Are you graduating in 2025?

Learn more about the changes in the recruitment process for foundation trainee pharmacists.

The process for recruiting foundation trainee pharmacists is changing. Previously, employers in England could either recruit trainees using Oriel or they could opt to recruit their trainees independently. This second option will no longer be possible. If you are graduating in 2025 you will need to apply for your placement this year using the NHS online recruitment programme known as Oriel.

The only placements that will receive NHS funding will be those allocated via Oriel. Equally, the GPhC will only approve placements secured by Oriel. If you are planning on beginning your training in the 2025/26 foundation training programme you will need to apply using Oriel.

Eligibility criteria 

There are restrictions on who can and can’t apply for foundation placements via Oriel; take a look at our dedicated Oriel information page to see the eligibility criteria

Oriel handbook

The NHS has produced a handbook containing guidance to help applicants to submit a successful application. This covers areas including how to access Oriel and what information applicants will need to support their application.

The handbook can also be downloaded from the resource bank section of the Oriel website. The 2024 handbook for placements starting in 2025 will be uploaded to this section in mid-May 2024. Read your handbook carefully – it is your guide to understanding the recruitment process.

Application submission 

The application window opens on 5 June 2024 at 12pm and closes on 19 June 2024 at 12pm. Late applications will not be accepted. Try to submit your form in plenty of time. Leaving it until the very last minute is not a good idea. You can find out more about submitting your application, including a list of FAQs and an RPS webinar, on the HEE Student Zone website.

Application submission in Scotland and Wales

In Scotland and Wales, the number of funded placements on offer is capped. In Scotland, you have the option of filling in one application for Scotland and one for placements in England. This will maximise your chances of getting a funded placement. Welsh trainees should select some placements in England in their preferences to maximise the chance of a funded placement.

Selecting preferences

You will not be asked to express your preferences from the programmes advertised when you first submit your application form. You will need to complete your preferencing during the preferencing window. The window opens on 24 July 2024 and closes on 29 October 2024. To find out what types of preferences you can express, please visit our dedicated Oriel information page.

Selection centre interviews and assessments

Invitations to the selection centre interviews will be sent out via e-mail. The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and numeracy test will both take place on the same day at the same venue. You will be assessed against criteria taken directly from the Person Specification and Foundation Pharmacist Professional Attributes Framework. Read both documents thoroughly to aid preparation for the interview and assessment day. Both documents can be accessed via the NHSE online support portal.

For more information about the selection process (including the SJT and the numeracy test), please visit our dedicated Oriel information page.

Receiving an offer

Following the interviews, your scores are loaded to Oriel which will then generate unique ranks based on scores. These are then matched to programmes according to rank and then preference. Oriel will make the first offers in mid-November. You will be notified of offers via e-mail. Once the offers are made you have 48 hours excluding weekends and bank holidays to either accept, accept with upgrades, or decline an offer. If you decline an offer you will be removed from the process. If you let an offer expire you will be removed from the process.  Once you have been removed you will no longer be eligible to receive any subsequent offers.

For more information about receiving an offer, upgrading, obtaining an offer through clearing, and accepting an offer, please visit our dedicated Oriel information page.

Find out more about the Oriel process

We have lots of information about the recruitment process, including preferencing and the recruitment time line.

Click here for more Oriel informataion