If skill mix is to work, the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be defined.

Fostered primarily by non-pharmacist managers and operational systems in the large multiple pharmacies, the boundaries between the responsibilities an accountabilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the community pharmacy sector have become blurred.

Fri 21st December 2018 The PDA

Mark Koziol, Charman of the PDA says: “We now have a system where non-pharmacists managers with no professional accountabilities are requiring pharmacists to delegate tasks to Accuracy Checking Technicians (ACTs) irrespective of whether or not they are GPhC registered. This has become an employer requirement whether or not the pharmacists are satisfied with the ACTs capabilities and irrespective of whether the pharmacists are exposed to professional, criminal and civil proceedings in the event that something goes wrong. This situation must not be allowed to continue and we urge the GPhC to take the necessary steps to protect the safety of the public.

Chapter 6 of the PDAs extensive report on Pharmacy Technicians concludes that the roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians must be clearly defined and the lines of accountability for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be established, through discussions involving coalface practitioners.
These are minimum requirements if a symbiotic and complementary skill mix model which works optimally for the public, makes working practices more efficient, extends the practical capability of the pharmacy team and improves patient safety is ever going to be achieved.

The profession should, with input from both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, create and publish a list (similar to that used by mental health practitioners), outlining the shared capabilities for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, alongside a separate list outlining the capabilities of pharmacists. This would help create a shared values system which clearly delineates the pharmacy team’s responsibilities, whilst still allowing for discrete responsibilities.

According to Mark Pitt, PDA Director of Defence Services:
At the PDA we defend pharmacists facing legal and professional proceedings which can have career threatening consequences.  We believe that an expert opinion must be sought on the civil, regulatory and criminal interface that exists between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians as their respective roles develop. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians need clarification of the risks they face, which can only be achieved through an open and inclusive debate within the profession.

DOWNLOAD a summary of chapter SIX HERE:

thumbnail of Chapter 6 – Executive Summary – the Need to Define the Responsibilities and Accountabilities of Pharmacy Technicians


thumbnail of Chapter 6 – the Need to Define the Responsibilities and Accountabilities of Pharmacy Technicians


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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