Here Louise Baglole, Head of Learning and Development at the NPA, lists seven reasons why you should consider using the NPA for your team’s training...
1. Acting on member feedback
We are continuously reviewing feedback provided by our members. The Learning & Development and NPA’s Member Services teams have worked closely together to improve the student experience and to offer training that meets the needs of today’s community pharmacy teams.
2. New courses
We have launched three new courses to enable community pharmacies to upskill employees and release pharmacist capacity, in line with changes within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma – Principles and practices for pharmacy technicians
- Accuracy checking for dispensers
- Medicines counter and dispensing course
3. New programmes offering Government funded resource
We have expanded our portfolio by partnering with two organisations to provide programmes that support overstretched pharmacy teams with Government funded resources, and help encourage more staff into the pharmacy workforce:
- Kickstart Scheme – available until December 2021
- Pharmacy retail apprenticeship – with current incentives available until 30 September 2021
4. Improvement to existing training
Our L&D team strives to regularly review the content and delivery of the NPA’s training courses to improve the student experience and learning outcomes. A few examples of these improvements are:
- Changing the assessment method to multiple-choice format, which provides the student with an immediate result so there is no waiting for the assessment to be marked and the results to be despatched
- Our Delivering medicines safely and effectively Level 2 course is accredited by the GPhC meaning that it meets the changes in training requirements effective from October 2020 for any employee who delivers or collects patient prescriptions
- Foundation training (formerly Pre-registration) – we adapted our face-to-face study days and delivered these virtually from September 2020-May 2021 and provided our full mock exam via our eLearning platform in line with GPhC and Government guidance during the pandemic.
5. NEW – the Learning Academy – an intuitive, user-friendly eLearning platform
Launched in 2020, the NPA’s eLearning platform offers students an engaging learning experience that is easily accessible 24/7 via multiple devices. Eight of the NPA’s courses are already available on the Learning Academy with more planned later in 2021 and currently over 2,600 students are actively studying on the platform – read more on the dedicated page.
6. Enhanced student journey and support
The Member Services and L&D teams have collaborated to improve processes, communication and materials resulting in an enhanced experience for the student and their supervisor:
- Guide to NPA Training – an extensive guide that provides key information on our courses – downloadable here
- Auto-enrolment onto courses – greater accuracy and GDPR compliant – with fast turnaround so your student can begin their studies swiftly
- Paper courses – fresh new design and personalised with student’s name
- BTEC Diploma – students work very closely with their appointed assessor. Read how well the students feel supported on our testimonials page
- Online training progress report – this is designed to help supervisors monitor their student’s progress. A guide is downloadable here
- e-Certificates – sent directly to the student’s inbox on successful completion of the course avoiding postal delays or non-delivery – coming very soon.
7. Agility and passion
The team of experienced L&D pharmacists that creates and delivers our courses is passionate about learning and development. Through their own continuous professional development (CPD) they understand the value and power of quality training and they draw on their own experiences to embed the learning of our students.
They are also quick to respond to changes in community pharmacy by adapting our course content or developing new training to meet our members’ needs. The NPA’s pandemic training guides, COVID vaccination training and delivery of the Foundation training study days virtually for the 2020-21 cohort are recent examples of this agility.