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PRPS Updates for COVID-19

This will be updated with COVID-19 information and guidance relevant to PRPS as we receive it

General Information 

Health Protection Scotland has published a range of resources and information for practitioners on the COVID-19 response.  Always check the HPS website to ensure that any guidance you are using is the latest version. Further guidance is available on the NHS Inform site 

Statement from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) on GPhC Provisional Registration of 2019-20 Pre- registration Pharmacists – 22nd May 2020

Professor Anne Watson, NES Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean:

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) recognise the multiple concerns for trainees, tutors and employers over pre-registration pharmacist training for 2019-20 caused by the impacts of COVID-19 and resulting delays to the GPhC registration assessments planned for 2020.

On the 21st May 2020 the GPhC released the criteria for pharmacist provisional registration for the 2019-20 cohort of trainees which was agreed by their council. The policy sets out the criteria that the current 2019-20 pre-registration pharmacist trainees will have to meet to be eligible to join the pharmacist register on a provisional basis. It also outlines requirements that employers must put in place to support provisionally registered pharmacists and to protect patient safety. The full policy can be found here - GPhC link .

NES welcomes the GPhC policy for provisional registration and looks forward to the publication of the additional standards and information which will support this policy. Our Pharmacy team have been and continue to be involved in the GPhC virtual discussions in relation to pre-registration training and provisional registration and we are supportive of the key principles that are being used to help inform decision-making. We recognise the complexity of this issue and the careful consideration of the balance of the risks and benefits to ensure the protection of patient safety and quality of care.

NES will be working in collaboration with employers, tutors, trainees and the GPhC to explore the support required by provisional registrants in Scotland to meet the requirements of full registration.

We understand that pre-registration pharmacists and tutors will continue to have many queries. These questions and concerns are important to us and will continue to shape our ongoing guidance and support for trainees, provisionally registered pharmacists and tutors and we welcome any queries directed into our pharmacy team. We will continue to update our FAQs  FAQ link on a regular basis.

Our sincere thanks go out to all current pre-registration pharmacist trainees and tutors for their professionalism and flexibility during this time.   

Key Contacts for NES Pharmacy

Gail Craig, Principal Lead – PRPS –

Fiona Woodley, Principal Lead – PRPS –


Statement on pre-registration pharmacist training and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic 28/04/20

NES Pharmacy recognise that pre-registration trainees and their tutors have several questions regarding the impact on pre-registration pharmacist training and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the update from the GPhC on 27 April 2020 –

Our PRPS team are involved in the GPhC virtual discussions in relation to pre-registration training and we are supportive of the key principles that are being used to help inform their decision-making. We are using this opportunity to ensure the needs of our trainees, tutors and employers needs are being communicated and considered.

We are currently considering and exploring the support that we will be able to offer trainees, tutors and employers regarding the requirements for provisional registration, once these have been confirmed by the GPhC. We are also working on plans for further mock registration assessment support that we can offer to trainees once plans for the postponed sittings have been decided and communicated.

Trainees and tutors should continue to complete the GPhC week 39 progress report reviews where this is possible and practical. If any trainee or tutor would like to discuss any aspect of this review please get in touch with our team by e-mailing 

Joint statement from Health Education England, NHS Education for Scotland and Health Education and Improvement Wales regarding GPhC Registration Assessment postponement 27/03/20

The Statutory Education Bodies (SEB) for Scotland, England and Wales recognise the multiple concerns over pre-registration pharmacist training and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read this joint statement here. 

The following survey has been created in conjunction with our SEB colleagues to allow trainees and their tutors/supervisors or employers to share their general concerns and questions with us. This information will be used to help us create guidance and support on our FAQ page and to feed intany discussions concerning pre-reg training.  

Please contact if you have any specific queries.


Statement from Professor Anne Watson, NES Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean 25/03/20: 

As you will all be aware from the extensive media and social media coverage, we are now experiencing the impact of COVID-19 on our NHS Healthcare systems.  

NHS Education for Scotland (NES), including the Pharmacy Deanery, have been working extensively over the past few weeks to consider the impact on the education and training of our Pre-Registration Pharmacist Scheme (PRPS) trainees and to mitigate these where possible for you as our valued trainees. 

These are unprecedented times, however I wish to emphasise that we are working extremely closely with the other Statutory Education Bodies in GB (HEE and HEIW), the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and our NHS Healthcare providers to make the most appropriate decisions in face of this situation, and to ensure patient and trainee safety is not compromised. 

We will endeavour to keep you well informed over the coming weeks.  

  • You will have had circulated the position statement from the 3 Statutory Education Bodies in collaboration with the GPhC regarding guiding principles should we need to trainees to adjust training plans to support areas of clinical need. This statement is linked here.  

  • Many of you will have questions about cancelled tutorials, events and the Registration assessment.  

  • You may also be wondering what will happen with recruitment and progression through training. These are all areas NES is considering in detail. 

  • We have agreed that trainees should not be out of pocket by virtue of cancellation of training events This will be reimbursed in line with normal expense policy, unless expenses are expected to be reimbursed by the provider. Trainees should not book any travel for the foreseeable future. 

It is recognised that COVID-19 could impact on anticipated learning and trainee progression but we are determined to ensure the longer-term needs of pharmacists in training are not compromised. 

We recognise that many of you will have questions and queries. Hopefully, some of these may be addressed by your Practice Education Co-ordinator or tutor, but we have established a page of FAQ’s to assist and you can email us directly too. NES will continue to review the evolving situation on a daily basis and will provide further updates as required. 

May I take this opportunity, on behalf of all those involved in postgraduate pharmacy education & training in Scotland, to remind you that you are all highly skilled, very able individuals and will make a massive contribution to delivering the required healthcare to our population over the coming weeks and months. Please remember to follow the advice and guidance from Health Protection Scotland and do look after yourselves and those working with you. 


 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The FAQ section is now live and was last updated 10th July 2020. We ask that you check this to see if your question is answered first. If you cannot find the answer here then please send all queries through to and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible. Any daily updates to the FAQs page will be highlighted in Italics.


Useful Links and Documents

GPhC Website Updates for COVID-19:  

GPhC Key Dates for Pre-Registration Training:

Community Pharmacy Scotland Website:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Website:

Pharmacist Support:

Helpline Enquiry numbers for Pharmacist Support – 0808 168 5133 or 0808 168 2233

The British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association 

NES Learn page for psychosocial support and wellbeing resources 


Free helpline for people without symptoms but who are looking for general information in relation to the coronavirus - 0800 028 2816

 A dedicated coronavirus mental wellbeing section has also been created within NHS inform

National Wellbeing hub for health and social care

Scottish Government website – PPE Guidance