Kickstart your professional development in 2016

Jonathan Burton - SPB Vice-Chair and SPB Lead for Foundation ProgrammeBy Jonathan Burton  MFRPSII MRPharmS, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board.

2015 has been a year of real progress for the RPS professional development programmes in Scotland. Our Local Practice Forums across the country have held several workshop events to inform members about both the Foundation framework and Faculty portfolio building & submission. Our Scottish National Seminar in August saw packed conference rooms full of pharmacists learning from colleagues with first-hand experience of using the programmes and/or becoming Faculty members and Fellows.

The RPS Foundation programme, ideal for newly/recently qualified pharmacists but also those looking to return to practice, move sectors or simply benchmark their existing practice, now has a full online offering. As well as being able to complete the self-assessment framework online, RPS members can now access loads more tools including tutor assessments, ideal if you’d like help from a colleague to give you feedback. Some employers are now starting to integrate the Foundation framework into their early years pharmacist training & development schemes.

There are now several RPS Foundation champion pharmacists in Scotland who can provide advice & encouragement to those wanting to use the Foundation framework to help guide & develop their practice. Your local LPF or the RPS office in Edinburgh can help put you in touch.

The RPS Faculty continues to grow its membership steadily and interest from pharmacists across all sectors in Scotland this year has been fantastic. With Prescription for Excellence driving developments in pharmacy practice across community, hospital, primary care and GP practice based settings it’s arguably more important than ever to be continually striving to improve, develop & record your practice. The Faculty also enables you to gather testimonials from respected colleagues (including other health professionals), have your professional portfolio independently assessed and also receive a bespoke Professional Development Plan.

Pharmacists who’ve been qualified for between 2 and 10 years can now also submit portfolios for assessment and undergo an expert practice assessment. We would love to see more practitioners in this bracket, building & submitting Faculty portfolios, and as our national seminar showed, there are a great many experienced pharmacists willing to mentor and advise colleagues on how to navigate the process. If your New Year’s resolution is to kickstart your career, then the Faculty and Foundation programmes are a perfect place to start.

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