University of Chester

Programme Specification
Non-Medical Prescribing (Level 7)
2014 - 2015

No Formal Award

Non-Medical Prescribing (Level 7)

Non-Medical Prescribing (Level 7)

University of Chester

University of Chester

Sites as determined by Faculty of Health and Social Care, including Chester campus, Warrington campus, Wirral campus, Leighton campus, and the Isle of Man site.

Professional/ Specialist/ Community/ Advanced Practice (Nursing & Midwifery)



6 months (maximum of two years)

1 Years

Biannual - March - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Nursing & Midwifery Council Standards of Proficiency for Nurse & Midwife Prescribers (2006)

General Pharmaceutical Council Outline Curriculum for Training Programmes to Prepare Pharmacist Prescribers (2009)

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) Outline Curriculum for Training Programmes to Prepare Allied Health Professionals as Supplementary and Independent Prescribers (2013)

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) (Independent & Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses [V300])

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) (Pharmacist Independent Prescribers)

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) (Supplementary & Independent Prescribers)

Post-registration Postgraduate Subject Assessment Board

Tuesday 1st May 2012

  • To prepare allied health professionals to practise as supplementary and independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the Health& Care Professions Council. By the end of the programme, the allied health professional will be able to supplementary prescribe for a chosen clinical condition or area in partnership with an independent prescriber (doctor or dentist), and prescribe independently within their area of clinical competence.
  • To prepare pharmacists to practise as supplementary and independent prescribers, and meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council. By the end of the programme, the pharmacist will be able to supplementary prescribe for a chosen clinical condition or area in partnership with an independent prescriber (doctor or dentist), and prescribe independently within their area of clinical competence. 
  • To prepare nurses and midwives to practise as supplementary and independent prescribers, and to meet the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. By the end of the programme, the nurse will be able to supplementary prescribe for a chosen clinical condition or area in partnership with an independent prescriber (doctor or dentist), and prescribe independently within their area of clinical competence.

Knowledge and Understanding

The ability to:

  • Critically discuss and demonstrate an ability to communicate and consult effectively with patients and carers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the legal and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to non-medical prescribing.
  • Understand the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

The ability to:
  • Identify and use sources of information, advice and decision support, and explain how they will use them in prescribing practice, taking into account evidence-based practice and national/local guidelines.
  • Recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice at individual, local and national levels.
  • Practise within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility in relation to supplementary prescribing.
  • Justify, using a rationale, the decision-making process supporting prescription and referral.
  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to continuing professional development of prescribing practice.

Practical Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate how to assess patients’ needs for medicines through effective consultation, taking account of their wishes and values in prescribing decisions.
  • Demonstrate their ability to conduct a relevant physical examination of patients with those conditions for which they may prescribe.
  • Demonstrate how they will prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively.
  • Demonstrate the ability to monitor response to therapy, and modify treatment or refer the patient as appropriate.
  • Participate in prescribing decision making as a multi-professional team member.
  • Develop and document a clinical management plan within the context of a prescribing partnership.
  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate diagnostic aids.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively, and lead a team.
  • Demonstrate higher literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Apply an evidence-based approach and critical appraisal skills to the ongoing development of the professional role and the dissemination of information.

Transferable Professional Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Demonstrate higher literacy and numeracy skills including drug calculations.
  • Apply an evidence-based approach, critical appraisal, clinical decision-making and critical reflectionskills to the ongoing development of the professional role and the dissemination of information.

The 40 credit programme consists of two 20 credit modules. The modules employ shared learning by nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals (currently physiotherapists, radiographers and podiatrists). 

Both modules are taught at masters level (level 7). Content follows the curriculum recommendations of all three validating professional bodies, and includes:

  • Consultation, assessment, decision making and therapy (including referral).
  • Influence on and psychology of prescribing.
  • Prescribing in a team.
  • Clinical pharmacology, applied therapeutics and the effects of co-morbidity.
  • Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing.
  • Legal policy and ethical aspects.
  • Professional accountability and responsibility (including awareness of own limitations).
  • Prescribing in a public health context.

Both modules must be taken contemporaneously and successfully completed in order to register as a non-medical prescriber.

Modules are designed and delivered in accordance with Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), using their stated credit level descriptors as a reference point. The programme is linked to a higher education accreditation system. No student may seek registration for completion of the modules comprising this programme without having been registered for the qualification aim and having engaged with all the appropriate programme admissions procedures.

There is no University academic award associated with this programme: however, the professional bodies may award their own certificate of non-medical prescribing as appropriate.

To comply with GPhC condition of Accreditation no third attempts at any module assessment components of this programme will be permitted for Pharmacist students.   

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7045 7 Non Medical Prescribing in Context 20 Comp
NM7046 7 Therapeutic Aspects of Prescribing 20 Comp

40 credits at level 7.

All entrants to the programme must satisfy full completion of the regional application form which includes the following requirements:

  • Be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (nurses, midwives or health visitors), the general Pharmaceutical Council (pharmacists), or the Health & Care Professions Council (if in one of the relevant allied health professions).
  • Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need for the individual to regularly use supplementary and/or independent prescribing.      
  • 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 from an approved designated medical supervisor, including supervision, support and assessment. (This will be achieved through the use of a tripartite agreement as part of the application form, requiring signatures from the line manager, trust prescribing lead, and the medical supervisor.)  
  • Have at least three years' relevant post-qualification experience.
  • Provide evidence of an ability to study at academic level 7 (Masters).
  • Provide evidence of up to date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Provide evidence of an ability to reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own continuing professional development.
  • Have demonstrated an appropriate level of numeracy skill.
  • Have a current Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS) [Formerly Criminal Records Bureau Check (CRB)] within the timeframe specified by each professions regulatory body.

Additionally for masters level study:

  • Successful study and completion of a pharmacology-based module, at a minimum of level 6 (degree)
    or experience as either a V100 prescriber or as an advanced practitioner
    or undertaking study towards, or possession of, a recognised advanced practice MSc (such as the MSc in Clinical Nursing or MSc Advanced Practice).
  • Possess an ability to study at academic level 7 (masters level).

The programme aims, learning outcomes, indicative content and assessment methods are a combination of the outcomes and requirements specified by the NMC (2006) [including any superseding circulars], the GPhC (2009), and the HCPC (2013) outline curricula documents. These have been interpreted to allow for an inter-professional course focusing on generic principles which the students then apply to their own area of practice under the guidance and support of the programme team, their designated medical practitioner and their multi-professional student peers.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at graduate level within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used to meet the programme learning outcomes. Emphasis, however, will be placed on consultation-style workshops utilising ‘real life’ scenarios through a problem-based learning approach; presentation and seminar on the legal framework surrounding prescribing; keynote lectures to prepare for a period of supervised practice within a team/partnership context; pharmacological evidence paper review; consideration of national guidelines and supporting evidence base; concordance workshop; open learning through NMPWEB (developed from an award winning DVD (IVCA Gold Award Winner 2006) developed through an innovative North West regional HEI collaborration, and intranet-based e-learning materials are also provided); directed study materials; prescribing portfolio development and formative review during tutorial; demonstration workshops on clinical examination and monitoring skills; web-based learning materials; supervised practice with designated medical supervisor; drug calculations (web-based materials); problem-based learning scenario workshops and net-based materials.

Self-directed, inter-professional learning and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self-assessment will be used in the formative assessment process to complement lecturer assessment.

Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at graduate level will promote development of the critical thinking skills required to analyse practice issues.

The negotiation of individual learning contracts will provide a framework for meeting an individual professional's perceived learning needs.

Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner.

Examples include:

Formative assessment

  • Ongoing formative review of portfolio evidence and critical incidents.
  • Ongoing reflective self-assessment exercises within NMPWEB materials.
  • Periodic formative assessment via net-based exercises and questionnaire.
  • Self, peer and supervisor supervision assessment.

Summative assessment

  • Structured portfolio on prescribing practice.  
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) of communication and examination skills including viva voce.
  • Practice assessment by designated medical supervisor.
  • Unseen examination based around pharmacology, consultation and legal aspects.
  • Numeracy Assessment (must be passed at 100%)

Knowledge and understanding will be tested through written assignments, formative seminar presentations and individual case studies. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through course work, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments, examinations, seminar presentations, individual case studies and reflective accounts. Practice outcomes will be assessed by OSCE and the practice portfolio. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national benchmarks.

The programme clearly offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a postgraduate and it is assessment criteria based upon QAA and University of Chester documents which define these characteristics:

Assessment Element

Postgraduate Criteria


Demonstrate critical reasoning with regard to complex issues, which shows an ability to explore and develop alternative solutions.


Critical evaluation of key concepts of knowledge. Extensive systematic reading and demonstration of insight and originality.

Theory/practice link

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of relevant knowledge and applicable techniques which are at the forefront of professional practice.


Demonstrate synthesis and be able to deal with complex issues in an original manner.

Problem solving

Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of current and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of professional knowledge and practice.

Evaluating evidence and argument

Ability to deploy accurately, creatively and imaginatively established techniques of analysis and enquiry.

Reaching sound judgements

Ability to critically evaluate current research, methodology and scholarship and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.


Excellent communication skills which can reach a wider audience.

All students are nominated onto the programme, and as such have a clearly defined prescribing role on qualifying. Qualified non-medical prescribers are competent to the standards laid down by their own professional bodies and the National Prescribing Centre competencies. Non-medical prescribers need to be able to safely assess, diagnose, treat and review all patients within their scope of professional practice. They require the ability to maintain adequate records and work within a team. They are required to critique clinical and pharmacological evidence to ensure best practice.

The above criteria demonstrating the notion of a postgraduate are fundamental to the role of professionals working within non-medical prescribing. It is envisaged that students who successfully complete the programme will utilise the knowledge and skills within their area of practice.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

This inter-professional programme was developed as part of an eight strong university collaboration within the North West region. The collaboration resulted in the production of an interactive website of learning materials which has formed the backbone of the blended learning approach. This allows greater flexibility of study for the student population and helps service release. This has resulted in the demand for the Non-medical Prescribing programme at the University of Chester remaining consistently high.

The collaboration has also resulted in a standardised and more equitable approach to Non-medical Prescribing educational provision across the region.


To comply with NMC standard 3, this course must be completed within 2 years.

To comply with GPhC condition of Accreditation no third attempts at any module assessment components of this programme will be permitted for Pharmacist students.   

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