An evaluation of pharmacy education and pre-registration training
This thesis covers two major aspects of pharmacy education; undergraduate education and pre-registration training. A cohort of pharmacy graduates were surveyed over a period of four years, on issues related to undergraduate education, pre-registration training and continuing education. These graduates were the first-ever to sit the pre-registration examination. In addition, the opinions of pre-registration tutors were obtained on pre-registration training, during the year that competence-based assessment was introduced. It was concluded that although the undergraduate course provided a broad base of knowledge suitable for graduates in all branches of pharmacy, several issues were identified which would require attention in future developments of the course. These were: 1. the strong support for the expansion of clinical, social and practice-based teaching. 2. the strong support to retain the scientific content to the same extent as in the three-year course. 3. a greater use of problem-based learning methods. The graduates supported the provision of a pre-registration continuing education course to help prepare for the examination and in areas inadequately covered in the undergraduate course. There was also support for the introduction of some form of split branch training. There was no strong evidence to suggest that the training had been an application of undergraduate education. In general, competence-based training was well regarded by tutors as an appropriate and effective method of skill assessment. However, community tutors felt it was difficult to carry out effectively due to day-to-day time constraints. The assistant tutors in hospital pharmacy were found to have a very important role in provision of training, and should be adequately trained and supported. The study recommends the introduction of uniform training and a quality assurance mechanism for all tutors and assistants undertaking this role.