PMMPIP-Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists

Module Provider: Pharmacy
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Applicants must be registered as pharmacists with GPhC or PSNI and meet GPhC entry criteria
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mrs Sue Slade


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module enables pharmacists to practise and develop as prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which will enable them to apply for annotation to the register to practise as independent prescribers.

The module can be studied stand-alone as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists, as part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Foundation Pharmacy Practice, or as part of the MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice.  Practitioners will be supported to reflect on their experiences by developing a professional portfolio of their learning which is mapped to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Competency Framework for all Prescribers.


To enable pharmacists to practise as independent and supplementary prescribers.  To meet the requirements of the GPhC for annotation as an independent prescriber on the professional register.  To demonstrate critical appraisal skills commensurate with Master’s level study.

Assessable learning outcomes:

The learning outcomes for independent prescribing programmes are set by the General Pharmaceutical Society:


Students should be able to:

  1. understand the responsibility that the role of independent prescriber entails, be aware of their own limitations and work within the limits of their professional competence – knowing when and how to refer / consult / seek guidance from another member of the health care team

  2. develop an effective relationship and communication with patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the health care team

  3. describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness, take an accurate history and carry out a relevant clinical assessment

  4. use common diagnostic aids e.g. stethoscope, sphygmomanometer

  5. use diagnostic aids relevant to the condition(s) for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy

  6. apply clinical assessment skills to:

    1. inform a working diagnosis

    2. formulate a treatment plan

    3. the prescribing of one or more medicines if appropriate

    4. carry out a checking process to ensure patient safety

    5. monitor response to therapy, review the working/differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer

    6. consult / seek guidance as appropriate

  7. demonstrate a shared approach to decision making by assessing patients’ needs for medicines, taking account of their wishes and values and those of their carers when making prescribing decisions

  8. identify and assess sources of information, advice and decision support and demonstrate how they will use them in patient care taking into account evidence-based practice and national/local guidelines where they exist.

  9. recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice at individual, local and national levels

  10. prescribe, safely, appropriately and cost effectively

  11. work within a prescribing partnership

  12. maintain accurate, effective and timely records and ensure that other prescribers and health care staff are appropriately informed

  13. demonstrate an understanding of the public health issues related to medicines use

  14. demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing

  15. work within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice and personal development

  16. participate regularly in CPD and maintain a record of their CPD activity

Additional outcomes:

To gain the level 7 qualification practitioners will need to demonstrate Master’s level critical appraisal during their studies, including the implications to their own practice.

Outline content:

This module will focus on supporting practitioners to apply a range of clinical and scientific knowledge to develop as autonomous practitioners.  The content will also include consultation skills, clinical decision making, influence on (and the psychology of) prescribing, prescribing in a team context, evidence-based practice, clinical governance, legal and ethical aspects to prescribing, professional aspects to prescribing, public health and an introduction to physical assessment skills.


Workplace-based learning will focus on the practitioner’s individual scope of practice, applying the taught content to their own context and patient population.

Global context:

As an accredited programme this module can only be offered to UK practising pharmacists who meet the entry criteria.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module will use a range of teaching and learning methods.  The University teaching is based around face to face workshops using a mixture of presentations, problem-based learning and case-based learning, facilitated by the programme team, specialists and other healthcare professionals.  The workshops are underpinned by directed learning via Blackboard and self-directed learning where practitioners are required to use a range of sources to gain information to support the development their knowledge and skills.


A minimum of 90 hours of supervised workplace-based learning is required where practitioners will undertake activities to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours.  This will be guided by the professional portfolio of learning.


This module is usually studied over six months, and there may be more than one cohort per year, therefore the distinction of hours by term is not possible.  The hours shown for autumn term below are spread over the entire module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 70
Tutorials 1
Practicals classes and workshops 14
Work-based learning 90
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 112
    Wider reading (directed) 98
    Exam revision/preparation 10
    Preparation for presentations 7
    Preparation for seminars 21
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 30
    Revision and preparation 42
    Essay preparation 70
    Reflection 35
Total hours by term 600 0 0
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

  1. 2 hour written examination paper

    • Short answer and multiple-choice questions

    • Long answer question

  2. Practical skills assessment: 1 hour Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

    • Extended patient scenario station

    • Scope of practice viva

    • Prescription writing exercise

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

During module:

  1. In-class test: 30 minute numeracy exam


End of module:

  1. Professional portfolio of learning

    • Portfolio contents review

Formative assessment methods:

  1. Workplace-based assessments during workplace-based learning

  2. Feedback on workplace-based learning from supervisors

  3. Oral presentation to peers

  4. Feedback from programme team during workshops

  5. Mock numeracy exam papers

  6. Mock OSCE station

  7. Mock prescription writing exercise

  8. Mock final exam papers

  9. Optional formative feedback on draft portfolio contents (clinical management plan, practice placement profile, reflective account, case study)

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

All elements of assessment must be passed; there is no compensation between elements.  This is a requirement of the General Pharmaceutical Council.

  1. The numeracy exam must be passed at 100%

  2. The written exam: a mark of at least 80% in short answer and multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and at least 50% for the long answer question.

  3. Each OSCE station must be passed at 50% with all essential criteria met

  4. The professional portfolio of learning must be passed at 50% and contain all mandatory content

  5. The portfolio must contain a statement of competence and completion signed by the Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP)

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment for the numeracy exam will be arranged prior to the final assessments.  An exceptional third attempt is permitted for the numeracy exam.


Reassessment for the final assessments will usually be arranged with the next cohort, within a three to four-month period.  Individualised timings may be required depending on the specific requirements for reassessment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Printing and binding: Students can submit most of their portfolio online.  Currently library costs for printing are 5p a sheet for black and white. A simple ring binder can be purchased from stationers for around £3.

Last updated: 27 August 2019


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