RSPH Level 2 Understanding Health Improvement for Healthy Living Pharmacies includes:

What is a Healthy Living Pharmacy?

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) framework encourages community pharmacies to meet local need by improving the health and wellbeing of the local population and helping to reduce health inequalities. The objective of this scheme is to build pharmacy teams that are aware of local health issues and are confident in their ability to promote healthy living and signpost members of the public to appropriate health services.

As of 1st April 2020, all community pharmacies in the UK will be required to gain or maintain existing status as a HLP Level 1. Existing HLPs are required to re-accredit their HLP Level 1 status every three years.

Pharmacies can gain HLP Level 1 status by completing a self-assessment. The quality criteria and compliance with the HLP Level 1 self-assessment process have been developed by the Healthy Living Pharmacy Task Group of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum, Public Health England.

The quality criteria outline what is required for achieving Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1 status as part of the assessment of compliance process and set out the behaviours, activities and physical environment you must be able to evidence. This qualification is a mandatory requirement for all pharmacies to complete Part 1 of the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 Quality Criteria.

Please access Healthy Living Pharmacy FAQs here.

Aims of the Course

The aim of this qualification is to provide candidates with an understanding of the principles of promoting health and wellbeing and enable them to direct individuals towards further practical support in their efforts to attain a healthier lifestyle.

It covers examples of inequalities in health within the UK, their possible causes and current approaches to tackling these inequalities. Candidates will learn how effective communication can support health messages, how to promote improvements in the health and wellbeing of others and understand the impact of behaviour change on improving an individual’s health and wellbeing.

By the end of the course, learners should be able to demonstrate that they can:

  1. Know how inequalities in health may develop and what the current policies are for addressing these;
  2. Understand how effective communication can support health messages;
  3. Know how to promote improvements in health and wellbeing to individuals;
  4. Understand the impact of change on improving an individual's health and wellbeing.

Who should take the Understanding Health Improvement course?

The qualification is for existing or aspiring health champions who wish to improve the health and wellbeing of people in their local community by motivating and encouraging them to make positive lifestyle choices. It is mapped to the National Occupational Standards and functions of the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHSKF) and Making Every Contact Count (MECC) guidelines. This qualification is a mandatory requirement for all pharmacies to complete Part 1 of the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 Quality Criteria.

How is the Level 2 Understanding Health Improvement course accessed online and how long does it take to complete?

Learners will have access to the course through our eLearning platform, gomo. There are four topics and revision quizzes throughout to test learners on their knowledge. The programme is completed in eight hours, and is worth eight CPD points. On successful completion of the programme, learners can request a CPD completion certificate. Our online courses track your progress so you can complete the course in multiple sittings.

Assessment and Certification

On successful completion of the course, you can request an electronic CPD completion certificate. To obtain the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement qualification, you will need to sit an invigilated exam. We offer pharmacies the option to invigilate assessments in-house. Pharmacists will be responsible for supervising the assessment for all candidates and ensure compliance with all RSPH examination procedures. The invigilator must be a registered pharmacist or registered pharmacy technician on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s Register. Their status as a regulated healthcare professional allows them to invigilate under RSPH Centre requirements. RSPH Training Solutions needs at least two weeks’ notice of any examination date.

Alternatively, pharmacy staff can sit the assessment at the RSPH head office in London or at an approved RSPH Centre. If you wish to complete the assessment elsewhere in the UK, please purchase the eLearning “without assessment” option on the online shop and contact an alternative centre. Find out more about the assessment options available here.

24/7 Access via the GOMO eLearning platform

This course is hosted through gomo; a cloud-based, mobile-first, responsive e- learning tool. The e-learning can be accessed by phone, computer or tablet. The cloud-based system tracks your progress so users can complete the course in multiple sittings.

Course Contents:

At the end of each section, you will find a revision quiz to help consolidate your learning. After completing the final topic, the Practice Assessment will help prepare you for the Level 2 Understanding Health Improvement qualification assessment, should you wish to take it. A digital handbook is available to download upon completion of the course.

Part 1: Health Inequalities

This topic explores the effects of health inequalities and the possible impact on local communities. Learners will be able to identify the factors leading to health inequalities and outline the policies and methodologies for reducing inequalities in health.

Part 2: Communication

The second topic introduces learners to the communication skills that are effective in communicating health messages, and why effective communication is vital in the promotion of health messages. Learners will be able to identify barriers to communication that may affect the understanding of health messages and strategies for overcoming these.

Part 3: Promotion of Health and Wellbeing

The third module introduces learners to the western scientific model and World Health Organisation definitions of the term health and wellbeing. Learners will be able to identify positive and negative influences on health and wellbeing, and provide examples of strategies and resources that can be used to promote health and wellbeing.

Part 4: Impact of Change

In the final topic, learners will gain knowledge of examples of behaviour change that can improve an individual’s health and wellbeing, and outline how individuals can be encouraged to change their behaviour.


RSPH Training Solutions, established in 2008, has extensive experience in providing high quality training across a variety of settings including pharmacy, community, workplaces, blue light services and the NHS. All our training programmes can lead to accredited qualifications or CPD and are updated annually to ensure they contain the most current information, frameworks and training models, regulations and national guidance.

This course is built and accredited alongside the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement. The RSPH qualification is mandatory for all pharmacies to have undertaken by 1st April 2020.