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PDA Trainee Pharmacists

The trainee pharmacist year is the culmination of 5 years of hard work and dedication and is the final step on your journey to becoming a qualified pharmacist.

The PDA is here to offer you support and advice during your trainee pharmacist year and then throughout your pharmacy career.

PDA membership includes professional indemnity and legal defence costs insurance, which is provided by Lloyds underwriters and arranged by the Pharmacy Insurance Agency; a specialist insurance broker which is registered with and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Membership also provides members with access to lawyers and pharmacist advisors, and automatic membership of the PDA Union. If you want any advice or support, you don’t need to feel alone and isolated; you can contact us.

PDA membership is free to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and the first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified. The vast majority of trainee pharmacists are PDA members. If you are not, please join us for free and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Join the PDA for FREE today

Find out what you get for your FREE membership here.

Our commitments to you:

1. Seek clarity on the future assessment

We will do our utmost to make sure that any pharmacy work undertaken in the coming months and the accelerated professional development that this pandemic will help nurture, is considered in the design of any future assessment. It is likely in the coming months that all your efforts will be focussed on supporting the fight against Covid-19 and there will be little time to prepare for a traditional assessment.

2. Represent your employment interests

The ‘Provisional Registration’ status has caused confusion and we have been and continue to be in regular dialogue with the regulator on this. A role as a second “pharmacist” during this period is a possibility which may impact upon your employment plans. Many employers have assisted in facilitating this change, but some have been less helpful. Our expert team of lawyers, pharmacist advisors and union officials are available to help ensure employers act flexibly, lawfully and in a reasonable way during these difficult times. We will give you advice and guidance on employment matters and represent you when you need help most. We will also let you know about the cases that we have supported so that the learning can help prevent problems in the future

3. Support safe practice

We engage in regular meetings with senior NHS and government representatives as well as other pharmacy organisations. We are in contact with the health ministers of all four UK countries and we are calling for an urgent review of the current position about the provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) to all front-line pharmacy staff. While many GP practices no longer offer face to face appointments, community pharmacists have seen a 40% increase in patient consultations. The PDA has fought hard to ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy personnel are included in any national workplace protection such as access to the death in service benefit, the larger-scale Covid-19 testing and also the prioritisation of the Covid-19 vaccinations.

4. Reach out to Pharmacy Schools

The current year 4 pharmacy students are confused and uncertain about their final exams and trainee pharmacist placements. We are reaching out to the Pharmacy Schools to establish what the collective response to the crisis is likely to be. With the threat of a normal trainee pharmacist experience being turned upside down, pharmacy undergraduates need reassurance and clarity about their future.

5. Enhanced Indemnity benefits

Alongside trade union membership, PDA membership automatically provides Professional Indemnity and Legal Defence Costs insurance, this satisfies a GPhC requirement to ensure that all of your work is protected by professional Indemnity. We are fortunate that our specialist insurance brokers and the underwriters that support the indemnity programme work hard to respond to our requests to provide the protection that is required by the pharmacy profession. One such example is when we asked them to provide a specialist Covid-19 vaccination indemnity extension at a time when pharmacy personnel first became involved in delivering the Covid-19 vaccinations. Whenever the government has asked us to extend the protection for our members to enable them to support novel pharmacy-related Covid-19 activities, our insurers have done so. Pharmacy undergraduate and trainee pharmacist membership of the PDA is FREE, as are your first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified. This automatically includes the professional indemnity and legal defence costs insurance over and above the additional union and defence benefits of PDA membership.

6. Your health and well-being

We recognise the impact that this crisis may have on your mental health and well-being. The PDA pays £1 per year for every member to the Pharmacist Support charity to enable them to support pharmacists, students and trainees who have run into problems with their health and wellbeing. We even donate £1 even for those students and trainee’s who join the PDA for FREE. This makes the PDA the biggest regular donor to this important charity, with more than £30,000 being donated annually. We encourage you to use their services where necessary.

Read more on our trainee pharmacist Covid-19 support page, here.

Download our trainee pharmacist flyer

thumbnail of Pre-reg Union recruitment flyer – A5

Getting involved

Find out how you can become a PDA rep and play a key role in supporting our work, together with PDA staff, to increase awareness of the PDA and enhance our trainee pharmacist membership offer. This is alongside helping to develop our engagement and support for trainee pharmacists and provisionally registered members.



The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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