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Editorial: Career and competency framework for pharmacists in diabetes launched

By Editor
16th May 2018

Editorial written by Victoria Ruszala, Specialist Pharmacist Diabetes and Endocrinology at North Bristol NHS Trust.

The UKCPA Diabetes & Endocrinology Group has launched a framework aimed at supporting the careers and practice of pharmacists who care for people with diabetes.

The Integrated career and competency framework for pharmacists in diabetes can be used to support a career pathway that encompasses experiential learning and competence development in single or multiple sectors, focusing on the individual pharmacist’s needs and skills.

The framework, supported and funded by UKCPA, and endorsed by Diabetes UK, TREND-UK and the Primary Care Diabetes Society was authored by Victoria Ruszala, Specialist Pharmacist Diabetes and Endocrinology at North Bristol NHS Trust, Philip Newland-Jones, Consultant Pharmacist in Diabetes and Endocrinology, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Sallianne Kavanagh, Lead Pharmacist for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with contributions from other members of the UKCPA specialist group and pharmacists from multiple sectors and stages of their careers.

Career progression

It was based on the excellent framework designed by TREND-UK, an organsisation for nurses working in diabetes, and ensures parity between different professions.

The clearly defined competency levels match the foundation and advanced practice frameworks used by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to support career progression in pharmacy. These make it possible for pharmacists delivering diabetes care to identify their current skills and knowledge and develop a portfolio of practice.

It also enables them to plan their careers in a more structured way and supports their CPD by identifying individual development and training needs. Pharmacists who are just starting out in diabetes can use the foundation level to ensure they have a solid baseline of understanding. Those who have been practising for a number of years in diabetes can use it to identify new areas of development and plan further career progression.

There is opportunity for creativity and flexibility; it is not expected that all competencies will be met, even in highly specialised practice. Different sectors and individuals have different requirements and the framework allows each person to identify areas for their own practice.

Positive and encouraging

We’re really excited to finally launch this and the response has been very positive and encouraging. We want everyone to have the opportunity to have their skills and knowledge recognised and understood.

Whatever the choices made, we hope that this will reduce variation in practice and support pharmacists, and those that are working with them, to develop a new workforce that supports patients and the multi-disciplinary team and ensures the best care possible.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society commends the work of this group to develop a framework to support pharmacists managing patients with diabetes. We will continue to work with UKCPA to align to the wider Professional Curricula being developed to support the pharmacy workforce to deliver safe and effective care to patients in all care settings.”

Paul Bennett, CEO Royal Pharmaceutical Society

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