A Guide to Locuming in England & Wales

A Guide to Locuming in England & Wales

07 Sep . 4 min read.

The 'Locum lifestyle' can be quite hectic so having to manage all the extra paperwork for the skills you need to be able to do your job can be quite tricky.  Here we've created a summary of all the extra things you'll need, to be able to navigate locum life with ease in England and Wales.  We have a separate guide for Scotland here.


Most extra training is online and can be accessed via the CPPE website.



There are lots of different services out there that you can offer as a locum pharmacist, if the its offered by the pharmacy you're working at.  But in reality, in England there are only a few services that all companies want you to be able to offer - without these you may struggle to book shifts. Make an account with CPPE and you're half way there!


The essential ones you'll need are:


Repeat Dispensing

This one is simple. All you need to do is complete an online CPPE course.  Its straightforward and doesn't take too long to complete.


Medicines Use Review/New Medicine Service

Depending on who you talk to, this one can be tricky. There are two choices - one is offered by CPPE and the other by Medway School of Pharmacy.  These are both based on case studies of patients you might see when conducting MURs in your pharmacy and the MCQ's can be quite tricky.  It can take a significant amount of time and effort to get this certificate, but its an essential one if you want locum work.


Emergency Hormonal Contraception

This one is online too via the CPPE website - based on multiple choice questions. Relatively straightforward and shouldn't be a problem to pass. 


Flu vaccine

Some pharmacies won't book you for work if you're not trained to deliver vaccines. This is usually a day's training where you get some 'hand-on' experience. There's no formal exam or test, but the person running the course does check your technique. (You can do the flu jab training through the Pharmacist Cooperative )



Another essential certificate you need, but also a straightforward one.  Again, you can get this one via CPPE. Just complete the module and go through the multiple choice questions.


Look alike/sound alike (LASA)

This one is to try stop you and your team from making dispensing errors.  It it what it says in the name.


You also need to make sure you're paperwork is in order to register as a locum with companies.  The usual stuff they ask for is:

- A DBS check ( you can do this through the Pharmacist Cooperative)

- Proof of ID

- That you have an NHS smartcard with access to Summary Care Records (SCR)

- Confirmation that you've read and understood the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) service specification.


Aside from that you also need to read the company standard operating procedures (SOPs) - which is usually somewhere in the contract so there's often nothing extra for you to sign.


Once you've got all that you'll be good to go.  It sounds like a lot, but don't worry it's all very good CPD and allows you to offer more than just a dispensing service. It might take some time to get it all, but once you do, all of England is your Oyster!



Wales is slightly different. Whilst you still need a DBS check and ID documents, you'll need to undertake an accreditation process in order to provide any National Enhanced Services. We go through the main ones below:



You'll need register to complete the National enhanced services accreditation (NESA) generic skills section on the WCPPE website: https://learning.wcppe.org.uk/my/

This will need to be completed in order to be able to provide ANY enhanced service including EHC,

Smoking cessation and to access the Choose Pharmacy platform


Choose Pharmacy platform

This Choose Pharmacy application enables accredited Community Pharmacies and

Community Pharmacists to:

o Provide consultation and treatment for a defined list of 26 common ailments (CAS);

o Access an electronic Discharge Advice Letter (DAL) generated by the National Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP) and Medicines Transcribing and electronic Discharge (MTeD) system, to support an electronic Discharge Medicines Review (DMR).


To access the Choose pharmacy platform you need to complete the

listing form:


This will list the requirements you have to meet to obtain a Choose pharmacy logon and password.


Medicines Use Review

In Wales the target groups for patients eligible for an MUR are different to those in England. The claiming process for these is also different. There is no New Medicines Service (NMS) in Wales. More information about this service can be found here: http://www.cpwales.org.uk/Contract-support-and-IT/Advanced-Services/Medicines-Use-review-(MUR).aspx


Discharge Medicines Review

This is the service in place of NMS in Wales. Its designed to help patients who are moving from one care setting to another.  More information is available here: http://www.cpwales.org.uk/Services-and-commissioning/Advanced-Services/Discharge-Medicines-Review-(DMR).aspx


Smoking cessation service

You'll need to complete the NESA generic skills and then complete the smoking cessation module in order to provide this service. Dont forget to submit the accreditation to shared services. More information on the national smoking cessation service can be found at: http://www.cpwales.org.uk/Services-and￾commissioning/Enhanced-Services/Stop-Smoking-Services.aspx


Emergency contraception service

You'll need to complete the NESA generic skills and then complete the EHC module, then submit

the accreditation to shared services. Claiming for EHC is on the Choose pharmacy platform so a logon is essential.


Emergency supply service

This lets commissioned pharmacies provide an emergency supply to any patient registered in

wales via the Choose Pharmacy Platform. Details on how this service works can be found here:



So there are some significant differences between England and Wales. But that doesn't mean locum life has to be difficult. Just complete all the necessary paperwork and you're good to go.  All you need to do, is remember which country you're working in!