Alan graduated with a BSc in pharmacy in 1990 with upper second class honours and, after completing his pre-registration training year, subsequently registered as a pharmacist in 1991. In the early part of his career Alan held various community pharmacy locum and management positions and also became a pre-registration tutor. During this period he also worked as a practice-based pharmacist providing prescribing advice to a three-partner GP surgery, one of the first pharmacists in the then Wolverhampton FHSA to undertake such a role.
In 2001 Alan switched career to the secondary care sector, working as a clinical directorate pharmacist for the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust. He obtained a postgraduate diploma at Keele University which he passed with distinction in 2003. That year Alan was appointed as a hospital pharmacy teacher practitioner by the DGoH Trust. The role involved teaching clinical pharmacy to undergraduate students and overseas pharmacists from Aston University and working as a directorate pharmacist in medicine. Alan also became a clinical coordinator to hospital postgraduate diploma students from Keele University and held the positions of Visiting Fellow, Pharmacy Department, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University and Honorary Associate Lecturer, Department of Medicines Management, Keele University.
In 2006 Alan was appointed as the lead teacher practitioner in the newly formed pharmacy department at the University of Wolverhampton, completing his PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education shortly afterwards. At Wolverhampton Alan initially played a key role in building a team of hospital teacher practitioners who are employed to develop and deliver clinical therapeutics and skills teaching both in practice and at the university. During this period Alan developed modules which focussed on communication skills, clinical pharmacy practice and therapeutics. Alan also went on to gain a further postgraduate certificate in Professional Learning in Education and, in 2007, became a member of the pharmacy regulator’s MPharm accreditation team, a position which he held until 2016.
In 2013 Alan moved posts to take on the lead role for accreditation and professional development within the re-named School of Pharmacy and he also became MPharm course leader. Alan was instrumental in implementing radical changes to the MPharm course, moving to a non-modular, theme-based delivery; and changing learning and teaching methods from traditional didactic approaches to enquiry-based learning methods including team-based learning (TBL) and case-based learning (CBL). He led on the development and writing of the accreditation and course documentation and also on the 2014 re-accreditation visit preparations and the subsequent implementation of the new programme. The school went on to achieve a full 6-year MPharm accreditation and, in 2017; an interim inspection team from the regulatory body praised the school for the successful implementation of the new programme. During his tenure Alan has been leader of the pharmacy practice staff team and has frequently deputised for the head of school.
Alan currently represents the School of Pharmacy on Faculty’s Quality and Academic Enhancement Committee and is also a member of the University Quality Panel and has been involved in validations and periodic reviews across the University as both a member and a chair. He is also a longstanding member of the school’s management team and sits on the Extended Faculty Management Team.
Alan is a clinical pharmacist who has extensive experience of practice-based education. He has taught across many areas of therapeutics and pharmacy practice but has particular interests in cardiology and liver disease. As an educator he specialises in the development of OSCE assessments and case-based learning approaches. Alan also has expertise in regulatory standards for courses from the perspective of both regulatory body accreditation and internal validations and reviews.
Alan is a registrant of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy