Last updated: 22.03.12

NPA produces e-learning course for pharmacists

Medical students can now engage in online training through a new e-learning platform developed by the UK's National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

This will enable learners to interact with other pupils and tutors over the internet, as well as access course material from anywhere in the world.

NPA research found many of the organisation's members believed online learning was desired by many people, who wanted to be able to study at their own convenience and at a pace of their choosing.

The group also provides an e-portfolio system for National Vocational Qualifications, enabling individuals to collate and develop all of the materials required for the competence section of the institution's level three Diploma in Pharmacy Skills.

NPA director of pharmacy Deborah Evans said: "We have listened to members throughout to ensure we have a product that builds on the excellent quality expected of the NPA."

Head of education and training for the association Sukhjit Grewal pointed out that people who are trying to gain qualifications from the NPA have got to balance the demands of this with the time they must spend working in busy pharmacies.

"Our e-learning platform allows students to dip in and out of their studies, which helps them to juggle these commitments," he pointed out.

Pharmacists and the owners of these businesses will also be able to keep track of how the students involved are performing, the specialist continued.

The representative stated the organisation is providing "blended learning" by combining the flexibility of online training courses with face-to-face sessions, alongside plenty of email and telephone support.

Mr Grewal added: "The e-learning platform features interactive assessments, which allows students to have their coursework marked quickly."

Paper-based learning resources are still available for individuals that prefer studying in this manner, he remarked. recently reported that Dublin's Mater Hospital has developed an e-learning platform to raise awareness of high-risk drugs among the facility's pharmacists.