New standards for pharmacy technician education and training

19 October 2017

Earlier this month we launched new standards for the initial education and training (IET) of pharmacy technicians and announced two key changes to the criteria for registration as a pharmacy technician

New standards emphasising person-centred professionalism

The new standards are aligned to the standards for pharmacy professionals, and place a clear emphasis on making sure that pharmacy technicians have the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate their professionalism and deliver person-centred care from day one of practice.

The standards were developed using what we learned from extensive consultation with people and organisations interested in pharmacy technician education- thanks to everyone who contributed to their development.

Courses incorporating the new standards are expected to be designed from 2018, and all training providers are expected to offer courses based on the new standards by 2019. Until new courses are ready, trainee pharmacy technicians can still enrol on existing ones, which will remain accredited by the GPhC for registration purposes.

Evidence framework

We have also developed a draft evidence framework to support the creation of courses that will meet the standards.

The framework is designed to help course providers, pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians and employers understand key concepts in the learning outcomes, such as accuracy checking, leadership and working in a multi-disciplinary team.

Changes to pharmacy technician registration criteria

The GPhC’s governing council also agreed two key changes to the registration criteria for pharmacy technicians:

  • To allow the training of pre-registration trainees to be overseen and directed by a pharmacy technician or a pharmacist (currently pre- registration pharmacy technician trainees must be managed by a pharmacist). We are considering what further guidance we may need to produce about what is expected of pharmacy technicians when taking on this expanded role.
  • To remove the option that current or recently registered pharmacists in Great Britain or Northern Ireland are able to register as a pharmacy technician automatically.

The GPhC Council will approve and publish the new criteria next year, and at that point will decide when the new criteria will come into effect.

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