Keele University Independent Prescribing Course

Keele University logoKeele University Independent Prescribing Course

Course Title: Independent Prescribing
Course type: Certificate in Independent Prescribing (including the professional Independent Prescribing Preparatory Certificate)
Mode of Study: Part Time
Contact Details: Ms Linda Foster
Contact email:
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Pharmacy

The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, part of the School of Pharmacy at Keele University, has a reputation for providing stimulating education programmes for general practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and other members of the health care team. We offer a multidisciplinary approach that ensures our courses encompass a broad range of skills and are responsive to the changing health care environment.

We are very proud that The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning in the School of Pharmacy was the first education provider in the UK to have its course for preparing pharmacists as supplementary prescribers accredited by the RPSGB in June 2003. We were also among the first to provide an Independent Prescribing (IP) Conversion Course and a Keele graduate was the first pharmacist to qualify as an independent pharmacist prescriber in the UK in January 2007.  Since 2007 in the region of 200 pharmacists have qualified as Independent Prescribers with Keele.

Our course is designed specifically for pharmacists and both the course manager and course tutors have extensive experience of working in a prescribing role. In addition our course has been approved by the GPhC to be delivered  by a distance learning format requiring only one day a month attendance at the University over a 6 month period.  The distance learning format of the courses enables busy health professionals to study where and when it is most convenient to them.

Educational Aims and Learning Outcomes

The aims and learning outcomes for the course are those stipulated by the GPhC for a full Independent Prescribing programme. They are expressed below in a manner that is compatible with Masters level study.


The overall aim is to enable pharmacists to practise and develop as prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

 Learning Outcomes

Following completion of the course, pharmacist independent prescribers will be able to demonstrate all the following learning outcomes, by applying knowledge of therapeutics and prescribing to the condition(s) for which they intend to prescribe, using an evidence-based approach that takes into account recent research and current professional practice:

1. understand the responsibility that the role of independent prescriber entails, be aware of their own limitations and work within the limits of their professional competence – knowing when and how to refer / consult / seek guidance from another member of the health care team.

2. develop an effective relationship and communication with patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the health care team.

3. describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness, take an accurate history and carry out a relevant clinical assessment where necessary.

4. use common diagnostic aids e.g. stethoscope, sphygmomanometer.

5. use diagnostic aids relevant to the condition(s) for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy.

6. apply clinical assessment skills to:

– inform a working diagnosis.
– formulate a treatment plan.
– the prescribing of one or more medicines if appropriate.
– carry out a checking process to ensure patient safety.
– monitor response to therapy, review the working/differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer
– consult / seek guidance as appropriate.

7. demonstrate a shared approach to decision making by assessing patients’ needs for medicines, taking account of their wishes and values and those of their carers when making prescribing decisions.

8. identify and assess sources of information, advice and decision support and demonstrate how they will use them in patient care taking into account evidence based practice and national/local guidelines where they exist.

9. recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice at individual, local and national levels.

10. prescribe, safely, appropriately and cost effectively.

11. work within a prescribing partnership.

12. maintain accurate, effective and timely records and ensure that other prescribers and health care staff are appropriately informed.

13. demonstrate an understanding of the public health issues related to medicines use.

14. demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing.

15. work within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice and personal development.

16. participate regularly in CPD and maintain a record of their CPD activity.