Postgraduate Certificate in Independent & Supplementary Prescribing (STANDARD)

STANDARD PROGRAMME: Apply now for January 2020.

Which is the right programme for me?

The STANDARD programme is for community pharmacists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists, radiographers and dietitians. If you are a hospital, mental health, community trust or CCG pharmacist please go to PG Cert Independent & Supplementary Prescribing Clinically Enhanced. GP Pharmacists may apply for either programme on a self-funded basis.

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Welcome to our well-established and successful independent / supplementary prescribing programme for community and primary care pharmacists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists, radiographers and dietitians. This is a part-time, blended learning programme and at the end you will either qualify as an independent/supplementary prescriber (community and primary care pharmacists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists, paramedics and therapeutic radiographers) or as a supplementary prescriber (diagnostic radiographers and dietitians). You will develop the knowledge and skills to practise as prescribers and to meet the standards set by your respective professional/regulatory body. Available as eight or 12 months duration. Also available at Level 6 for nurses/midwives. If you are a hospital or mental health pharmacist please go to our page on the Clinically Enhanced Prescribing Programme.


The Prescribing Programme is delivered by distance learning with a total of nine study days at the University, plus 12 days clinical practice, overseen by a Practice Supervisor (nurses and midwives only)/designated medical practitioner (DMP).


For each course there are one or two assessments and each assessment is applied to your scope of practice meaning that all of the work and assessments in this programme will help you develop your prescribing skills. All of the assessments are different in focus and require different things from you. You are given feedback on your work before your next assignment is due to be submitted.

Course 1

  • Case Study: written assignment using a patient case within your scope of practice to demonstrate a systematic understanding of relevant frameworks, including budgetary constraints at national and local level.
  • Legislative Essay: written assignment reviewing the changes in legislation in relation to prescribing and the impact in regards to accountability and responsibility as it applies to your scope of practice.

Course 2

  • Exam: includes sections on Numeracy, Using the BNF and Pharmacology pre-seen essay element to demonstrate the required knowledge, understanding and skills.

Course 3

  • Evidence Based Medicine: written assignment analysing the primary evidence as it applies to a specific patient within your scope of practice.
  • PAPP – Practical Assessment of Prescribing Practice: a high-fidelity clinical situation tailored to your individual scope of practice.

Course 4

  • Narrative: written assignment used to explain how your portfolio demonstrates that you have met the requirements for the programme.
  • Portfolio of evidence: demonstrating how you have met the prescribing competencies, learning outcomes and professional requirements for your regulatory body (NMC, HCPC, GPhC).

Distance Learning

While on a distance learning programme you need to be able to organise your time carefully and negotiate with your workplace on how this programme will work for you and your employer. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of dates for submission to help you plan your placement time and to help you negotiate study leave so you can complete your assignments and portfolio.

You will already possess most, if not all, of the required skills such as navigating around a webpage or attaching a file and uploading this to a website or email. The academic skills required will depend on your level of study and how recently you last studied. The universities have good resources that you can access to help you rediscover or reinvigorate these skills as needed.

Getting to grips with the virtual learning environment (Moodle) early will be really useful to you. This is where the course is delivered. You will be able to get feedback at regular intervals to help you with your assignments, access practice quizzes and examples of the assessments, revisit lecture material when it suits you and download Course Study Guides & Workbooks for each of the four courses within the programme.


There is a high and rising demand for a range of healthcare professionals to qualify as non-medical prescribers. There are career opportunities for both non-medical prescribing nurse practitioners and pharmacists in GP surgeries or other primary care settings and enhanced options for radiographers, physiotherapists, podiatrists and dietitians with the prescribing qualification.


The PGCert in Prescribing forms a pathway onto the MSc Medicines Optimisation run by the Medway School of Pharmacy. Students can register for the PGCert in Prescribing as a standalone qualification or the full Dip/MSc Medicines Optimisation.




General Information

Awards: Postgraduate Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (nurses, community and primary care pharmacists, physiotherapists, therapeutic radiographers and podiatrists); Postgraduate Certificate Supplementary Prescribing (dietitians and diagnostic radiographers).

Length: 8 months or 12 months.

Entry Points: October (8 months), January (8 months), June (12 months).

Location: Work based and at Anson Building, Universities at Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, Kent.


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Distance learning offers a flexible approach for both students and employees. The programme is multi-disciplinary with shared learning throughout the study days. Some study days incorporate workshops which are profession specific.

Please note this programme is delivered in English.


For an information pack please email the postgraduate administration office or phone 01634 202945.

Programme structure

New options

We have two different programme lengths to choose from. You can study over the REGULAR 8 months or choose the EXTENDED programme over 12 months. Priority for the regular length programme will be given to those with a clearly defined scope of practice. The extended programme is for all those who may prefer, or who will benefit from, a longer period of study. It is especially suitable for those studying at Level 6 and for community pharmacists.

Entry points and application deadlines.

Start Date Length of Study Application Deadline
October 2019 8 months 19 July 2019
January 2020 8 months 18 October 2019
June 2020 12 months 20 March 2020

The Programme consists of 4 compulsory courses at either level 7 or level 6 (nurses only). AHPs and Pharmacists study at Level 7.

Level 7 Level 6
  • Non Medical Prescribing In Context (15 credit)
  • Safe and Effective Prescribing (15 credit)
  • Consultation and Decision Making (15 credit)
  • Putting Prescribing Into Practice (15 credit)
  • Background to Non Medical Prescribing (10 credit)
  • Prescribing Safely and Effectively (10 credit)
  • Embedding Prescribing in your Consultations (10 credit)
  • The Practice of Prescribing (15 credit)

Study Days

The study days take place at the Medway School of Pharmacy.

They are a compulsory feature of the programme. Do not apply for a cohort if you are not available for the study days. Students may need to attend the resit assessment day if they need to retake the exam. They will also be required to attend a practical assessment of prescribing practice (PAPP). Students will be given the opportunity to choose one day from a selection.

The dates for the cohorts that are coming up are as follows:

Cohort 44 (October 2019) Cohort 45 (January 2020) Cohort 47 (June 2020)

Study days

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Thursday 17 October 2019

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Thursday 12 December 2020

Tuesday 04 February 2020

Wednesday 05 February 2020

Thursday 06 February 2020

Study days

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Thursday 23 January 2020

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Thursday 12 March 2020

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Thursday 21 May 2020

Study days

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Thursday 18 June 2020

Tuesday 08 September 2020

Wednesday 09 September 2020

Tuesday 01 December 2020

Wednesday 02 December 2020

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Resit assessment day

Thursday 26 March 2020

Resit assessment day

Thursday 09 July 2020

Resit assessment day

Thursday 25 February 2021


Tuesday 05 May 2020

Wednesday 06 May 2020

Thursday 07 May 2020

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Wednesday 13 May 2020


Tuesday 28 July 2020

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Thrusday 30 July 2020

Wednesday 05 August 2020

Thursday 06 August 2020


Tuesday 16 March 2021

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Thursday 18 March 2021

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Thursday 25 March 2021

PAPP Resit Opportunities

Tuesday 02 June 2020

Wednesday 03 June 2020

PAPP Resit Opportunities

Wednesday 09 September 2020

Thursday 10 September 2020

PAPP Resit Opportunities

Monday 10 May 2021

Thursday 13 May 2021

All students will have nine study days to attend.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL dates are subject to change.


October (cohort 44) 8 month version - 19 July 2019

January (cohort 45) 8 month version - 18 October 2019

June (cohort 47) 12 month version - 20 March 2020

Police and Health Checks

Any offer will be subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and relevant health checks.

Entry criteria

Offer Levels

Students will have:

  • Registration with the appropriate professional/regulatory body (NMC, GPhC, PSNI or HCPC)
  • Appropriate experience in the area of practice in which they will be prescribing
  • The ability to study at academic level 6 or level 7
  • Nurses and Midwives: At least one years’ post-registration clinical experience in the UK. This includes all nurse (level 1), midwife or SCPHN registrants (including NHS, self-employed or non-NHS employed registrants)
  • Pharmacists: At least two years' post-registration clinical experience in the UK
  • Allied Health Professionals (excluding Paramedics) At least three years' post-registration clinical experience in the UK
  • Advanced Paramedic Practitioners: College of Paramedics recommend that paramedics are registered and qualified for at least five years with at least three years' relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which they will be prescribing
  • Appropriate numeracy skills, clinical/health assessment, diagnostics/care management and planning and evaluation of care in their intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Support from the sponsoring organisation confirming service need, indicating the necessary governance structures are in place (including clinical support, access to protected learning time and employer support where appropriate) to enable the students to undertake and be adequately supported throughout the programme. Access to appropriate supervised practice, and a prescribing budget to meet the costs of prescriptions on completion of training
  • A named practice supervisor (nurses and midwives); designated medical practitioner (pharmacists); practice educator (AHPs), who will facilitate, supervise and support the student during their clinical placement



For an information pack please email the postgraduate administration office or phone 01634 202945.


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To apply for the PGCert in Prescribing please download and complete the electronic application form below and return by e-mail to the Course Administrator, Louise Dawson, Tel: +44 (0)1634 202945, Email:

Application form for Pharmacists

Application form for Nurses, Midwives and SCPHN

Application form for Allied Health Professionals

Please note that applications will be assessed by the eligibility criteria in the first instance and then by the date in which they arrived at the postgraduate office. Ensure that you fill in the form in its entirety and submit your application as early as possible in order to maximise your chances of securing a place on the programme.

Please note that further application to University of Greenwich will be required if your application is approved.

Preparing for Prescribing

Are you planning to apply for the Independent / Supplementary Prescribing programme? Take our Preparing for Prescribing short courses to prepare you for this demanding programme of study. Choose from Pharmacology (eCourse), Numeracy (eCourse) or Clinical Consultation, Assessment and Diagnosis (CCAD).

Next five day Clinical Consultation, Assessment and Diagnosis (CCAD) starts January 2020.

Running now: Numeracy (eCourse) and Pharmacology (eCourse).


Tel: +44 (0) 1634 202935
Fax: +44 (0) 1634 883927

Copyright © Medway School of Pharmacy
Last Updated 06/11/2019