Returning to pharmacy practice

Courses and training

Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE)

The CPPE offers a short course for pharmacists who are looking to return to practice.

Returning to the register

The CPPE half-day Returning to the register course addresses the GPhC requirement for all returning pharmacists to submit a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates their current professional competence. This course is free. For those unable to travel, the CPPE also sometimes offer this event by webinar. For further information, see the CPPE website.

Supported training / work shadowing 

Day Lewis Supported training placement programme

For some pharmacists who have completed the CPPE Return to Practice programme, there is also the opportunity for a placement on the Supported training placement programme. This is a joint partnership between the CPPE and Day Lewis, offering a number of one month placements for pharmacists who are seeking to return to practice.

During this placement an experienced Day Lewis pharmacist will assess and mentor you, and on successful completion of the placement you will be awarded with a certificate. For further information, visit the CPPE website.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) work shadowing information

The RPS website provides information on work shadowing, including how to find a work shadow placement, how to prepare for it and to get the most out of it. Click on the following link to view this information:

Mentoring and networking

RPS mentoring service                           

The RPS offers its members a mentoring service. This can range from a one-off session focusing on a particular issue to a long term relationship that will enable you to build confidence and enhance your skills. Mentors can also, at your request, liaise with the GPhC to ensure that you fulfil any conditions attached to your return to the register.

The RPS online mentoring database helps to match mentor and mentee. However you can also utilise local practice forums and online groups to search for potential mentors.

Click on the following link to view the RPS mentoring services:

RPS online forum

This online forum enables RPS members who are considering returning to practice or changing sector to share ideas and experiences.

For further information about the Return to practice group forum, see the RPS website.

Other contacts and resources


The RPS website contains general information on return to practice, including tips for your portfolio and personal statement, a return to practice checklist, FAQs and case studies.  Click on the following link to view the RPS return to practice information

The RPS offers discounted rates to those who are on maternity leave or are not currently working owing to issues such as health problems. Click on the following link for further details of discounted membership rates:

PJ Online

PJ Online includes articles, details of courses and links to other useful resources. Some information is available to all visitors to the website, whilst information such as archived articles is for members of the RPS who have registered with PJ Online and paid subscribers only.

Click on the following  link to go to the website:

Need for an official guide to support those returning to pharmacy

This is an article written by Christine E. Heading from the National Association of Women Pharmacists that appeared in the Pharmaceutical Journal of 9 May 2009. The article looks at a range of return to practice issues and gives information on return to practice training providers, getting back into employment and issues relating to registration.

Click the following link to view the full article:

From motherhood to pharmacist

This is an article by Jo O’Connell, principal team lead at CPL Healthcare that appeared in the Pharmaceutical Journal of 9 May 2009. The article looks at factors to consider for women who are considering returning to work after maternity leave or after their child starts school and gives information on support available.

Click on the following link to view the full article :

Don’t be afraid to return to practice

This is an article by Leila Taheri that appeared in the Pharmaceutical Journal of May 2011. The article documents Leila’s experience of returning to practice. Areas covered include work shadowing, mentoring and the CPPE return to practice course.

Click on the following link to view the full article:

NHS Education for Scotland course: Return to pharmacy practice with confidence

This is a review by Shirley Wright of a three day return to practice course at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. It appeared in the Pharmaceutical Journal of 9 May 2009. The review is very positive and the course strongly recommended by the writer.

Click on the following link to view the full article:

Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education

1st Floor Stopford Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PT
Tel: 0161 778 4000

Information on return to practice courses:

NHS Education for Scotland


Welsh Centre for Professional Pharmacy Education

8 North Road
CF10 3DY
Tel: 029 2087 4784


London Pharmacy Education and Training pack (LPET)– return to work (NHS hospital pharmacy)

The LPET have produced a return to work pharmacy pack, click here for the link.

National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP)

The NAWP can offer a range of help to people returning to practice, including provision of low level continuing support, introduction to work opportunities with sympathetic employers across the UK, a mentoring scheme, CPD opportunities and the chance to be involved in small, novel projects.


Looking for work

There are many job sites to help you to find employment. We have compiled a list of specialist pharmacist sites, locum sites and more general job sites. To view these, see our Looking for work: job vacancy sites information.

Pharmacist Support

While people are unable to work, we can also provide specialist advice on benefits entitlement.

For people who are struggling to manage their finances, we can provide specialist debt advice.

Our confidential Listening Friends telephone helpline, staffed by volunteer pharmacists, can provide a listening ear to pharmacists who have not worked for a while and may be anxious about returning to practice.

Call Listening Friends on: 0808 168 5133

Financial assistance towards essential expenditure in times of hardship may be provided to those  affected by loss of work, for example, pharmacists seeking to return to work after a period of illness. . Examples include course and travel costs, registration fees and help with household costs.

If you are currently experiencing hardship, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you assess whether an application for financial assistance is the best route and discuss what other support might be available for you

To contact Pharmacist Support,

Call: 0808 168 2233


EEA nationals preparing for practice in England

For pharmacists who qualified in a European Economic Area (EEA) country and want to practice in England, the CPPE offers the Preparing for practice in England course. This is a four day residential course (two, 2-day sessions), and all accommodation and meals are included in the fee.

If you wish to attend this course, you will need to sign a declaration stating that you intend to practice in a community pharmacy providing NHS services in England within six months of starting the course. You do not need to be registered with the GPhC to take this course. For further details, see the CPPE website.