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How to Become an Independent Prescribing Pharmacist

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How to Become an Independent Prescribing Pharmacist

As I’m sure you are all aware, there’s a huge push from the government to promote more young pharmacists to complete their IP course. The Health Education England published in November 2021 that there would be approximately £15.9 million invested into multiple professional development programmes in the UK. Which of course means that the pressure for young newly qualified Pharmacist to be an independent prescriber.

The criteria to now become an IP pharmacist is now lower than ever, so were here to make the process a little easier through giving you the information you need. Including every IP course provider in the UK for you to easily access.

How do I become an Independent Prescriber?

In order to become an independent prescriber, you will need to complete a course that has been accredited by the GPhC.

With any option that you choose, you'll need to complete the following –

  • Minimum of 26 days of teaching and learning activity

  • Successfully complete at least 12 days (90 hours) of learning in a practice environment whilst being supervised by a DPP (Designated prescribing practitioner)

How long will the course take?

This course normally runs over a 6 month period and is conducted on a part-time basis. It combines face to face teaching sessions and self-managed studies with some courses offering distance learning options.

What are the entry requirements?

  • You must be a registered pharmacist within the UK or Ireland

  • To have a minimum of two years patient facing experience in a hospital, community or primary care setting following on from their pre reg year

  • Must have identified an area of clinical practice to develop prescribing skills with up to date knowledge that's relevant to the intended area of prescribing.

How much will the course cost?

Course fees vary depending on the university you choose. Fees range from £1500 - £2500. However as were all aware there is the government funding to consider as well as most employers now cover their costs for you. Having an IP Pharmacists at their pharmacy is a great asset to their business and therefor the cost to the Pharmacy becomes almost a mandatory need. Often pharmacies who do cover the cost of an IP course will set terms to ensure their coursed funding is worth their time. By this we mean, if you complete the course and you leave within a specific timeframe it then becomes a waste of money and time to them. Generally, a pharmacy will set a two-year time frame where your contracted to work with them after completing your IP course. If you choose to leave during this two-year time frame the full cost of this course will be liable for you to pay in full as a refund to your employer. We highly recommend checking the T’s & C’s to ensure you understand the rules when it comes to an employer taking the bill for your course.

When can I enrol for these courses?

If you are independently sourcing this course the typical IP course runs from September to January each year. If you’re lucky to have an employer funding this course, they are likely to enrol you and will take the responsibly away from you.

Where hosts the IP course?

We have included a comprehensive map of universities that host the IP course throughout the UK & Ireland. Click this link to view the list.


The GPhC provide further detailed information on all of the above and more. So be sure to explore their page. Alternatively, if you meet all of the entry requirements and would like your course funded by an employer. We currently work with multiple clients who have the capacity to fund your IP course in full. If you’d be interested in these opportunities, call our office directly on 01244 621477 to explore these opportunities.


If your yet to become a Pharmacist, check out our easy to read blog on "How To Become a Pharmacist."