Newly qualified Pharmacists in locum work pt. 2- How to be a locum pharmacist

Welcome to part 2 of our series on newly-qualified pharmacists undertaking locum work! If you missed it, check out part 1 here.

Now that you’ve decided being on a locum agency is a string worth adding to your bow, the first small step for you is to register with an agency of your choosing.



There’s a multitude of recruitment agencies out there, so how might you tell them apart? Well, unsurprisingly it starts at the beginning. Registering with an agency is, admittedly, not the most thrilling experience- much like any administrative task. And with this in mind, be wary of agencies whose registration process is a breeze- it may be too good to be true.

The bare minimum a trustworthy agency should be asking of any pharmacist is as follows:

These are legal requirements, and are absolutely essential. As an organised professional it will do you well to have clear and legible e-copies of them on file for whenever they may be requested.

Additionally, having proof of the following accreditations (operational/commercial requirements) will both aid and enable a locum pharmacist in proving themselves suitable for as much work as possible:

Team Locum is able to aid you with both DBS checks and obtaining a Smartcard- contact us for further information.

The more accreditations you possess, the more appealing you will be to stores and the better position you will be for picking up work in new areas. These will add weight to your pharmacist profile, and will be hugely useful when applying for shifts in stores you have no prior experience in. The more comprehensive this list is when registering with us, the better! Indeed, some of the ‘operational requirements’, such as DBS, are so highly requested that they may as well be ‘legal requirements’. It is best to view all of the above as being crucial if you wish to be a prolific and popular locum- this is not an industry whereby working with the bare minimum is justifiable or advisable.

The most successful and in-demand locums we work with ensure their credentials are always up to date. Some, such as GPhC registration, are in the public realm and therefore accessible by the agency. Other vital documents like Indemnity Insurance are not, and it is therefore essential that the locum keeps the agency updated when these documents are renewed- else they become ineligible for work and taken out of the ‘active’ pool. Being self-employed brings with it a need for personal organisation and self-discipline, and it is far easier to maintain these habits than to be playing catch-up every new year! With the new GDPR laws in place, it really does benefit all involved to be as organised with your professional data as possible! Many pharmacies now require proof of accreditation in advance of any booking, and with a combination of our App and the ‘permissions form’ sent to all new locums, Team Locum can forward these onto the stores and ensure the booking is completed smoothly and to all necessary standards.

Team Locum’s administrative team work every day to help new locums through the registration process and to ensure all registered members’ qualifications and accreditations are in check, and this includes chasing up locums for updates before their ability to work becomes impacted. But this requires communication both ways, and if a locum makes life difficult for the agency through being unreachable and disorganised, they are likely to be made inactive before the cost of retaining them becomes unjustifiable.

With becoming a pharmacist comes understanding your duty of care- and this will of course bring with it a guaranteed level of paperwork. But once the initial registration is completed there is no reason for locums to become bogged down in admin- all it takes is a little maintenance to ensure you’re always primed and ready for work! 

If you’re registering with Team Locum, be sure to check out our handy step-by-step video guide on the process.

Now that you’re registered, head to part 3 of our series for tips on making the most of your early days as a locum pharmacist!

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