Pharmacy technicians have an important role in supporting the safe and effective provision of pharmacy services across all pharmacy settings. Pharmacy technician is a protected title for those who have completed both a knowledge qualification/course and a competence qualification/course or the combined competence and knowledge-based qualification/course from a GPhC accredited course provider.
The education, training, and registration process for pharmacy technicians involves several steps and criteria . This page gives a straightforward overview of these processes with links to further information.
Education and training
Generally, a minimum of four GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9-4, including English, Mathematics, and a Science subject.
GPhC accredited training courses
Accredited knowledge and competency training programmes include:
- Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science (knowledge)
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills (competence)
These programmes are offered by colleges, training providers, or through apprenticeships and the full list of these course providers are available on our website.
The training programmes cover a range of topics including pharmaceutical science, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacology, dispensing medications, patient communication, and pharmaceutical calculations.
Pre-registration pharmacy technician training
Alongside theoretical learning, students are required to complete a certain number of hours of practical training in a community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy setting, GP practice or other pharmacy settings. This must be under the supervision of a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician only.
Upon successfully completing your accredited training course you must apply to the GPhC for registration.
You must have completed:
- one of the approved knowledge and competency training programmes
- a minimum of two years relevant work-based experience in the UK under the supervision, direction or guidance of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to whom you were directly accountable for no less than 14 hours per week
The deadline for registration is 5 years from the start of your course OR 2 years after the end of your course, whichever comes first.
As well as education and training requirements, the registration process also includes checks on:
- knowledge of English language, and
- identity (that you are who you say you are)
You must tell us about any issues that could affect your fitness to practise when you are applying to be included on our register as a pharmacy technician, please click on this link for more information.
Applying to register
If you trained in the UK, you can follow the steps below to register.
If you trained or have been registered as a pharmacy technician outside the UK, you must complete additional qualifications in the UK before you can apply to register. Find out more about applying to register as an international pharmacy technician.
- You need to submit both your online application and hard copy supporting documents 28 days before the date you want to join the register – which will be on the first or the fifteenth day of the month
- You will not be able to join the register until after you have completed your work experience in full
- Gather your supporting documents. You will need to provide certified copies of your identity and qualification documents as part of your application
- See the flowcharts within annex one below to find out which certified documents you need, depending on your circumstances.
- You can find more information on the documents you will need and how to get copies legally certified in our Guidance on completing your application.
- Create your account on the myGPhC online system. Find out how in our step-by-guide to using myGPhC to register as a pharmacy technician
- Complete and submit your online application, including uploading scanned versions of your supporting documents. You will be able to save and come back to your application as you go.
- Request your online application be countersigned by a pharmacy technician or pharmacist, through the myGPhC system. It is your responsibility to make sure that they countersign your application in good time
- Pay your application fee of £106. This fee covers the processing of your application and is non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful
- Post hard copies of your supporting documents to the GPhC after you have completed the online application. Post your supporting documents to us using a trackable service such as Royal Mail ‘Signed For’.
- Do not send your original passport, driving license or qualification certificate(s).
- We will let you know that we have received your submitted online application through a myGPhC notification.
- Once your complete application has been received and assessed we will let you know if it has been approved or rejected, or if we need you to provide more information.
- If your application is successful, you will receive a myGPhC notification asking you to pay your first-year registration fee of £121. Once you have made this payment, you will join the register on the next available registration date (either the first or the fifteenth day of the month.
- Do not practice as a pharmacy technician until you have received your GPhC registration number, and your name appears on the online register. Your first-year fee payment receipt is not proof of your registrations. Practising as a pharmacy technician while not on the register is breaking the law and you can be prosecuted.
How long does it take to process an application
Generally, if we receive both the online application and a complete set of supporting documents, it will be processed within 28 days.
If the application is incomplete, it may take up to 6 months depending on the applicant and how quickly they provide outstanding documents.
It can also take longer if you have something to declare on your application.
How are awarding bodies involved during the application process
Annex 1 - Documentary evidence required for registration
Figure 1: Birth certificate flowchart
Click on the image to see a larger size version on a pop-up window.