Consultation on initial education and training for pharmacy technicians

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We have launched a new consultation on draft initial education and training (IET) standards for pharmacy technicians.

The draft standards represent the first major overhaul of IET standards for this profession. The aim is to reflect both what is currently required of pharmacy technicians at the point of registration, and to prepare them for roles and responsibilities that they may take on in the future. This means not only supporting pharmacy technicians’ development of knowledge and skills, but focusing on decision-making skills, professionalism, and the ability to work within teams and independently.

The draft standards reflect how some elements of the pharmacy technician role, which historically were once seen as advanced practice, are now a key part of that role. These include:

  • The ability to carry out accuracy checking

  • The requirement for newly qualified pharmacy technicians to be able to understand core safety concepts such as clinical and corporate governance, as well as audit.

By consulting on these new standards the GPhC hopes to ensure that they reflect both current practice and also the requirements of the role in the future. It should also reflect the feedback heard on the need for professionalism, communication and team-working during a discussion last year on the future of education and training for the pharmacy team.

The first part of the draft standards provides a set of learning outcomes that must be achieved by pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians. Part two of is a set of standards and requirements for course providers who are responsible for delivering the learning outcomes.

The consultation also seeks feedback on proposed changes to the criteria for registration as a pharmacy technician, including:

  • Allowing pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians to be supervised by a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician during their training (currently they must be supervised by a pharmacist)

  • Removing the option that current or recently registered pharmacists in Great Britain or Northern Ireland are able to register as a pharmacy technician automatically

Commenting on the consultation launch GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said:

“It is vital that as the regulator we use our powers to ensure that the whole pharmacy team is equipped to provide services for patients and the public. We recognise that the role of pharmacy technicians has grown and is likely to continue to grow and these standards are intended to help ensure pharmacy technicians are prepared for the future.

“We hope to hear from as many people as possible through this consultation, to help us to develop the final standards.”

Read our consultation document to find out more about the proposals and how to give your feedback:

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