Frequently Asked Questions

Placement Information


How long should short duration (Taster) placements be?

The suggested placement duration is 2 weeks; however, this is a local decision and should be agreed between the placement supervisor and the Trainee Pharmacist’s base site DS/ Educational Lead.


Who should use these placement resources?

The resources have been designed to support organisations’ DSs, educational leads and placement supervisors to develop and implement short duration cross-sector placements in Foundation Training Year.
The resources have also been developed to support Trainee Pharmacists on cross-sector short duration placements, enabling them to prepare for the placement, maximise the learning opportunities available, and to ensure the placement supports completion of the Foundation Year learning outcomes.
These resources are available to all Trainee Pharmacists and placement supervisors across all pharmacy sectors within London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.


Are the objectives and activities in the Sector-specific workbooks mandatory?

No, the placement objectives and activities are suggestions and should be amended for the organisation’s needs and the Trainee Pharmacist’s individual learning needs. See the guides for further information on this.


Are similar resources being developed for other pharmacy sectors?

Currently, we are piloting the use of short (taster) placement resources in community pharmacy, hospital, and GP practice. If there are other sectors that you would like to be considered for development, please get in touch with the HEE LaSE Pharmacy Team.

Trainee Pharmacist Information


Is there going to be protected time for Trainee Pharmacists to prepare for the placement or during the placement?

It is down to the employing organisation, organisation Designated Supervisor and placement supervisor to determine if protected learning time can be given during the placement. Any mutually agreed time dedicated to study and reflection on learning should be agreed between the placement supervisor and Trainee Pharmacist.


Do I need to have HEE E-portfolio access to use these resources?

No, however it is strongly recommended that Trainee Pharmacists upload evidence and completed forms that support their Foundation Training Year Learning Outcomes to the portfolio they are using for their Foundation Training Year.
The HEE E-portfolio is open to trainee pharmacists in all sectors, regardless of your training programme. For more information on the HEE E-portfolio, please click on the button below.

Supervision Requirements


Who can be the placement supervisor?

The placement supervisor needs to be a pharmacist and they will be overall responsible for the placement and the Trainee Pharmacist whilst they are on-site.


Can a pharmacy technician or other health professional supervise Trainee Pharmacists during a placement?

Additional supervision for some of the training is encouraged and can be provided by other pharmacy healthcare team members, doctors, nurses, and other appropriate staff members under guidance from the placement supervisor.


Can a pharmacy technician or other health professional support Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) for Trainee Pharmacists during a placement?

Yes, pharmacy technicians and other health professionals who have the appropriate experience or training can complete Supervised Learning Events (SLEs), such as MiniCEX, CBDs, DOPS or MRCF, provided this is agreed with the placement supervisor.
For further guidance and resources regarding Supervised Learning Events, please click on the button below.


I would like to be a placement supervisor. Do I need to complete any training?

All supervisors must be trained and appropriately experienced to act as supervisors as described in the GPhC Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists.

HEE do not currently mandate training for placement supervisors, but strongly encourage all training sites/employers to ensure that all placement supervisors have the experience and skills to be able to provide effective supervision and support to Trainee Pharmacists.
Where a training post is funded by HEE, there is a requirement that the training site meets the HEE Quality Framework criteria, as set out in the Education Contract. This includes criteria relating to appropriate education and practice supervision for each Trainee Pharmacist.

Click a button below to view resources available for education supervision training .

Contact the HEE LaSE Pharmacy Team for further guidance on supervisor training and development


How often should a placement supervisor meet the Trainee Pharmacist during the placement?

The placement supervisor should aim to meet with the Trainee Pharmacist 3 times during the placement:

On Day 1 for induction and to discuss the objectives, training plan and activity resources for the short placement.

Mid-placement to review training plan progress and adjust as required, to review any evidence and tasks completed by the Trainee Pharmacist, as appropriate, and to share any feedback on their progress to date.

At the end of the placement to discuss the Trainee Pharmacist’s progress, any remaining evidence and reflections on the placement experience and to provide the Trainee Pharmacist with additional feedback.

Education Leads, Supervisors and Placement Leads


Is there going to be protected time for supervisors for pre-placement preparation and help with placement supervision and reviewing progress SLEs?

It is down to the employing organisation/training providers to determine how placement supervisors are supported to supervise and assess Trainee Pharmacists.
Where a training post is funded by Health Education England, there is a requirement that the training site meets theHEE Quality Framework criteria, as set out in the Education Contract. This includes criteria relating to appropriate education and practice supervision for each Trainee Pharmacist.

The GPhC provides guidance for pharmacists supervising Trainee Pharmacists: Foundation Training Year - Guidance for Foundation Training year Supervisors (Aug 2021). Click below to view the guidance.


Should a Trainee Pharmacist spend most of their time shadowing others?

No. One of the outcomes of the short duration placement is to provide Trainee Pharmacists with hands-on practical experience in a different sector in order to prepare them for practice as autonomous clinicians. It is therefore expected that they be given the opportunity to learn by undertaking a range of tasks expected of a clinical pharmacist (with the appropriate level of supervision).


Can a Trainee Pharmacist on a short placement in GP practice rotate across a number of sites?

There are several benefits to exposing the Trainee Pharmacist to a number of sites and experiences. However, it is important to remember that these placements are of a short duration and frequent moving between different sites may impact completion of objectives for the placement. To support this, it is expected that the Trainee Pharmacist should spend the majority of their time at a single practice base, where possible.


Do Educational leads need to resubmit a training plan to the GPhC?

If there are changes to the original training plan submitted to the GPhC, the base pharmacy Designated Supervisor/ Educational lead should review and submit an updated training plan to the GPhC if required. Click below to view further guidance on GPhC requirements to report changes to training plans from the GPhC Training sites website under Application for provision of pharmacist foundation training.


How can I set up a cross-sector placement if it is not currently part of our foundation training year plan?

It is recommended you connect with local networks such as community pharmacies, GP practices, Primary Care Networks, Acute Trusts and Training Hubs in your area to find a suitable placement for your Trainee Pharmacist.

Further Queries

If you have any questions or queries about the HEE LaSE Short duration (taster) placements, contact the HEE LaSE team.