The GPhC has proposed changes to the initial education and training of pharmacy technicians. These include:
- potentially removing the 2-year minimum period of work experience (it sought views on whether this minimum should remain or be removed)
- allowing the training to take place under the direction, supervision or guidance of a pharmacy technician (currently this can only be done by a pharmacist)
- preventing a pharmacist from being able to register as a pharmacy technician, unless the pharmacy technician training was also completed (prior learning and experience could be recognised at the discretion of the course provider)
- learning outcomes which could be interpreted that pharmacy technicians would need to be trained to clinically check and accuracy check dispensed prescriptions
The PDA responded to the consultation with the view that the the current and future roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must first be defined by the profession, including how the two roles will work together, before updating the training standards. It disagreed with the GPhC’s proposals set out above and highlighted risks to public safety.
The PDA cited GPhC-commissioned academic research which would appear to support the PDA’s position and concerns among the GPhC’s governing council about the changes to the 2-year minimum work experience requirement. The GPhC’s proposals appeared to ignore those views, which were given before the consultation commenced.