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Changes to the education and training of pharmacy support staff

11 December 2019

The GPhC’s governing council has agreed new education and training requirements and learning outcomes for all pharmacy support roles.

The Council decided to introduce the new requirements after considering the feedback received from consultation and engagement with the pharmacy sector, pharmacy support staff, pharmacy professionals, members of the public and education and training providers.

In response to the feedback received, the Council agreed that the GPhC should continue to set requirements for the education and training of pharmacy support staff and to accredit courses. The requirements will also now cover all support staff who have roles in:

  • dispensing and supply of medicines and medical devices
  • advising on the use of medicines and medical devices
  • assisting in the provision of pharmacy services

The previous requirements only covered medicines counter assistants and dispensing assistants.

The requirements, including the learning outcomes, have also been updated to make sure that they reflect developments in pharmacy practice and the workforce since they were first introduced in 2005. This includes core skills that all pharmacy support staff need to achieve, such as communication skills for person-centred care.

Alongside the requirements, we have also developed a set of updated criteria which we will use to accredit courses.

At the meeting, the Council agreed some amendments to the requirements which will now be made before the final requirements are published.

“Pharmacy support staff play a very important role in providing pharmacy services to patients and the public. All members of the pharmacy team must have the education and training they need to undertake their important roles safely and effectively,” said Duncan Rudkin, GPhC Chief Executive.

“I want to thank everyone who took part in our consultations and engagement on our proposals. We have made significant changes to our original proposals based on their feedback and look forward to implementing our new approach.”
We will set and communicate the date from which any new courses will need to meet the revised criteria for accreditation in 2020. 

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