Practice Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing – Level 7

Study level: CPD/Short courses
Nurse behind a desk smiling at another staff member

This course prepares eligible experienced registered healthcare practitioners to become independent and/or supplementary prescribers to deliver high-quality, innovative and cost-effective care to patients in a wide range of healthcare settings.

Course code

HLSH029

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Part-time
Online/Blended

Duration

Two x 13-week modules (26 weeks total)

Fees

£2355

Start date

January 2024
September 2024

Course overview

The course runs over 2 x 20 credit 13-week modules. Both modules must be successfully completed to be eligible to apply for registration as an independent and/or supplementary prescriber with your governing body.

The first module covers the theoretical underpinning for prescribing practice (including pharmacology) and is delivered over ten taught days within the university.

The second module requires the clinical application of prescribing practice. This module requires you to do 90 hours in supervised practice and complete a portfolio.

Course detail

There are two forms of prescribing in the UK - Independent Prescribing and Supplementary Prescribing:

  • Independent prescribing (IP) is where a practitioner is responsible and accountable for the assessment of patients with undiagnosed or diagnosed conditions and for decisions about the clinical management required, including prescribing. This form of prescribing is most similar to how doctors prescribe.
  • Supplementary prescribing (SP) involves a voluntary agreement between the supplementary prescriber, an individual patient, and an independent prescriber (must be a doctor or dentist). The agreement about what can be prescribed is set out in a clinical management plan.

Regulations about what medications can be prescribed can differ between professional groups and are also dependent upon which form of prescribing is used (IP or SP). In addition, each individual prescriber may only prescribe for conditions that are within their competence, which is usually set out within an agreed scope of practice.

View further information and resources to help you decide whether you wish to undertake a prescribing course.

Which professions can take this course?

The following list of professions for which prescribing legislation is currently in place:

  • Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Podiatrist/chiropodist
  • Dietician
  • Paramedic
  • Therapeutic Radiographer

Accreditation and professional recognition

The course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Healthcare Professions Council (HCPC) for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 intake.

Modules

The course consists of two mandatory modules, which include theory taught days plus a period of direct supervised practice within your existing clinical setting in order to meet the competencies set out in the RPS “A Competency Framework for all Prescribers”.

The curriculum will be contemporary, and meet the current professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements including:

  • Clinical pharmacology including the effects of co-morbidity
  • Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to non-medical prescribing
  • Legal, policy, professional, psychological and ethical aspects
  • Professional accountability and responsibility
  • Consultation and decision-making
  • Development of clinical management plans.

Practice Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing 1 - 20 credits

This module aims to prepare independent non-medical prescribers for their roles and responsibilities within the practice setting. This is the first of two modules which focus on the theoretical elements which underpin the practice of prescribing. The second module builds on the theoretical concepts to consider the clinical context of prescribing. These master's level modules adhere to professional body requirements for prescribing courses (NMC, HCPC, and GPhC).

Practice Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing 2 - 20 credits

This module aims to prepare independent non-medical prescribers for their roles and responsibilities within the practice setting. This is the second of two modules which focus on the clinical elements which underpins the practice of prescribing. This second module builds on the theoretical concepts taught in 7051SOH and considers the clinical context of prescribing. These master's level modules adhere to professional body requirements for prescribing courses (NMC, HCPC, and GPhC).

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

The taught elements will be delivered using a range of learning and teaching strategies, including blended learning, e-learning, DVDs, lectures, workshops, presentations, directed study, tutorials and independent study.

Teaching contact hours

The first module covers the theoretical underpinning for prescribing practice (including pharmacology) and is delivered over 10 taught days within the university.

The second module requires the clinical application of prescribing practice. This module requires the student to do 90 hours in supervised practice and complete a portfolio.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Formal examinations
  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Individual assignments.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Careers and opportunities

Benefits to students

  • Successful completion gives students eligibility to apply for registration with the NMC as an Independent and/or Supplementary or Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing or HCPC or GPhC as an Independent and/or Supplementary Prescriber
  • Access to a wide variety of clinical expertise in acute and community care
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Opportunity to network with fellow students from a range of specialties
  • Opportunity to build on credits towards a full academic award.

Benefits to the employer

  • Individuals will be able to challenge current practice and embed evidence-based practice into their delivery of care
  • A deeper commitment to service delivery and patient care through individual greater job satisfaction
  • Workforce transformation.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry criteria vary slightly for each profession.

The key criteria are numeracy skills.

Potential students must:

  • Be able to demonstrate support from their employer/sponsor including confirmation that the entrant will have appropriate supervised practice in the clinical area in which they are expected to prescribe. For Nurses/Midwives a Practice Supervisor (PS) and a Practice Assessor (PA). For Allied Health Professionals, a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) and for Pharmacists a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) - see supervised practice section below. This person/s must be identified prior to applying for the course.
  • Be able to demonstrate medicines and clinical governance arrangements are in place to support safe and effective supplementary and/or independent prescribing.
  • Be in the clinical field in which you intend to prescribe in the year preceding application
  • Provide evidence of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring check (Allied Health Professionals within the last 3 months)
  • Show evidence of ability to study at a minimum academic level three (degree).

If self-employed, students must be able to demonstrate an identified need for prescribing and that all appropriate governance arrangements are in place.

Specific entry requirements for each eligible profession

Registered Nurses and Midwives

For nurses there are different options to train as a prescriber.

Nurse independent/supplementary prescriber (NMC course code: V300).

This course leads to a dual qualification enabling use of independent or supplementary prescribing. The course is open to registered nurses or midwives qualified through UK Universities that follow the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) curriculum.

To be eligible for the V300 you must be a registered first level nurse, midwife or specialist community public health nurse with at least 1 year post registration experience. You must be deemed competent by your employer to undertake the programme.

Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber (CPNP)

The course is open to community specialist practitioners such as district nurses, school nurses and health visitors. On qualification, you can prescribe from the ‘Nursing Formulary for Community Practitioners’ (NMC course code: V150). Please visit this course page for more information.

Pharmacist

To train as an independent/supplementary prescriber you must:

  • Have at least two years' appropriate patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following your pre-registration year.
  • Have identified an area of clinical practice in which to develop prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your intended area of prescribing practice.

If your application is successful, you may be eligible to have your course funded by NHS England.

Physiotherapist and Podiatrists/Chiropodists

In order to train as an independent/supplementary prescriber you need to:

  • Be registered with the HCPC in one of the relevant Allied Health Professions
  • Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need to regularly use independent prescribing or supplementary prescribing
  • Have normally at least 3 years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which you will be prescribing.

and

  • Be working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level
  • Be able to demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD) including development of networks for support, reflection and learning.
Dietician

If you are a dietician, you can undertake training to use supplementary prescribing if you:

  • Are registered with the HCPC
  • Are professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need for you to regularly use supplementary prescribing
  • Have normally at least 3 years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which you will be prescribing.

and

  • Are working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level
  • Are able to demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD) including development of networks for support, reflection and learning.
Radiographers

Therapeutic radiographers can train as independent/supplementary prescribers. Diagnostic radiographers can train as supplementary prescribers. In order to train you need to:

  • Be registered with the HCPC in one of the relevant Allied Health Professions
  • Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need to regularly use independent prescribing or supplementary prescribing
  • Have normally at least 3 years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which you will be prescribing.

and

  • Be working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level
  • Be able to demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD) including development of networks for support, reflection and learning.
Paramedics

Paramedics can train as independent/supplementary prescribers. In order to train you need to:

  • Be registered with the HCPC in one of the relevant Allied Health Professions
  • Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need to regularly use independent prescribing
  • Have normally at least 3 years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which you will be prescribing

and

  • Be working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level as defined by Health Education England in collaboration with NHS England and the Allied Healthcare Professions professional bodies
  • Be able to demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD) including development of networks for support, reflection and learning.

Supervised Practice

To prepare as a prescriber, you are required to undergo a period of learning and assessment in practice that is directed and assessed by the following:

For Nurses and Midwives

The Practice Assessor (PA) is a registered healthcare professional and an experienced prescriber with suitable equivalent qualifications for the programme the student is undertaking.

The Practice Supervisor (PS) must have:

  • Active prescribing competence applicable to the areas in which they will be supervising
  • Appropriate patient-facing clinical and diagnostic skills
  • Supported or supervised other healthcare professionals
  • The ability to assess patient-facing clinical and diagnostic skills.
For Allied Health Professionals

The student must identify a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who:

  • Is a registered practitioner within a GP practice and is either vocationally trained or is in possession of a certificate of equivalent experience from the Joint Committee for Post-graduate Training in General Practice Certificate OR is a specialist registrar, clinical assistant or a consultant within an NHS Trust or other NHS employer OR other Independent Prescriber, from any appropriate healthcare profession
  • The DPP must have agreed to provide supervision, support and shadowing opportunities for the student.
  • Has normally had at least three years’ recent clinical experience for a group of patients/clients in the relevant field of practice
  • Has experience or training in teaching and/or supervising appropriate to their role (this can be demonstrated by adherence to the Department of Health Guidance (2001).
  • Normally works with the trainee prescriber. If this is not possible (such as in nurse-led services or community pharmacy), arrangements can be agreed for another doctor to take on the role of the DPP, provided the above criteria are met and the learning in practice relates to the clinical area in which the trainee prescriber will ultimately be carrying out their prescribing role.
For Pharmacists

Pharmacist independent prescribers in training will prescribe under the supervision of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP).

A DPP is a registered healthcare professional and an experienced prescriber with suitable equivalent qualifications for the programme and have:

  • Active prescribing competence applicable to the areas in which they will be supervising
  • Appropriate patient-facing clinical and diagnostic skills
  • Supported or supervised other healthcare professionals
  • The ability to assess patient-facing clinical and diagnostic skills.

This person/s is required to sign the student’s application form to state that they will support the student through the practice element of the course.

Fees and funding

Students may be funded by an employer or a sponsor or can self-fund. Some courses may be funded through Health Education England funding, please contact cpdadmissions.hls@coventry.ac.uk for more information.

How to apply

Apply for this course
  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.