First analysis brings greater insight into pharmacy technician workforce


The results from the first analysis of all pharmacy technicians in Great Britain have been published today (26 October) by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).


The 21,261 pharmacy technicians on the register in July 2012 were analysed by age, gender and ethnicity, a year after mandatory registration for this group came into effect in July 2011. The key findings are featured in the new issue of Regula+e, the bulletin for registrants.


The analysis found that the profession is overwhelmingly female, with women representing more than 90% of pharmacy technicians on the register.  This compares to 59.4% of pharmacists who are female.  In Scotland and Wales there are even higher numbers of female pharmacy technicians, with men representing just 7.0% and 5.8% respectively of registrants in those countries.


The mean age of registered pharmacy technicians is 41.4 years and the majority are of white ethnic origin (89.5%).  The largest non-white group of pharmacy technicians are Asian (7.6%), with pharmacy technicians from black, Chinese, and other minority ethnic communities representing a further 2.9% of those on the register. In comparison, pharmacists from Asian backgrounds now represent over a quarter of pharmacists (27 per cent), with pharmacists from black, Chinese, and other minority ethnic communities representing a further 12 per cent.


The analysis was carried out for the GPhC by the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies at the University of Manchester’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 


Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:


 “This is the first picture of the profession since the introduction of mandatory registration for pharmacy technicians last year, and gives us a valuable insight into the workforce. Our next step will be to commission a survey of all pharmacy technicians and pharmacists on the register to provide us with a greater understanding of what they do and where they work. This evidence base will help us to identify the issues in pharmacy that we need to respond to, including the implications of compulsory registration for pharmacy technicians.”


Steve Acres, President of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), said:


“This analysis of the pharmacy technician register is an important step in understanding more about the demographics of our new profession. We strongly support further analysis to gain a greater understanding as this will help determine future regulatory and professional development opportunities.”


The GPhC Pharmacy Technician Register Analysis 2012 is available here.

The new issue of Regula+e is available here.