Pharmacy training

We pride ourselves on having a 'fit for practice' workforce through the education, training and development opportunities given to all pharmacy staff.

These are delivered in collaboration with universities such as De Montfort University and Keele University, which have a proven track record in the development and delivery of postgraduate pharmacy education for clinical pharmacists, and accredited post-basic training for pharmacy technicians.

Our department is also involved in the education and training of medical and nursing staff across the Trust.

The continuing professional and personal development of our staff is taken very seriously within the Pharmacy department, and therefore it is encouraged that staff undertake training courses and professional qualifications such as independent prescribing. We have a commitment to increasing the number of pharmacists trained as independent prescribers in the Trust each year.
We employ teacher practitioner pharmacists as well as NVQ co-ordinators and many of our senior and chief technicians are also qualified NVQ assessors and verifiers. In recent years, at least a quarter of our staff have been studying for a recognised qualification at any given time.

Foundation trainee year

The pharmacy department at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton currently train 6 full year trainee pharmacists (5 at Derby, 1 at Burton), alongside 2 split training programmes (at Burton) that are joint hosted with community pharmacy Dean and Smedley.

We feel that foundation training is such an important contributor towards the future of pharmacy and patient care. As well as getting high quality pharmacists out of the training we provide, we enjoy having trainees to challenge us and bring their skills and knowledge from their degree studies to the workplace.

We run an automatic progression scheme for full year trainee pharmacists at both sites. This means they are employed on a permanent rather than temporary nature, and provided they progress through their foundation programme satisfactorily and meet key criteria, they will automatically move onto a band 6 pharmacist post when they register.

This has enormous benefits for both the pre-reg and the Trust. It gives the trainee the security at the outset that they are valued and that they have their next job ready and waiting for them. Automatic progression also avoids the trainees having to go through multiple recruitment processes at a critical time in their training year which could otherwise be stressful. For ourselves at the Trust it means we are able to retain the highly skilled staff that we have invested in.

The programmes at both sites are aligned to the GPhC Standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists and the registration assessment framework. Regular tutorials and directed study-time are also provided, which sit alongside clinical experience in a variety of rotations.

Rotations include:

  • Clinical specialities (ward based rotations & tutorials)
  • Medicine- including cardiology & coronary care, respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver, renal, care of the frail elderly
  • Surgery- including trauma & orthopaedics, bariatric surgery, vascular surgery, ear nose and throat and maxillofacial
  • Paediatrics - including paediatric high dependency and neonatal intensive care
  • Obstetrics & gynaecology
  • Critical care
  • Oncology and haematology wards and day-case unit
  • Mental health
  • Medicines Information & IT skills: all pre-regs learn to answer enquiries independently.
  • Logistics: a short rotation to increase understanding the provision of drugs to clinical areas
  • Dispensary, including inpatients, outpatients, discharges and specialist chemotherapy areas
  • Aseptic production: all pre-regs are validated in labelling, worksheets and assembly. There are also opportunities to be trained to manufacture (Derby site trainees only)
  • Cross sector experience
  • CCG experience (Derby site trainees only)

Download Royal Derby Hospital Sample Timetable 2021 [pdf] 490KB

Further information can also be found at on the De Montfort University website and on the Health Education East Midlands website.

Visit the Health Education East Midlands website (opens in new window) >

Applications should be made through the Oriel website.

Found out more information on National Pre-Registration Pharmacist Recruitment (opens in new window) >

We are also proud to provide professional placements for the University of Nottingham integrated 5 course pre-registration students at our Derby site, training two students every six months.

Summer placement

We currently run a 3 day Summer Placement Programme for undergraduate pharmacy students each year. Priority is given to third year students, but other year groups may also apply. The 3 day placement consists of ward shadowing and experiencing the different areas of the department. If you are interested, please fill out the below application form and return by 28 February 2024.

Open afternoons

The pharmacy department holds open afternoons each autumn to enable those who are considering undertaking their foundation training programme here to see the department before they have to preference places in Oriel.

Royal Derby Hospital

Date: 7 September 2023
Time: 2pm - 5pm

Date: 14 September 2023
Time: 2pm - 5pm

Please email to book a place.

Queen's Hospital Burton

Please email for more information. 

Post-graduate pharmacy courses in clinical pharmacy

These courses have been developed in conjunction with De Montfort University Leicester and Keele University which both currently run a Post Graduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Clinical Pharmacy. There are also opportunities to complete an Independent Prescribing qualification for those with more than 2 year's post qualification experience, looking to further their practice.

Postgraduate pharmacy training and development

Newly qualified pharmacists are currently offered the opportunity to undertake further study with De Montfort University, Leicester, and Keele University, who both currently offer a Post Graduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Clinical Pharmacy.

These courses offer the opportunity to complete an Independent Prescribing (IP) qualification. All pharmacists who have not yet completed IP training, and wish to, are supported and encouraged to complete this qualification.

Assistant technical officer & senior assistant technical officer

Senior assistant technical officers and assistant technical officers work alongside pharmacy technicians and under the supervision of a registered pharmacist.

Here at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, as a pharmacy assistant there are opportunities to work towards a QCF (NVQ) Level Two Qualification in Pharmacy Service Skills and they also complete a certificate in Pharmaceutical Science. With experience and achievement in relevant qualifications, it is possible to progress to senior pharmacy assistant roles and gain access to the pre-registration pharmacy technician training program.