Modernising pharmacy careers programme board

Modernising Pharmacy Careers (MPC) is a complex programme designed to ensure the pharmacy workforce has the knowledge, skills and capacity to deliver the services of the future for patients and the public. The scope of the programme includes career pathways for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and dispensing assistants, and it will explore how these arrangements support and contribute to improvements in quality of care, public health, and pharmacy workforce planning.

The mechanism for taking this work forward is through the MPC Programme Board, which provides advice to Medical Education England (MEE) and the Department of Health (DH), on pharmacy education, training and national workforce planning.

The MPC Programme Board is working with all relevant stakeholders to facilitate and deliver changes to pharmacy education, training and workforce planning including:

  • Enabling the registered pharmacy workforce to acquire the additional skills needed to deliver a wider range of clinical services
  • Building on current arrangements for advanced pharmacy practice
  • Determining and facilitating changes in the training of key pharmacy support staff to improve pharmacy skills mix  - making the best use of all those working in pharmacy

The development and implementation of a new approach to pharmacist undergraduate education and pre-registration training.

The MPC programme is informed by and influenced by wider healthcare initiatives and policies including:

  • NHS Constitution
  • Leadership and Quality Framework
  • Life Sciences Blueprint from Office for Life Science
  • DH Professional Standards Work Programme
  • New pharmacy regulator

The MPC programme is focussing on action to deliver its objectives in two major work areas:

Work Stream I – Education and Training (Pre-Qualification)
Work Stream II – Developing Pharmacy Careers (Post Qualification)

A third work stream includes crosscutting projects such as workforce planning, new ways of working and the use of new technologies.

The first significant project for MPC was a review of current pharmacist undergraduate education and pre-registration training to assess its content and continuing relevance and to identify options for change. MPC submitted proposals for reform of pharmacist pre-registration education and training as independent advice to the Secretary of State for Health in June 2011. Officials from the Department of Health (DH) and Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) are currently establishing the affordability of the MPC proposals and considering the sustainability of any future funding framework and their findings are expected early next year.

MPC has recently carried out a review to find out how the careers of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians develop once they have registered. The review considered if existing training provision and structures for pharmacy professionals could be improved so that patients, the public and the NHS can benefit more completely from the unique contribution that the pharmacy workforce makes to health, well being, patient safety and public health. You can view the findings of this review here.

Further information is available by emailing MPCProgramme@dh.gsi.gov.uk or please see our

frequently asked questions

Programme board membership

Programme board membership

Programme board meeting dates

Programme board meeting dates