PDA responds to the GPhC’s consultation on Education and Training Requirements for Pharmacy Support Staff

The GPhC consulted from 5 July 2019 to 23 August 2019 on draft requirements for the education and training of pharmacy support staff.

Fri 30th August 2019 The PDA

The PDA’s overall view is that the requirements have merits but need some work to make them suitable and “fit for purpose”. Key recommendations on how the requirements could be improved include:

  • Pharmacy students and pre-registration trainees should be required to undertake an assessment of their further training needs for the work they undertake in pharmacy.
  • This should be conducted by a pharmacist, not an employer (as is currently proposed in the guidance). Employers may be non-pharmacists and lack the skills and competencies needed to undertake a suitable professional assessment. Pharmacists could be expected to undertake the assessment in the best interest of patients, without the same profit objectives as pharmacy owners.
  • There should be no mandatory requirement for pre-registration trainees, or pharmacy students (whether directly employed in pharmacy support staff roles or not) to undertake the training normally done by those working in pharmacy support staff roles, for the reasons given by the GPhC in the consultation. However, such training may be necessary if identified as such during the assessment of further training needs.
  • The GPhC should state what roles are covered by the term “pharmacy support staff”. The list of pharmacy support staff should include: Pharmacy technicians, Dispensing assistants, Medicines counter assistants and Delivery drivers. However, it is recognised that this guidance may not be applied to pharmacy technicians since they are regulated separately.
  • In addition to the learning outcomes which apply to all support staff, proposed in the consultation, the GPhC should retain additional specific requirements for named pharmacy support staff roles (which are a feature of its existing minimum training requirements).
  • The GPhC must require pharmacy owners to provide mandatory protected time for learning and development for those undertaking GPhC-accredited training courses.
  • Pharmacy staff should be enrolled on a training course immediately once they start the role, or at the latest within 7 days of doing so. This would give patients and pharmacists confidence that the staff working in the pharmacy were undertaking appropriate training.
  • The proposals refer to the GPhC’s ‘Standards for registered pharmacies’ and states that the person supervising the training “could be a registrant” i.e. either a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, or “another appropriately qualified or experienced individual”. The GPhC must require pharmacy support staff in training to be supervised by a pharmacist.

Our full list of recommendations can be found in the below response document.


thumbnail of GPhC Education and Training of Pharmacy Support Staff Consultation Response FINAL 20-08-2019


thumbnail of education-training-requirements-pharmacy-support-staff-june-2019

The PDA regularly responds to consultations on matters that affect pharmacists. Our previous consultation responses can be found here.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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