Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Pharmacy technician

'Worrying gaps' in new pharmacy technician qualification

Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board said there should be a ‘greater emphasis’ on when a case should be referred to a pharmacist.

Sandra Gidley

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Sandra Gidley, chair of RPS English Pharmacy Board, said the qualification needed to be fit for purpose and well suited to current and future requirements of the profession

Details of a new single qualification for pharmacy technicians have been outlined by health education chiefs, but the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has warned it is likely only to meet ‘basic’ requirements for the role.

Skills for Health opened a consultation on the new qualification, commissioned by Health Education England, on 2 July 2018.

It is designed to ensure that pharmacy technicians have the right knowledge and skills to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which issued revised initial education and training standards for pharmacy technicians in October 2017.

But Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, said the proposals for the new qualification represented a “basic level of training” and not a comprehensive one.

She said: “I would want to see a greater emphasis on when a case should be referred to the pharmacist — for example, the technician only has to be able to name a certain number of indications for each therapeutic area, so there could potentially be worrying gaps in knowledge,” she said.

And Gidley said it was “interesting” that the qualification proposals had been released at the same time that the Department of Health and Social Care is reviewing rules around supervision.

“Let us be crystal clear that this two-year training plan (mostly on the job) is no substitute for the skills and knowledge of a pharmacist,” she said.

Tess Fenn, president of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), said she was pleased to be moving towards a single qualification, but there needed to be a balance in showing and demonstrating competent practice.

“This is the opportunity to ensure that pharmacy technicians are equipped with the depth and breadth of knowledge and the skills that are required of them to be responsible leaders and crucial members of the pharmacy team,” she said, adding that, over the coming weeks, APTUK would be looking at the qualification in detail and consulting with its members.

A spokesperson for the Pharmacists’ Defence Association said it would welcome measures to improve the career structure and competency development for pharmacy technicians. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205105

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Pharmacy and the US Health Care System

    Pharmacy and the US Health Care System

    A complete source of current information about the US health care system. Includes concise reports on trends, regulations, policy and finances.

    £49.00Buy now
  • Disease Management

    Disease Management

    Disease Management covers the diseases commonly encountered in primary care by system, with common therapeutic issues. Includes case studies and self-assessment sections.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy

    Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy

    This established textbook covers every aspect of drug properties from the design of dosage forms to their delivery by all routes to sites of action in the body.

    £48.00Buy now
  • Developing Your Prescribing Skills

    Developing Your Prescribing Skills

    Developing Your Prescribing Skills uses case studies, mind maps and feedback from experienced prescribers. It supplies practical advice on the issues facing prescribers in all types of practice.

    £23.00Buy now
  • Clinical Pharmacy Pocket Companion

    Clinical Pharmacy Pocket Companion

    An A-Z pocket book containing concise and practical pharmaceutical information for busy clinical pharmacists.

    £33.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Sandra Gidley

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.