies, particularly in relation to history taking and decision making. These additional skills can enable them to work collaboratively with their patients to establish or review a diagnosis and agree a plan for their clinical management, including prescribing where necessary and appropriate.

Revised standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists (IETP) were introduced in January 2021. These new standards require the skills and knowledge relating to independent prescribing to be taught and assessed within the initial training and education of pharmacists. Trainees will become independent prescribers at the point they register. However, the revised standards will only affect students graduating from the summer of 2026. There remains therefore, the need for pharmacists who qualified before that date to access postgraduate education via free-standing training courses accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to equip them for the prescribing role and enable them to become annotated as an Independent Prescriber (IP) with the GPhC.

Key Features

Enables experienced pharmacists to build on their existing knowledge

A free-standing training course provisionally approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Delivered through blended learning (in person and online)

Taught over 26 weeks (6 months)

A pharmacy dispensary scence

How You Study

This academic short course is taught over 26 weeks (6 months) with a blended approach taken to teaching and learning. Student prescribers will attend in person for 12 days of face-to-face teaching, including practical workshops, small group work, and interactive lectures. The remainder of the academic teaching activities will be online, to allow learners the opportunity for some flexibility in managing their studies, together with their home and work commitments.

How you are assessed

Students must be able to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes, as defined by the GPhC (2022a, pages 6-9), together with the prescribing competencies (Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2021) before you can qualify as a prescriber. In addition, you are expected to practice in accordance with your professional standards at all times.

Successful completion of this short course, defined as a pass mark in all of the elements within the assessment strategy, is mandatory before you can be awarded your Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing. Only then may you apply to the GPhC (or PSNI) to have your registration annotated on the professional register as an Independent Prescriber (IP).

Entry Requirements and Guidance Notes

The following entry requirements apply to all applicants:

  • Pharmacists applying to undertake this postgraduate module must be currently practising, appropriately qualified to degree level, and be registered and in good standing with either the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered.
  • Applicants must have relevant experience in a UK pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand, and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber. This experience and awareness will act as the basis of their prescribing practice whilst in training.

In order to evidence your relevant experience, the School of Pharmacy requests that you provide a copy of your current CV, together with a written statement (of no more than 800 words), summarising how your experiences within the roles or placements detailed within your CV have prepared you to undertake your training as a pharmacist independent prescriber. You must make reference to your patient-orientated/person-centred experience, clinical/therapeutic experience, and provide evidence of your continuing professional development (CPD).

In addition, you are also requested to provide a short reflection to demonstrate how your experiences have strengthened your understanding of the role of the prescriber and have supported how you recognise, understand, and articulate the skills and attributes of a prescriber.

  • For the purposes of developing their independent prescribing practice, you must identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base your learning.
  • You must nominate a Designated Prescribing Practitioner who is willing to provide supervision and assessment for a minimum of 90 hours of supervised learning in practice. Your designated prescribing practitioner must be a registered healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights, who is suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role and who has demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role. Although you may be supervised by more than one person, only one prescriber must be the designated prescribing practitioner. The designated prescribing practitioner is the person who will certify that successful pharmacists are competent to practise as independent prescribers.


Prospective applicants are advised to refer to the specific and detailed information within the School of Pharmacy's Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists guidance notes for applicants and Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs) prior to completing your application and the two written submissions in support of your application.

View Guidance Notes

There are mandatory requirements that your nominated DPP must evidence in order to demonstrate their suitability for this role, which relate to their clinical skills around patient assessment, diagnosis, independent prescribing experience and prescribing competency. They must also demonstrate experience in supervising and assessing healthcare practitioners. We therefore advise that you approach your nominated DPP early, so that they have the time necessary to fully engage with this process and provide the necessary information. Please do contact us if you or your nominated DPP would appreciate assistance or support with any aspect of the application process.

Please note that places offered on this short course are subject to all of the GPhC and University of Lincoln entry requirements detailed above being met. You will not be able to commence your short course if any of these requirements remain outstanding.

If you would like further information about this short course, please contact us by email in the first instance at This is our single point of contact, and will ensure that your message is forwarded to the most appropriate person to respond promptly to your enquiry.

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