Flu Vaccination – training requirements and resources
Published on: 23rd July 2015 | Updated on: 20th June 2022
All pharmacy staff involved in the provision of the Flu Vaccination Service should receive appropriate training relevant to the role they will undertake.
Community pharmacy contractors are required to demonstrate that all pharmacists providing the service in their pharmacy have the skills needed to do so.
Pharmacists must complete a Declaration of Competence before providing the service and this declaration must be updated every two years (further details can be found below).
The content of vaccination training
The National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners sets the standards and lists the essential topics which should be incorporated into immunisation training for registered healthcare practitioners. Pharmacists who will provide the Flu Vaccination Service must have completed practical training in vaccination that meets these requirements.
There are several organisations offering training and support for the provision of flu vaccination services and contact details can be found below.
Training requirements for 2021/22
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), working with Public Health England, has confirmed to PSNC that the normal training requirements for pharmacists providing the service are being reinstated for the 2021/22 season.
This means pharmacists who are now due to undertake their refresher face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support (including administration of adrenaline) will need to do so this year.
To support provision of the service in the 2020/21 season and as part of measures to support pharmacy operations during the pandemic, NHSE&I previously agreed that pharmacists who had undertaken vaccination training and were due to repeat face-to-face in 2020 did not need to do this until 2021. The requirement for pharmacists to undertake this training on a three-yearly basis is now reinstated.
The frequency of training
NHSE&I has determined that pharmacists providing the Flu Vaccination Service need to attend face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support (including administration of adrenaline) at least every three years.
A pharmacist who last undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2017 and would have needed to undertake face-to-face training in 2020 but deferred this due to the pandemic, and those who last undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2018, will need to complete their face-to face training in 2021.
Pharmacists are also expected to undertake annual update training each year, to ensure their knowledge stays up to date with changes in practice and guidance. This may involve self-directed learning, using relevant references sources, such as the Green Book and the annual flu letter. It may also include online training which is available from a range of providers.
Click on a heading below for more information.
The Declaration of Competence (DoC) approach (developed by the Pharmacy Competence Group) has been agreed by NHSE&I and PSNC as being the way by which pharmacists providing the Flu Vaccination Service can demonstrate their competence to the contractor who is contracted to provide the service and to NHSE&I.
The Pharmacy Competence Group has published a Vaccination Services DoC on the CPPE website. Pharmacists are required to complete this every two years as part of the requirements to be able to offer the NHS Flu Vaccination Service.
CPPE has produced A guide to using the Declaration of Competence (DoC) system and a factsheet to help pharmacists complete the DoC process.
PSNC also has a separate guide to assist pharmacists with completing their Vaccination Service Declaration of Competence.
Flu immunisation training recommendations
This Public Health England guidance provides information about flu immunisation training to support healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
e-Learning for Healthcare Flu Immunisation online course
This interactive flu immunisation e-learning programme, written by Public Health England and produced by Health Education England’s eLearning for Healthcare, is available for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.
Some LPCs are arranging local training for their pharmacy contractors; contact your LPC to see if they are organising any training.
There are a number of organisations that provide vaccination training for pharmacists and those that PSNC has been made aware of are listed below for information (listing on this website does not constitute endorsement of the course or provider by PSNC):
Numark (Members only)
Flu Champion course
Pharmacy Complete has a distance-learning course which aims to equip pharmacy team members with the knowledge and skills required to support the effective delivery of the Flu Vaccination Service. The course includes a workbook, online assessment, certificate and Flu Champion badge.
Please note: completion of this course is not a requirement of the Flu Vaccination Service; this is an optional course for pharmacy team members.
For more information on this topic please email firstname.lastname@example.org