National Pre-Registration
Pharmacist Recruitment

Registration for employers for the 2021-22 cohort is now open and will close on 28th February 2020

Please read the page below which provides details of the national pre-registration pharmacist recruitment scheme, signing up and how to provide programme information for display within the Oriel system for prospective applicants to view in June.

In order to register and provide the programme information, please access our employer information page from the left hand navigation.

Existing Employers

If you are an existing employer, already registered and using Oriel for your pre-registration pharmacist recruitment, please access the online registration from from our employer  information  page from the left hand navigation.

Please note that if you are an employer in Wales, you should not be completing the online form. Please contact if you have any queries.

Pre-registration Pharmacist Recruitment Overview

PRP Recruitment timeline diagram

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.

Employer Programme Information Options

Option 1 – Individual Programmes
Each programme is advertised individually within the Oriel System, this option means that an applicant will preference the programme and know exactly which Hospital or Primary Care organisation an offer will relate to. Employers should include the town and full postcode in the Employer Name/Town/Postcode field.

Online Registration form

The online form will be available from 13th January until 28th February 2020

Option 2 – Cluster approach
This option can be used for larger employers with multiple branches within the same postal area. For example, if you have 6 branches within close proximity of each other you can use the beginning part of the post code to advertise all these places, for example if they are within SW20 each branch has 1 place, but the training programme is the same, you can advertise this programme just once in Oriel. The programme would have 6 places within it. Employers should include the Sector (location) and the first part of the postcode in the Employer Name/Town/Postcode field.

This approach may be preferred if there is likely to be movement in terms of which branches provide pre-registration training or if you would prefer to match successful applicants within a geographical area after allocation via Oriel. This practice is commonly utilised in dentistry and provides some flexibility to match successful applicants with small teams.

This approach should not be used when looking to recruit across different regions, it works most effectively in a close geographical area.

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


Recruitment Timeline



Pre-registration Pharmacist training programme information available on Oriel

Early June

Application window opens

Early June

Application window closes

Late June

MMI selection centre booking window opens

Mid July

MMI selection centre booking window closes

Late July

Numeracy/SJT centre booking window opens

Early August

Preferencing window opens

Early August

Numeracy/SJT centre booking window closes

Mid August

MMI selection centres held


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


Preferencing window closes

End of October

First round of offers released

Mid November

Offers upgrade deadline

End of November

Programmes commence