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Training for pharmacy technicians

Information on the role of the pharmacy technician, from initial education and training to post-registration career development and advanced practice.

GPhC revalidation requirements are that pharmacy professionals demonstrate that they keep their knowledge and skills up to date in order to maintain and improve their practice.

The Consultation Skills for Pharmacy Practice website supports you through a learning pathway, as you develop and improve your patient consultation skills. It forms part of a national training and development programme, which recognises that pharmacy professionals need to work more closely with patients in order to optimise medicines use and deliver public health messages.

Other training can be found below:

  • Pharmacy technicians working in a community pharmacy setting can access training funded by the Pharmacy Integration Fund. Courses have been designed by Health Education England working with APTUK, NHS England and other key stakeholders.
  • APTUK  is the professional body for pharmacy technicians in the UK, offering advice, information and support on practice, education and revalidation See Resources page.
  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has a number of resources which are available to non-members, with plenty of material freely available in the ultimate guides and hubs section.
  • eLearning for Healthcare provides a wide variety of on-line e-learning for all healthcare staff.
  • FutureLearn free online courses on a wide variety of topics from science and innovation to health, diseases and patient care.
  • Genomics education and training programme.

If you would like to contact us please send an email to england.wtepharmacy@ney.nhs.net (Northeast and Yorkshire) or england.wtepharmacy@nw.nhs.net (Northwest).

Specific information for pharmacy technicians

As a pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician you will work in pharmacy whilst following an approved qualifications programme, as well as the standards for pharmacy professionals from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

You will be expected to work together with the whole healthcare team and the patient to improve patient care.

Co-operating with everyone involved in your training and education at work and college, you will study for your qualifications whilst developing an understanding of and adopting the NHS values of compassion, dignity and respect.

You should be aware of and understand the nine standards in the Professional Standards from the General Pharmaceutical Council. These are relevant to all trainees as they work towards their qualifications.

At the same time as providing patient centred care, you will also learn how to help people live healthier lives, adopt ways of working to reduce and prevent errors, look at ways to improve services and support colleagues in all aspects of medicines optimisation.

Foundation training builds on student learning to ensure a real understanding of the patient’s experience in the healthcare system.

It will give you the skills and competencies to focus on helping the patient with self-care and decision making about their medicines. This ensures patients are supported all the time, every time with an appropriately trained medicines optimisation team.

With foundation training as you take on new and advanced roles, you will learn new skills, develop your career, start to look at future roles, as well as education and training opportunities in your workplace.

Our foundation training programmes consist of time spent in practice according to individual job descriptions and responsibilities.

You should be supported by trained and competent mentors and educational supervisors and assessed on your knowledge, skills and competencies through a variety of assessment methods.

You should have regular reviews and appraisals to support and measure your progress.

Your development may be a one to two year programme of structured training using the Foundation Pharmacy Framework (from APTUK) which will help you to identify learning gaps and support career development. All our training programmes support the principles of medicines optimisation and the development of patient centred skills.

As a registered pharmacy professional you are accountable for meeting the nine standards of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Standards for Pharmacy Professionals whilst at work and also outside of work.

Clinical pharmacy technicians

Clinical Pharmacy Technicians are an important part of the multi-professional team in all sectors.

A clinical prioritisation training module is available in our Medicines Optimisation Training Programme. You may be interested in CPPE resources to support your development or see your local Training Lead for advice on a range of programmes at Level 4 and above.

With a strong focus on the wider medicines optimisation agenda you will develop your skills and competencies to an advanced level of professional training and higher education qualifications.

Your role will focus on the development and improvement of services for patient focused care, implementation and management of training and assessment programmes for a competent workforce, supervision of teams and service delivery for a high quality medicines optimisation service, as well as quality management and clinical governance for financial accountability, return on investment and validated systems of practice.

As an advanced practice pharmacy technician you will be aware of the range of professional standards from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

NHS development over recent years alongside government reports such as The Carter Report and NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan have highlighted the importance of utilising clinical pharmacy staff, improving patient safety systems, improving the quality of care and helping people to live healthier lives.

The Carter Report recommends pharmacists and clinical pharmacy technicians spend more time on patient-facing medicines optimisation activities; acute trusts should ensure their pharmacists and clinical pharmacy technicians spend much more time on clinical pharmacy services than on other activities.

Advanced or specialist practice is developed by individuals after consolidating foundation practice and a number of different pathways exist, dependent on specific job role.

For pharmacy professionals, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in collaboration with CoDEG and including representation from APTUK developed an Advanced Pharmacy Framework (APF).

The APF identifies six key areas (also known as clusters) that are important for development in and demonstration of advanced stages of practice, independent of sector.