Stage 1: application process
1.1. Things to consider
Before deciding to enrol on to the Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST) programme, the pharmaceutical physician should consider the following questions:
- Do you know why you want to enrol on to the PMST programme?
- Do you have the time to commit to undertake the four-year specialty training programme?
- Do you work in the UK for a pharmaceutical organisation that is a GMC-approved training location?
- Will your employer support your training, give you the time to attend courses and sit the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination, and provide you with the opportunities to complete the specialty and generic capabilities in practice (CiP) in-work or by attending external courses?
1.2. Eligibility criteria
The potential applicant must:
a) be GMC registered with a licence to practise
b) be working in pharmaceutical medicine in the UK with a UK-based pharmaceutical organisation that is a GMC-approved training location
c) have completed at least four years of clinical training and/or experience
d) have met other criteria for pharmaceutical medicine
e) have a GMC-approved Educational Supervisor (ES) in pharmaceutical medicine.
The applicant can find out whether they are eligible to enrol on to the PMST programme before submitting an application by completing our CV template and returning it to FPM’s Specialty Training Manager.
Our Director of Specialty Training will review the CV and give a preliminary view on the applicant’s eligibility for PMST. The Director’s preliminary view is not a guarantee of enrolment on to the PMST programme. A formal decision will be made based on the completed application form, supporting documentary evidence and the outcome of the assessment day.
1.3. Making the application
Complete the application forms listed below:
- ‘Associate (Trainee) Membership and PMST Application Form’
- ‘Certificate of Professional and Clinical Competencies for Pharmaceutical Medicine’
- ‘Reliance on clinical research physician experience’ form (if applicable)
The forms are available on our resources page.
We advise applicants to read our guidance for PMST applicants before completing the application forms. Completed application forms and supporting documentary evidence must be returned by email to the Specialty Training Manager by one of the published submission deadlines (see stage two below).
Stage 2: assessment process
From 1 April 2021, all PMST applicants must attend a PMST Enrolment Assessment Day (assessment day). The assessment days will normally be held quarterly (see table 1).
The purpose of the assessment day is to:
i) assess the applicant’s suitability to enrol on to the PMST programme; and
ii) approve or postpone the applicant’s enrolment on to the programme by scoring the applicant’s presentation skills and interview performance.
The assessment day is not designed to determine whether the applicant is competent:
- to work as a pharmaceutical physician; or
- in the role they were recruited to perform for their employer.
Decisions about an applicant’s work performance falls outside our remit for education and training and will normally be assessed by the applicant’s employing pharmaceutical organisation through processes such as performance reviews and annual appraisals.
2.2. General arrangements
The applicant must submit their application form and supporting documentary evidence by the published submission deadlines without exception. Applications received after a submission deadline will be evaluated for the next assessment round.
If an applicant submits an incomplete application (this includes submitting an incomplete application form or not including supporting documentary evidence), then their assessment may be deferred to the next assessment round. Therefore, it is important that the application form is completed in full and returned with all the relevant documentary evidence.
Applicants who return fully completed applications by the published submission deadline will be provisionally booked to attend the assessment day of the current round. FPM will confirm the booking after the Director of Specialty Training has provisionally approved the applicant’s enrolment on to the PMST programme.
Places for each assessment day are currently limited to six applicants. If we receive more applications during an assessment round, we will book places for the first six applications we receive by the submission date. The remaining applicants will be deferred to the next assessment round unless a slot becomes available and then we will offer the place to first person on that list.
Assessment Day Rounds 2021-22
Applicants must return their completed application forms and supporting documentary evidence by one of the application submission deadlines in the table below without exception. We will not process applications received after the submission deadline for consideration in the current round; these applications may be deferred to the next assessment round.
|Round||Application submission deadline||Assessment Day|
|Round 4||5 November 2021, 17:00 UK time||8 December 2021, Zoom FULLY BOOKED|
|Round 1||11 February 2022, 17:00 UK time||7 March 2022, Zoom|
|Round 2||6 May 2022, 17:00 UK time (GMT +1)||6 June 2022, Zoom|
|Round 3||12 August 2022, 17:00 UK time (GMT +1)||6 September 2022, Zoom|
|Round 4||11 November 2022, 17:00 UK time||5 December 2022, Zoom|
2.3. Format of the assessment day
Applicants will be required to:
i) deliver a presentation, which will normally be 20 minutes in duration; and
ii) an interview with a panel, which will normally be 30 minutes in duration.
The applicant will receive full details about their assessment after they receive notification that their application has been provisionally approved.
2.4. The assessment panel
The panel will be responsible for:
i) assessing the applicant’s presentation skills and interview performance; and
ii) making the final decision to enrol or postpone the applicant’s enrolment on to the PMST programme.
The members of the panel will normally be:
– Director of Specialty Training (panel chairperson)
– Chair or member of FPM’s Education Standards Committee
– Specialist registrant in pharmaceutical medicine
– Trainee representative (normally the chair or member of FPM’s Trainees’ Committee)
– Lay representative of the Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialist Advisory Committee
2.5. Assessment panel outcomes
The assessment panel can issue the applicant one of the outcomes listed in the table 2 below.
|Approved without recommendations||The panel is content to approve the applicant’s enrolment on to the PMST programme without recommendations. The applicant received a satisfactory score at the end of the assessment day and demonstrated in their application and supporting documentary evidence that they are equipped to undertake PMST.|
|Approved with recommendations||The panel is content to approve the applicant’s enrolment on to the PMST programme for the same reasons above but make recommendations the prospective trainee should consider as they prepare to undertake specialty training. A record of the recommendations will be shared with the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) panel at the trainee’s first ARCP.|
|Approval postponed||The panel has postponed approving the applicant’s enrolment on to the PMST programme because during the assessment day, the applicant either scored less than the satisfactory score or the panel identified areas of the applicant’s knowledge, behaviour and attitude that need development before they can start PMST. The panel can postpone approving an application for one or more reasons such as: i) the applicant must provide additional evidence of competencies – the panel must specify what these are; ii) the applicant must sit/re-sit and pass the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Medicine (CPM); iii) the applicant must provide current evidence that they are fit to practise; or iv) the applicant must provide evidence that any outstanding issue or issues of concern have been investigated and resolved. This list not exhaustive and the panel might have other reasons, which must be explained to the applicant, for postponing approval her or his application. Any task or requirement the panel has set the applicant, must be completed within a reasonable period. A reasonable period should not be more than one year from the date of the assessment day.|
2.6. Review of an assessment panel decision
An applicant is entitled to request the panel review its decision to postpone its approval to enrol the applicant on to the PMST programme. The request must be in writing and can include supporting documentary evidence. The written request must be sent to the panel chair within ten working days from the date the decision was sent to the applicant. The applicant must state the specific reason or reasons why the panel should review its decision.
The panel chair and as many of the original panel will meet as soon as is practicable to review its decision. The panel can meet remotely by video call. The panel may also invite the applicant to attend the meeting if it decides this is appropriate. The panel’s decision is final and there is no further appeal process.
PMST enrolment FAQs
No. You can work in pharmaceutical medicine without first completing the PMST programme. However, we strongly advise you to complete at least four years of clinical training/experience before you join the specialty in case you want to undertake PMST in the future.
"PMST provided a framework for me to understand the whole of the industry, beyond my own area of medical affairs. I am now able to participate more actively and knowledgeably in meetings and projects with colleagues from all over pharmaceutical medicine, from clinical development to regulatory. This incredible experience i why as a medical director I now support and encourage all of my team to participate in PMST."