Initial Education and Training and Preparation for Practice Research

The Project

Enventure Research was appointed by the General Pharmaceutical Company (GPhC) to undertake research with key stakeholders with the aim of exploring the extent to which initial education and training currently prepares pharmacists for practice, recent changes to pharmacist roles, the pace of change, and how initial education and training needs to change to reflect this.


The GPhC is the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in England, Wales and Scotland. Its remit is to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of members of the public by upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy. One of the principal functions of the GPhC is to set and promote standards for the initial education and training of the pharmacy team. With the widely accepted understanding that the role of the pharmacist is evolving (for example, with pharmacists working in different settings, developments in technology and increasing public health challenges), the GPhC is committed to revising the initial education and training standards for pharmacists, and has set this out as one of its key priorities in its 2017-20 Strategic Plan.



Research Methods

A mixed methodology approach to the research was taken, including both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The research sought to gather the views of key stakeholders, including recently registered pharmacists (registered between 2013 and 2017), employers/supervisors of recently registered pharmacists and those involved in shaping, directing or influencing pharmacy services, or pharmacy education and training (policy makers).


A questionnaire was designed by Enventure Research and the GPhC so that it could be completed by all stakeholder groups, with routing used to ensure that relevant questions were asked to each respondent. The survey was hosted online and personalised email invitations were sent to three GPhC databases covering the three target groups. Key topic areas covered included current learning outcomes, recent registrant preparedness for practice, differences between pharmacist roles and gaps in competency in the early years following registration. The survey was live from late November 2017 to mid January 2018, and 1,489 responses were received.


Following the online survey, a series of 32 in depth telephone interviews was facilitated by Enventure Research to gain further insight into the results. Interviewers followed specifically tailored interview guides in order to stimulate discussion and explore the reasons begin survey results in greater depth. Interviews took place over two weeks in January 2018, each lasting 25 minutes. Participants were recruited via the online survey, where respondents were able to express their interest in taking part in further research. A recruitment matrix was developed to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders took part in terms of stakeholder group, primary workplace setting, country and year of registration.



Results and Benefits to the Client

Upon completion of the research fieldwork, Enventure Research produced a final report which incorporated both the quantitative and qualitative results, provided clear key findings, and offered conclusions and recommendations. The key findings are to be presented to the GPhC, and the findings from the research will be used by the GPhC to inform its review of the initial education and training provided to pharmacists in Great Britain.



“We have recently worked with Enventure Research on a piece of research looking into pharmacists’ initial education and training and preparation for practice. Enventure have been excellent to work with, both professional and friendly in their approach. They kept us informed of progress throughout the project, managed all deadlines despite the tight timescales and were very responsive to any requests, changes or queries. The research was a very robust piece of work and provided us with a detailed report that clearly summarised the key findings as well providing the richness of the feedback from participants.” Jenny Clapham, Research and Insight Manager, General Pharmaceutical Council



To find out more about this, and other similar projects, please contact us – we would be happy to help!

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