Approved courses and qualifications for pharmacy support staff

Pharmacy support staff training involves completing a GPhC-recognised qualification, a GPhC-recognised apprenticeship pathway, or a GPhC-accredited training course.

Support staff courses must be directly accredited by the GPhC, and qualifications and apprenticeship pathways must either be accredited by the GPhC or be operating under a recognised awarding organisation.   

Qualifications or apprenticeship pathways may be offered by centre providers not listed below. This is because the quality assurance of the qualification or apprenticeship pathway is undertaken by a GPhC recognised awarding organisation. 

Below is a list of awarding organisations and/or providers who have met the support staff education requirements to deliver a course, qualification or apprenticeship pathway.

For more information on the GPhC's accreditation and recognition process, please see Approval process for education and training providers.

Quick links to sections

Recognised support staff qualifications

The GPhC recognises the qualifications provided by the following awarding bodies:

Pearsons/Edexcel

Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff (Qualification), report (Aug 2020)

Current recognition period: Oct 2020 - Oct 2026

Visit Pearson/Edexcel website

Open Awards

Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff (Qualification)

Current recognition period: February 2021 - February 2027

Parts 1 and 2 report (Dec 2020)

Part 3 report (Dec 2020)

Visit Open Awards website

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

SVQ in Pharmacy Services at SCQF level 6 (Qualification)

Current recognition period: May 2021 - May 2027

Parts 1 and 2 report (May 2021)

Part 3 report (May 2021)

Visit SQA website

 

Accredited support staff courses

The GPhC accredits the following providers to offer support staff training courses:

Boots UK 

Courses offered and reports

Current accreditation period: Jun 2022 - Jun 2025

Accreditation Boots UK - all courses, part 1 and 2 report (Mar 2022)

Dispensing programme, part 3 report (Mar 2022)

Dispensing Assistant Pharmacy Operative, part 3 report (Mar 2022)

Healthcare Advisor, part 3 report (Mar 2022)

Pharmacy Advisor, part 3 report (Mar 2022)

Visit Boots website

 

Buttercups Training

Courses offered and reports

Current accreditation period: Nov 2021 - Nov 2024

Accreditation Buttercups Training - all courses - parts 1 and 2 report (July 2021)

Dispensing Assistants (DA), part 3 report (Jul 2021)

Medicines Counter Assistants (MCA), part 3 report (Jul 2021)

Pharmacy Healthcare Assistants (HCA), part 3 report (July 2021)

Pharmacy Delivery Drivers, part 3 report (July 2021)

Pharmacy Assistants in Manufacturing, part 3 report (July 2021)

Dispensary Stock Management, part 3 report (July 2021)

Pharmacy Support Worker Course, part 3 report (July 2021)

Pharmacy Services Assistant (PSA) Apprenticeship, part 3 report (July 2021)

Visit Buttercups website

 

CIG Healthcare Partnership

Courses offered and reports

Current accreditation period: July 2022 - July 2025

Accreditation CIG all courses - part 1 and 2 report (March 2022)

Pharmacy Assistant (PAC), part 3 report (March 2022)

Medicines counter assistant (plus stock control), part 3 report (March 2022)

Visit CIG website

 

MediaPharm

Courses offered and reports

Current accreditation period: Sept 2021 - Sept 2024

Accreditation MediaPharm all courses - parts 1 and 2 report (April 2021)

Medicines Counter Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Dispensing Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Pharmacy Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Medicines Stock Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Delivery Driver, part 3 report (April 2021)

Homecare Customer Service Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Customer Service Assistant, part 3 report (April 2021)

Accuracy Checking Dispenser, part 3 report (July 2021)

Visit MediaPharm website

 

National Pharmacy Association (NPA)

Courses offered and reports

Current accreditation period: Jan 2022 - Jan 2025

Accreditation NPA all courses - parts 1 and 2 report (Nov 2021)

Combined medicines Counter and Dispensing Assistant, part 3 report (Nov 2021)

Dispensing Assistant (known as ADAC), part 3 report (Nov 2021)

Delivering Medicines Safely and Effectively, part 3 report (Nov 2021)

Introduction to Pharmacy Stock Control, part 3 report (Nov 2021)

Medicines counter assistant, part 3 report (Nov 2021)

Visit NPA website

 

Approved apprenticeship pathways

The apprenticeship pathway is made up of qualifications/courses offered by the providers below. 

Buttercups Training

Pharmacy Services Assistant Apprenticeship (using the GPhC accredited Dispensing Assistant course)

Current accreditation period: Nov 2018 - Nov 2021

Visit Buttercups website

Open Awards

Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff (Apprenticeship), part 3 report

Current recognition period: February 2021 - February 2027

Visit Open Awards website

Pearsons/Edexcel

BTEC L2 Certificate in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Support Staff (Apprenticeship), report (Aug 2020)

Current recognition period: Oct 2020 - Oct 2026

Visit Pearson/Edexcel website

Skills4Pharmacy

Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard Course for Pharmacy Support Workers (PSW) parts 1 and 2 report

Part 3 report (technical mapping)

Current accreditation period: Jan 2021 - Jan 2024

Visit Skills4Pharmacy website

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

SVQ in Pharmacy Services at SCQF level 6 (Apprenticeship)

Current recognition period: May 2021 - May 2027

Visit SQA website

Qualifications and courses currently in teach out

The GPhC continues to recognise the following qualifications and courses provided that a trainee was enrolled prior to the dates shown below and completes the qualifications/courses within the teach out period stated.

City & Guilds

Level 2 Certificate in Pharmaceutical Science (knowledge based) (500/9575/4)

Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (competence based) (500/9234/0)

Current recognition period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 30th September 2022 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 30th September 2020).

Pearsons/Edexcel

BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Pharmaceutical Science (knowledge based) (500/9579/1)

Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (competence based) (500/9351/4)

Current recognition period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 30th September 2022 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 30th September 2020).

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

SVQ in Pharmacy Services at SCQF Level 5 (competence based) (GG07 22)

Current recognition period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 31st July 2023 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 31st July 2021).

Scientia Skills

Dispensing Assistant

Current accreditation period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 22nd May 2023 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 31st January 2022).

Dispensing assistant reaccreditation report (Oct 2018)

Looking After Dispensary Stock

Current accreditation period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 11th July 2022 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 31st January 2022).

Looking after stock reaccreditation report (Oct 2018)

Pharmacy Assistant Programme

Current accreditation period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 4th November 2024 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 31st January 2022).

Pharmacy assistant accreditation report (Oct 2018)

Medicines counter assistant

Current accreditation period: Ended. Teach out period valid until 29th January 2024 (for trainees enrolled prior to 11:59pm 31st January 2022).

Medicines counter assistant reaccreditation report (Oct 2018)

Visit Scientia Skills website