Introduction: The Pharmacy Education and Accreditation Reviews (PEARs) Project was commissioned in 2008 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) to review both the five-year programme of pharmacy education and training and the process of undergraduate course accreditation. This abstract describes the views of the preregistration students and tutors on the level of student preparation for the pre-registration year.
Materials & Methods Design: Pre-registration student focus groups (n = 2); qualitative interviews with PSI staff (n = 3) and self-completion selfcompletion questionnaire surveys of pre-registration students (response rate 53.1%; n = 288/542) and tutors (response rate 48.1%; n = 143/297). Setting: PSI staff; pre-registration students and tutors between 2002/3 and 2007/8. Main outcome measures: Views of pre-registration students and tutors on readiness for pre-registration.
Results: Less than half of students (42%, n = 120/283) either agreed or strongly agreed that their degree had prepared them with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake a pre-registration year. Analysis by school of pharmacy indicated differences (n = 271, Chi, q = 0.000; School A: 77% (n = 27/35); School B: 31% (n = 65/212); School C: 75% (n = 18/24)). Workplace tutors were asked in relation to their last pre-registration student, how much the student’s pharmacy degree course provided him/her with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake the pre-registration year. Responses varied with 55% (n = 78/141) either strongly agreeing or agreeing that it did. Around half of the tutors (53%; n = 75/141) felt that the student had sufficient experience within a practice environment prior to starting their pre-registration year to fully engage with the learning experience.
Discussions, Conclusion: Overall only around a half of students and workplace tutors thought the preparation of students for entry to the pre-registration year was sufficient, with significant differences observed between the schools. This in turn will lead to variability in the overall student experience and educational outcomes in the pharmacy education model of four-year degree and one-year preregistration. To address these issues, PEARs recommended that the current 4 + 1 model of pharmacy education to first registration should be replaced by a five-year fully integrated programme of education, training and assessment.
Disclosure of Interest: None Declared.