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Home  »   Latest NewsPublications   »   Welcome to the June 2023 PDA Education Update

Welcome to the June 2023 PDA Education Update

PDA Education provides FREE training and support to PDA members. The education newsletter keeps you up to date on all the latest activities, training opportunities and support available. Read on to ensure that you don’t miss out!

Wed 21st June 2023 The PDA

In this issue:

  • Latest activities
  • Shaping your career in pharmacy
  • A summer of professional learning
  • Support for trainees
  • PDA Reps training

Latest Activities

PDA Education has been working hard to expand our support to more members of the PDA.

Spring saw us hold our first online event for PDA locum members. Working with Ruth Williams, Legal Adviser at the PDA, members learned more about their rights and the common pitfalls of booking and undertaking shifts. Following on from the live event, members signed up to our new self-directed online programme, Locum Matters. This was the first in what will be a series of events for those working as locums.

During the last few months, we have focused on mental health with two programmes. One was called ‘Organising on Mental Health’, a face-to-face programme for PDA Reps. This course helped reps to be proactive in making improvements with their employers to look after their own mental health and support the mental health of all staff members. The second course was available to all PDA members and helped members to understand mental health conditions, learn how to recognise and manage work-related stress, and start to consider how they could work together to improve mental health in the workplace.

If you need support with your mental health or are concerned about workplace stress, remember that you can contact our charity support partner, Pharmacist Support for help.

Shaping your career in pharmacy

FREE event, Saturday 8 July, 9.30 am – 3.15 pm, Central Birmingham

For the first time, we are bringing together trainees and early career pharmacists with some third and fourth-year MPharm students for a face-to-face event. This bespoke, free event on Saturday 8 July will help you to learn the skills you need to shape your career as you progress. With speakers and sessions on change, professional resilience, building relationships, and networking, this is a brilliant opportunity to meet fellow early-career pharmacists from across the UK.

If you are at the beginning of your pharmacy career, click here for further information and to register for the event.

A summer of professional learning

Online self-directed, registration opens on 1 August

The relaunch of our summer school will take place in August. This year we are focusing on supporting you in your career with three brand-new online programmes, designed so you can access them when it suits you and complete them at your own pace.

CV writing and interview skills

If you are looking for career progression or need to look for a new opportunity, this course will help you to develop or update your CV so that you can showcase your skills and biggest strengths. Interviews are always nerve-wracking but this course will help you to prepare so that you can be ready for the tricky questions and feel more confident in showing your potential new employer that you are the best person for the job.

Building and maintaining relationships

Building and maintaining positive, healthy, and supportive relationships at work makes people happier and healthier. The GPhC, in their guidance on ensuring a safe and effective pharmacy team, and the PSNI Principle 4 both acknowledge that good communication builds respect and confidence, which are at the heart of effective working relationships with patients, service users, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.

This course will be useful to any member, whether experienced or new to pharmacy. It will explore areas such as:

•    What good working relationships look like
•    Understanding more about your communication skills
•    How to deal with tricky behaviour
•    How to analyse strategies that build trust and good communication skills.

There will also be opportunities to practise critical reflection and build a portfolio that can be used as part of your professional development.

Developing effective team working

Knowing how to work effectively as a team member will help you behave more confidently. It will also help you deal with tricky situations in a more effective way that will leave you feeling comfortable with the outcome. The GPhC and PSNI standards both state that for patients to receive effective care, pharmacy professionals need to demonstrate effective team working that includes the ability to communicate well and work collaboratively with colleagues.

This course will be useful to any member, whether experienced or new to pharmacy. It will explore areas such as:

  • What is meant by team behaviour
  • Knowing how teams are formed
  • What are effective communication skills in a team
  • How you can have more influence in teams.

There will also be opportunities to practise critical reflection and build a portfolio that can be used as part of your professional development.

Registration will open on Tuesday 1 August. Keep an eye on our events page for further information. You will also receive an invitation to apply via email.

If you have pharmacist colleagues or friends who you think would enjoy the programmes, they can join the PDA here.

Support for trainees

FREE online until 27 June 2023

We continue to support trainees when they need us most. Our completely free, popular revision assessment programme has been running since April and will stay open until the day of the exam.

With calculation questions, timed mock exams, revision tips, and advice on sitting the assessment, the programme is free to all PDA trainee members. If you would like to access the programme, register here.

We also held the first of two live calculations events, helping trainees to practice unseen questions in a timed environment with instant feedback on the questions and the ability to ask questions for clarification.

“I found the programme helpful because it provided informative and interesting bitesize sessions.” – PDA member testimonial


PDA Reps training

PDA Student Rep Induction Course

Live induction July 2023 (date TBC) followed by online self-directed training

The PDA is the largest pharmacists’ membership organisation and the only independent trade union for pharmacists in the UK. We recognise and value our student members and believe it’s important for young people to understand how to make positive changes for the profession, themselves, their peers, and patients.

Our PDA Student Reps lead in universities, highlighting issues that students face, supporting members, and campaigning around topics that matter to students. To ensure they feel confident in their abilities all our student reps complete the PDA’s Student Rep induction training.

The course provides new reps with an understanding of the work of the PDA, the role of a student rep, and how trade unions support members.

The course teaches students to critically reflect on their learning, a technique that is essential for students studying at a university level. Moreover, so much of what makes a great rep also makes a great pharmacist. The soft skills we teach also develop a student’s ability to build relationships with others and advocate for themselves and their learning. It also supports their consultation, communication, and time management skills, essential for a future pharmacy professional focused on patient-centred care. This training course incorporates the GPhC standards to build our reps’ understanding of professionalism throughout.

What student reps learn during the course they put into practice at their universities whilst being mentored by PDA staff and supported by their peers. The PDA Student Rep role is a fantastic opportunity to network with others, learn how to use your voice, and put yourself out of your comfort zone in a supportive environment so that you can develop into the professional you want to be.

Health and Safety Reps Part 1

Face to face in Leicestershire, 26-27 September 2023

This course is for all PDA Reps who have completed the PDA Reps Induction and preferably the PDA Reps Training Part 1. All workplace reps who will be dealing with health and safety issues should complete this training.

In this course, you will gain an understanding of the role and rights of a health and safety representative. You will learn about the employer’s main duties under health and safety legislation in relation to health, safety, and welfare. You will practice how to apply a health and safety approach to your rep’s role. You will develop confidence when raising health and safety concerns on behalf of PDA members and learn where to look for health and safety information.







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