National Pre-Registration
Pharmacist Recruitment

Announcement: MMIs Cancelled for Forthcoming Recruitment

In light of the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision has been taken to cancel the Multiple Mini Interviews for the 2020 National Recruitment Scheme. Please see below for our message and next steps guidance to all employers, which was circulated to employers directly on 18th May 2020. 

Registration for employers for the 2021-22 cohort is now closed

Registration for employers is now closed. Regional Leads will now review the programme information submitted to ensure it complies with HEE's statutory responsibilities. 
If any programme information requires amendment, a HEE representative will be in touch with employers directly over the next few weeks. 

Employer details and programme information will be available on the Oriel platform from early June for prospective applicants to view. Employers should also review the information via Oriel in June to ensure they still want to continue to recruit via the National Recruitment Scheme.

Please bear with us over the next few weeks whilst we review the data however if we haven't been in touch and  you have any equiries, please submit this via the online form below and the relevant lead will be in touch in due course. 

Pre-registration Pharmacist Recruitment Overview

Pre reg Recruitment Overview Diagram COVID

Benefits of recruiting nationally

The following benefits of a National Recruitment Scheme for Pre-registration Pharmacists via Oriel have been recognised:

  • The selection criteria have been developed through a robust research process i.e. development of a Professional Attributes Framework
  • Selection is values based
  • Selection methods utilised are evidence based
  • Selection is standardised across sectors thereby promoting a more flexible and equitable workforce
  • Selection is managed by HEE thereby reducing risks of litigation to employers
  • Pharmacy can be more easily and affordably included in wider NHS processes and systems e.g. trainee information systems
  • Pharmacy can be part of shared learning across professions in relation to recruitment
  • Reduced duplication and administrative costs of multiple recruitment processes to employers and applicants
  • Cost per trainee reduces as the system is rolled out and implemented for all pre-registration pharmacists
  • It is fair and transparent to applicants with high levels of acceptability

The Oriel System

The Oriel recruitment system has been developed to enable all applicants across England and Wales to complete only one application form for their Pre-registration training. Once an applicant has completed and submitted their application form, the next step will be for them to choose which potential employers they would like to complete their training with. In order to do this, the system allows applicants to categorise all the different programmes available to them by: -

  • positively preferencing them (ranked order),
  • preference (no order) or,
  • indicating programmes not wanted.

The number of different programmes available are likely to be in excess of one thousand therefore a robust filtering system is available to support applicants with their choices. Detailed information on the different filters can be found in section 4.2.3 on the employer guide. This will allow applicants to filter by many different options including sector (primary care/hospital/industry) whether the employer offers Tier 2 sponsorship, location and placement options (a placement used within the filtering system must be longer than 3 months)


Accessing Oriel

The Oriel system is an open access website which means that anyone can view what is available. All new information for future cohorts will be available to view from June of the preceding year. You do not need a log in to view this information. To access this website please click the button below.

During the latter part of the recruitment process and once offers have been made, successful applicant information will be released to employers directly by the Pharmacy National Recruitment Office. 

N.B Please note that further information on this process will be provided to employer nearer the time of release. 

Please note that you cannot register onto the Oriel system yourself, this can only be done via HEE.


Terms of Participation

In order to recruit via the National Recruitment scheme, all employers must read and agree to the Terms of Participation and to abide by the HEE Quality Framework (or Welsh equivalent for employers in Wales) before signing up to the scheme. Please read this information available below before signing up to the scheme via our online form.
Please note that once you have agreed to recruit to the listed programmes via Oriel you cannot then offer this place to anyone outside of the scheme.

For employers in Wales you should be approved for pre-registration training by the Health Education Improvement Wales. If you wish to find our more, please email

The specific markers listed within the Quality Framework for pre-registration training will be monitored.


Marketing yourself to Applicants

One of the most important factors in attracting high quality applicants and filling places is how you market and promote your programmes.

You are advised to take time to think carefully about how you describe your programme(s) in Oriel. You should ensure that you highlight any elements of the programme that you feel would be attractive to applicants. An example is included in Appendix 1 of the employer guide. In addition, you can look at other existing programme descriptions by downloading the Pharmacy Employers and Programme information from the current year, this is available as an excel spreadsheet available below.

You may also wish to attend University careers fairs or run local open days.


Range of Pre-registration Employers

Pre-registration training programmes can be hosted in a variety of settings; however, each training programme must be accredited by the GPhC and must include a minimum of 6 months in a patient facing setting such as hospital or community pharmacy. All pre-registration training programmes are 52 weeks in duration; however, some training programmes may offer a number of placements within that programme. These placements can include working in a GP practice, the pharmaceutical industry, local Clinical Commissioning Group or Welsh Health Board.

There are several different types of employers within the Primary Care setting including community pharmacy, clinical commissioning groups, prisons and general practice.

Within community pharmacy, there are several different types and sizes of employers ranging from larger ‘high street’ multiples to small individually owned independent pharmacies serving a local population.

Hospital pharmacy employers can range in size from large hospitals to smaller district or local hospitals. In addition, some specialist hospitals, for example paediatrics, mental health, cancer treatment, ophthalmology and orthopaedics, also employ Pre-registration Pharmacists.

If you are not currently an approved training site and would like to consider training Pre-registration Pharmacists, please visit the GPhC website for more information and contact the Pharmacy Lead from your region to discuss developing a programme to support the trainee.

Applicant Information

Oriel Applications will open in June 2020

All applicant enquiries must be logged through the HEE London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Support Portal website. Please access this website from the button below.

Complaints Policy

The recruitment and selection process to pre-registration pharmacist training places aims to have methods that are fair, transparent and free from discrimination.

We publish our recruitment and selection methods processes and quality framework on the following webpage

The processes are designed and delivered by the Pharmacy National Recruitment Office (PNRO) working in partnership with local offices of Health Education England and the Welsh Workforce Education Development Service. However hard we try to respond to the wishes and aspirations of applicants accessing our recruitment services, we do recognise that, on occasion, our service may fall short of expectations. If you believe this has happened to you, you can use the complaints procedure below, which tells you how to make a complaint and how it will be handled.


Recruitment Timeline



Pre-registration Pharmacist training programme information available on Oriel

10th June 2020

Application window opens

10th June 2020 (12pm)

Application window closes

24th June 2020 (12pm)

Preferencing window opens

29th July 2020

Numeracy/SJT centre booking window opens

5th August 2020

Numeracy/SJT centre booking window closes

19th August 2020

SJT/Numeracy selection centre held (Pearson VUE Test Centres)

28th September - 10th October 2020

Preferencing window closes

30th October 2020

First round of offers released

Early November

Unsuccessful applicants notified by email

Early November

Offers upgrade deadline

End of November

Employers informed 


Programmes commence

July/August 2021