Can a student undertake a placement in a Training Establishment or under the supervision of a Trainer, if they are a connected relative?

As per SI No. 377/2014, students cannot undertake a placement in a Training Establishment or under the supervision of a Trainer “if he or she has a connection with either the training establishment or the tutor pharmacist concerned”.

A connected relative includes spouse or partner, parent, brother, sister, child, spouse of a child, grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and parent-in-law.

During the APPEL Matching Process, a placement provider has asked to meet with me at the same time as a lecture. What should I do?

If possible, students are asked to arrange meetings or calls with placement providers outside of scheduled teaching activities. Interviews can take place face-to-face, via telephone or video call and placement providers are encouraged to use these technologies if possible.

However, your Schools of Pharmacy wish to support students in making the best placement matches possible and understand that students may in some cases be absent from lectures to meet with potential placement providers. Where this is unavoidable, please ensure that you obtain permission from the relevant people within your School of Pharmacy before any planned absence.

Can students undertake placements in a Training Establishment where they are currently an employee?

The legislation precludes students from undertaking a placement in a Training Establishment or under the supervision of a Trainer if they have certain family member connections with either the Training Establishment or the trainer. In addition, legislation precludes students from undertaking their 5th-year placement in the same Training Establishment in which they undertook their 4th-year placement.

Outside of these legislative requirements, there is no legal impediment to students undertaking a placement in a Training Establishment in which they have previously been, or are currently, employed or in which they undertook their 2nd-year placement. However, students are encouraged to increase the breadth of their placement experience by undertaking placements in new Training Establishments, where possible. This will allow students to gain a broader experience of the pharmacy profession.

Can students change their placement hours?

2nd-year students must attend placement for the hours set by APPEL and their School of Pharmacy (9.30am-5pm for UCC and Trinity students, 2pm-5pm on Tuesdays for RCSI students).

4th and 5th-year students must complete 30 hours of placement per week. These hours must be between 8am and 6pm on weekdays. In addition, students must be given a half day (at least a 4-hour block) per week for academic work. The student and trainer can agree upon how they complete their 30 hours within these guidelines.

If students are unable to attend due to illness or emergency, they must notify both their Training Establishment and their Practice Educator as soon as possible. Furthermore, they should make their Practice Educator aware of any anticipated nonattendance well in advance of the placement.

How will I be assessed on placement?

Preceptors in each Training Establishment will undertake competency assessments which will assess students’ competence against defined behaviours.

You will also be assessed by academic staff using tools such as online assignments, group forums etc.

What happens if I am unable to attend my placement?

This placement is defined in law as being ‘at least four months in duration’. For this reason, if you are unable to attend your placement due to illness, emergency or any other reason, you are required to contact your Training Establishment and your Practice Educator at the earliest possible opportunity. Furthermore, you should make your Practice Educator aware of any anticipated non-attendance well in advance of the planned absence.

Although 100% attendance is expected from students while on placement to comply with the statutory requirements, non-attendance will be managed by Schools of Pharmacy in accordance with their policies and procedures on attendance. If additional placement hours/days are required as a result of non-attendance, the School of Pharmacy will request APPEL to make the necessary arrangements.

Where can I complete my 4th-year placement?

The 4th-year placement can be undertaken in a broad variety of practice settings. The 4th-year placement is the only opportunity to undertake an APPEL placement outside of community or hospital pharmacy.

APPEL expects to provide 4th-year placements in: the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical consultancy, regulatory affairs, research, the health service, professional bodies, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy departments, etc. For the foreseeable future, all placements will take place within the Republic of Ireland.