More Insights into the Experience of the Level 4 Apprenticeship with APA.

21 February 2024

Elaine Andrews, Pharmacy Distribution Lead with the NHS speaks to Nicky from APA about her recent experience of the course.


Can you tell us briefly about your job role?

EA: My job role is the GWH Pharmacy Procurement & Distribution Lead, this covers Pharmacy medicines procurement, distribution of medicines to patients and local community hospitals and hospices as well as the pharmacy invoicing.


Now that you have completed the Level 4 Apprenticeship, what specific areas of procurement can say you definitely know more about now?

EA:  The level 4 apprenticeship has taught me more about negotiation both with internal and external stakeholders and how it is important to understand the needs and wants before a negotiation. Each negotiation will be different so spending time before researching and planning is key.

I also learnt a lot of models and tools that help with the procurement process such as Mendelow matrix and Porters 5 forces.


What would you say you can now do with more confidence?

EA:  I am more confident with procurement language going into discussions with procurement professionals. I am also more confident when completing my research and using this in negotiations or discussions around contracts.


How would you say you’re adding value to your organisation?

EA: Building my skills and knowledge during the level 4 course has added value as I have been able to adapt and implement new ways of working to improve our processes. I am able to have better negotiations with suppliers understanding maintaining a relationship can be just as important as getting the outcome I want.


How did you find the apprenticeship? What sort of help and support did you get from APA throughout the duration of the course?

EA: The apprenticeship was very interesting, I enjoyed learning along side other people from different sectors and how procurement can differ. APA are very supportive. My tutor was always on hand for questions.

I have a very busy job role and wasn’t always able to make it to the lessons however APA allowed me to switch session or recoded the session for me so I didn’t fall behind. I would highly recommend APA!


What did you learn from the process of putting together the report for EPA?

EA: I enjoyed putting the report together as it allowed me to put the knowledge I have learnt into practice. It was interesting being able to take the time to reflect on a project and how we can improve when doing it again in the future.


With the Level 4 Apprenticeship and CIPS Level 4 Diploma successfully completed, what does the future hold for you?

EA: In the future I would like to complete level 5. I would also like to showcase the skills and knowledge I have learnt to drive forward Pharmacy procurement as we can make a huge difference to the NHS and supply of medicines to patients.



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