County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close
High Contrast Sitemap

Education, Training & Development

Training is key to developing a skilled workforce and the pharmacy department places a significant emphasis on the training and education of all grade of staff and fully supports the concept of multiprofessional learning.


Ensuring patient safety and optimal medicines use requires a knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce. We are totally committed to education and training providing many opportunities for all grades of staff. As part of our role in ensuring the best use of medicines throughout the Trust we also provide teaching and training to other health care professionals particularly as part of the junior doctor programme.

Training for pharmacists:

Pre-registration Pharmacists. We provide a number of pre-registration placements across the Trust. The pre-registration programme ensures exposure to all aspects of the pharmacy service and is supported by a comprehensive programme of tutorials, case based discussions and small group teaching. For more information on:

Junior Pharmacists. Our junior pharmacist training programme is based on the Competency Development & Education Group's general level framework (GLF) to support and develop our pharmacists through the early years of their career. All of our junior pharmacists complete a post- graduate clinical diploma as part of this training programme. In addition to time to attend university study days our junior pharmacists are supported by attending facilitated study afternoons to discuss clinical scenarios and learn from colleagues. Accompanied ward visits and ward based assessments ensure that by the end of the diploma our junior pharmacists have a portfolio of evidence demonstrating that they meet GLF standards and that they have the competencies to move to the next stage of their career.

Middle grade and Senior pharmacists. All of our senior pharmacists complete the independent prescribing qualification. The continued development of our middle grade and senior staff is ensured through personal development plans. Our staff are supported to attend workshops, conferences and undertake research. Other qualifications may be undertaken depending on personal goals, such as qualifications in management or clinical teaching.

Training for technical staff:

Assistants. All of our assistants undertake an NVQ level 2 with further training and vocational opportunities for example NVQ level 3 in business and administration identified through personal plans.

Student technicians. The department supports a number of student technicians per year as part of the North East training scheme. Successful candidates are supported through a 2 year vocational course combining on-the-job training with day release to attend Tyne Metropolitan College. We are proud of the extended roles carried out by our technicians and our students gain experience of all of our ward based activities in addition to the more traditional dispensing and preparatory services. The training culminates in the dual award of NVQ level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills and the BTEC level 3 diploma in Pharmaceutical Science. The application process for the regional pre-registration pharmacy technician 2 year training programme is advertised in the local press and appears on the NHS jobs site in February or March each year.

Technicians. All of our technicians undertake training to provide extended roles such as accredited checking and medicines reconciliation services. Further opportunities to develop are actively supported.

In house training. In addition to the formal training outlined above the training ethos of the department is underpinned by an annual programme of seminars and workshops to which everyone contributes and attends.

The department has, and continues to develop, strong links with Sunderland University and Durham University Schools of Pharmacy.


'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital