A qualitative assessment of an education programme for advanced pharmacy practice


  • Catarina Vitor University of Lisbon, Lisbon
  • Alison Innes University College London School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX
  • Ian Bates University College London School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX


Advanced Practice Framework, APF, MSc in Advanced Pharmacy Practice, Competency Development, Advanced Practice


Objectives: To understand graduates’ perceptions about an advanced education programme for pharmacist practitioners (MSc. in Advanced Pharmacy Practice).

Methods: A purposive sample was chosen and participants were contacted by email. The inclusion criteria were pharmacists of any background who had graduated from the Programme. A semi-structured interview was conducted and a matrix coding approach was used for data analysis.

Results: Most of the participants were working in clinical environments before enrolling in the Programme. Data revealed similar levels of impact from graduates with different years of practice and specialisations.

Conclusion: This study concluded the Programme has a positive impact on career progression and was recognised by candidates for the opportunities and flexibility to different sectors, job roles and experiences. Similarly, graduates indicated they were able to apply their competency development for greater benefit in the workplace. Therefore, the programme appears to be fulfilling its objective to progress advanced practice.

Author Biographies

Catarina Vitor, University of Lisbon, Lisbon

Faculty of Pharmacy

Alison Innes, University College London School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX

Research Department of Practice and Policy, UCL School of Pharmacy

Ian Bates, University College London School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX

Research Department of Practice and Policy, UCL School of Pharmacy


Bates, I., Davies, G., Carter, S., Quinn, J., McRobbie, D., Hall, G. & Galbraith, K. (2009). Advancing and improving practice in pharmacy: is “Elitism” a dirty word? The Pharmaceutical Journal, 283, 149

Bruno, A. & Bates, I. (2014). A Global Description of Continuing Professional Development/Continuing Education in Pharmacy. Continuing Professional Develoment/Continuing Education in Pharmacy: Global Report (pp. 11–15). International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

Competency Development & Evaluation Group. (2009). Advanced to Consultant Level Framework (ACLF) (1st Ed.)

Davies, J., Webb, D., McRobbie, D. & Bates, I. (2002). Fitness for practice: a competency-based approach. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 268, 104–6

Department of Health. (2005). Adult Critical Care: Specialist Pharmacy Practice. London.

Frankel, E. & Austin, Z. (2013). Responsibility and confidence: Identifying barriers to advanced pharmacy practice. Can Pharm J, 146, 155–161

Galbraith, K., Bruno, A. & Bates, I. (2015). Advanced Practice and Specialisation Description. Advanced Practice and Specialisation in Pharmacy: Global Report (pp. 11–16).

Innes, A. & Bates, I. (2015). MSc in Advanced Pharmacy Practice - Programme handbook 2015/2016.

Jackson, S., Martin, G., Bergin, J., Clark, B., Stupans, I., Yeates, G., Nissen, L., et al. (2015). An Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework for Australia. Pharmacy, 3, 13–26

Kutner, M., Sherman, R., Tibbetts, J. & Condelli, L. (1997). Chapter 1- Evaluating Professional Development: An Overview. Evaluating Professional Development: A Framework for Adult Education (p. 5). U.S. Department of Education - Division of Adult Education and Literacy

Miles, M. & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd Ed.). London: Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications

Obiols Albinana, L., Webb, D., Bates, I., Davies, J. & McRobbie, D. (2005). Validating advanced practice: towards a definition of consultant pharmacist. Int. J. Pharm Pract, 13, R54

Rivers, F. (2013a). What is the purpose of a professional recognition system for pharmacists? The Pharmaceutical Journal, 290, 29

Rivers, F. (2013b). Vox populi - What people are saying about professional recognition. The Pharmaceutical Journal, (January), 1-4

RPS [Royal Pharmaceutical Society]. (2013a). The RPS Advanced Pharmacy framework (APF). Available at:

https://www.rpharms.com/Portals/0/RPS%20document% 20library/Open%20access/Frameworks/RPS%20 Advanced%20Pharmacy%20Framework.pdf . Accessed 12th January, 2018

RPS [Royal Pharmaceutical Society]. (2013b). The Development of the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework

Smith, F. (2010). Conducting your pharmacy practice research project (2nd Ed). London: Pharmaceutical Press





Research Article