Tell us your views on pharmacy support staff training

25 July 2019

We are proposing to make changes to the way we set requirements and approve training for pharmacy support staff and we would like to hear your views on the changes via a short survey.

During a consultation we held in 2017 on the education and training of the pharmacy team, we heard that we should continue to set requirements and approve training for support staff including dispensers, and medicines counter assistants, as this helped to make sure standards were applied consistently. We want to take this opportunity to update our policy, and make sure training for support staff meets the requirements of the changing roles both now and in the future.

Our proposals

We are proposing to:

  • bring our requirements for accreditation into line with changes in the law, regulation, and current practice- for example in relation to equality and diversity, where there has been significant new legislation since the original requirements were set
  • improve the way courses cover generic skills, such as communication, which are applicable across all roles and sectors of pharmacy - patients and employers told us these skills were particularly important
  • recognise the increasing diversity of support roles and create a more flexible system to allow these roles to develop
  • require all staff to be trained specifically for the role in which they are employed, unless they are an appropriately experienced pharmacy student or pharmacy technician in a supported educational environment
  • refer to ‘support staff’, rather than ‘unregistered staff’ as pharmacy users and staff themselves told us this was a more accurate, positive and clearer term

We do not anticipate that these changes will have a significant impact on pharmacies, employers, or current support staff, but are keen to understand more about the implications of these proposals before making any decisions on the final requirements.

You can find out more about the proposed changes and give your views on the main GPhC website.