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How do you become a Pharmacy Technician?

Training to become a pharmacy technician takes two-years. It combines practical work with study as either a distance learning or college-based course. The training consists of two-years consecutive work-based experience under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technicians for not less than 14 hours a week. 

You will need to find employment as a Pre-registration Trainee or Student Pharmacy Technician.

Training to become a pharmacy technician takes two-years. It combines practical work with study as either a distance learning or college-based course. The training consists of two-years consecutive work-based experience under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technicians for not less than 14 hours a week. 

You will need to be enrolled on an approved pharmacy technician training course. A list of which can be found on the General Pharmaceutical Council website here https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/pharmacy-technician/accredited-courses

The knowledge course will either be studied, as day-release or block release, at a local college or by distance learning depending on the training provider You will study a variety of topics such as human physiology, disease management, actions and uses of medicines, pharmacy manufacturing and pharmacy law.

What qualifications do you need to apply for a Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician post?

You will usually need GCSEs Grade 4 and above (or equivalent) to start this qualification to include English, maths, and 2 x science subjects, although this depends on the recruiting employer and training provider. 

With an interest in medicine and people’s health, the desire to learn whilst holding working in your chosen pharmacy sector, your personal characteristics and attributes necessary to undertake this role include the ability to pay attention to detail, be organised, accurate and methodical in undertaking tasks relevant to dispensing or recording patient information. 

You will have the desire to work with many different types of people, from many different professional areas to ensure that the patient and their care remains your priority in matters relating to medicines and health related topics.

Career Pathways

Many pharmacy technicians in all pharmacy settings are extending their roles to work with pharmacists and other healthcare staff in helping patients to manage their medicines. These specialist roles involve checking and recording the medication that patients should be taking, ensuring sufficient supplies, and helping patients to understand how to use their medicines safely on the hospital wards, and when they return home. Pharmacy Technicians can also take addition training and assessment to allow them to perform the final accuracy check of prescriptions before being issued to the patient. In hospital and industry pharmacy technicians manage the technical aspects of dispensing services and manufacturing medicines.

In the hospital service, there are several grades for qualified pharmacy technicians, based on the NHS grading criteria ‘Agenda for Change. Grading criteria ranges from Band 4 to Band 7 undertaking roles explained by the national pharmacy technician profiles which can be found here

To view the NHS Careers in Pharmacy booklet click here

Professional Registration 

Statutory registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) came into force on the 1st July 2011, and all pharmacy technicians need to meet the minimum requirements for registration.

The criteria to register as a pharmacy technician can be found here.

The GPhC website can provide more detail of registering as a pharmacy technician https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registration/registering-pharmacy-technician

Overseas (non-UK) qualified pharmacy technicians

Please note: APTUK does not have the resources to map overseas qualifications to determine equivalency. For further information please visit GPhC’s website: 

Overseas (non-UK) qualified pharmacy technicians please see the GPhC website here https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registration/registering-pharmacy-technician/overseas-non-eea-qualified-pharmacy-technician

 

 

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