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National oncology training passport launched for pharmacy professionals by BOPA

The launch of a systemic anti-cancer therapies (SACT) passport allowing pharmacy staff who have undertaken oncology pharmacy training to move between organisations in the UK without the need for retraining and validation has been announced by the British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA).

Through the BOPA Digital SACT Verification Passport, a training accreditation record sits with the individual rather than the hiring organisation, meaning that there can be a seamless transition when changing roles.

This is further facilitated by its digital format and portability, which create time efficiencies and ensure ease of access, auditability and fully assured digital sign-off, the BOPA said.

The passport is available for free to BOPA free associates and paid members and currently supports verification for adult and paediatric solid tumours and haematology, as well as adult autologous, allogeneic and CAR-T haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Commenting on the launch, Netty Cracknell, lead cancer pharmacist at Ramsay Health Care UK and BOPA Verification Project Lead, said: ‘The BOPA passport will standardise oncology pharmacy training across all four devolved nations and introduces the minimum standard required by a pharmacist to clinically verify SACT (chemotherapy) prescriptions in the UK.

‘It will save duplication of work by tutors, and repeat training across the NHS and other healthcare organisations, allowing clinical pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to concentrate on other tasks. It is a major development in the area of education and training for healthcare.’

Relevant training modules will be completed within the passport and revalidation will be required annually in order to ensure maintenance of the standards.

Jonathan Knight, CEO and co-founder of Tefogo, the company behind the passport software, added: ‘It’s been incredible to watch more than 100 pharmacists come together as part of BOPA to create and agree a unified approach to SACT verification training.

‘The hard work that has been done over the last year will benefit thousands of pharmacists and their patients over the coming years, and it shows how effective organisations like BOPA can be at advancing clinical practice.’

The passport development came about as part of the process to update the BOPA verification standards and e-learning and extends the concept of the previous pan-London training passport for oncology pharmacists launched by the London Cancer Alliance.

A research survey to review the training currently in place for pharmacy staff to clinically check and verify SACT prescriptions will be available via BOPA for the next two weeks.

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