Pharmacy technician (integrated)

Occupation overview

Pharmacy Technicians are registered professionals working within the regulatory standards for pharmacy, as set by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Pharmacy Order 2010.

Pharmacy Technicians work in a wide range of settings, including (but not exclusively): registered pharmacies, community services, justice (the Prison Service), GP Practices, dispensing doctors’ practices, care homes and clinical commissioning groups, hospitals, mental health, defence (HM Armed Services) and within the pharmaceutical industry

Pharmacy technicians manage the supply of medicines and devices in a pharmacy and assist pharmacists with advisory services. The actual work setting will determine the specific areas of activity that the Pharmacy Technician undertakes, but typically their role will include the following

  • providing safe and effective pharmacy services
  • supply medicines and devices to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter
  • achieving the best outcomes through a patient’s medicines
  • assemble medicines for prescriptions
  • provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals.
  • manage areas of medicines supply such as dispensaries
  • supervise other pharmacy staff
  • answering customers questions face to face or by phone
  • pre-packing, assembling and labelling medicines
  • referring problems or queries to the pharmacist

A Pharmacy Technician is responsible for carrying out both routine and specialist services, including highly complex activities requiring them to use their professional judgement. They are expected to work both individually and as part of a multi-disciplinary team. They are able to work with minimum supervision, with a high degree of autonomy, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work that they have undertaken and that of others.

Pharmacy Technicians are expected to communicate effectively with healthcare professionals, patients and the public, whilst respecting and maintaining confidentiality and privacy.

Skills

  • Recognise and work within their scope of practice and skills,
  • Use relevant data and information to make effective decisions
  • Accurately retrieve and reconcile information about a person’s medicines
  • Accurately assemble prescribed items
  • Issue prescribed items safely and effectively and take action to deal with discrepancies  carry out an accuracy check of dispensed medicines and products
  • Accurately perform pharmaceutical calculations to ensure the safety of people
  • Apply the principles of clinical governance and ensure person’s confidentiality
  • Assess a person’s present supply of medicines and order appropriate medicines and products.
  • Receive requests for medicines, including prescriptions, and check for their validity, safety and clarity, taking action to deal with any problems with the person directly
  • Demonstrate operational skills within their scope of practice
  • Provide a safe, effective and responsive pharmacy service
  • Take personal responsibility for the legal, safe and efficient supply of medicines
  • Apply the principles of  governance to pharmacy operational processes
  • Ensure the confidentiality of patient data.
  • Communicate and work effectively with members of the multidisciplinary team
  • Explain the impact of audit and evaluation on the quality of pharmacy operations and services
  • Engage others in the improvement of processes and systems
  • Effectively use systems to support the safe and effective management and supply of medicines
  • Listen to a person, understand their needs and interpret what matters to them.
  • Give the person all relevant information and advice in a way they can understand, so they can make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing
  • Optimise a person’s medicines to achieve the best possible outcomes.
  • Obtain relevant information from people – including patients, carers and other healthcare professionals – and use it to optimise care appropriately
  • Adapt information and communication to meet the needs of particular audiences
  • Check and review their own and others work effectively
  • Suggest and implement personal goals and methods of improvement
  • Maintain CPD outcomes that meet with regulatory requirements
  • Identify and respond effectively to errors and near misses
  • Ensure effective safeguards are in place particularly for children and vulnerable adults
  • Prioritise time and resources effectively to achieve local and national objectives
  • Respond to medical emergencies
  • Ensure that health and safety controls are embedded and working
  • Effectively supervise other members of the team

Knowledge

  • How to ensure legal, regulatory and professional standards are maintained.
  • Understand the limits of their accountability, authority and responsibility
  • Understand the science of pharmacy, basic pharmacological principles, actions and use of drugs
  • How to ensure the quality of ingredients to produce and supply safe and effective medicines and products
  • Understand the principles that underpin person-centred care
  • How to apply professional judgement in the best interests of people
  • How to communicate with patients, carers and colleagues using a wide range of options and channels focusing on delivering and improving pharmacy services
  • Understand the principles of information, governance and confidentiality
  • How to order, receive, maintain, supply and dispose of medicines and other pharmaceutical products safely, legally and effectively
  • How to apply safe working practices in line with health and safety legislation; know how to risk assess processes and manage outcomes
  • Know how to effectively deliver key pharmaceutical messages to healthcare team members
  • Understand the principles of audit and quality-improvement strategies, and how to implement recommendations effectively
  • Understand the principles of risk management
  • Understand the most appropriate ways to reflect and act on feedback or concerns, thinking about what can be done to prevent adverse incidents
  • Understand the importance of effective methods of communication to different audiences
  • Know how to manage a person’s diverse needs and what is important to them
  • Know how to provide and promote advice on healthy lifestyles and initiatives, using available resources and evidence-based techniques
  • Understand how to effectively collaborate and work with colleagues and health care professionals
  • Know how to undertake effective self-reflection, and how to manage their own personal development
  • Understand the principles of revalidation
  • Understand how to safeguard people, particularly children and vulnerable adults
  • Understand how to deal with complaints and errors, through effective use of established policies and procedures
  • Know how to work within any local, regional and national guidelines and policies
  • Know how to apply health and safety legislation in the workplace controls
  • Know how to respond appropriately to medical first aid emergencies
  • Understand how to effectively supervise other staff within the pharmacy
  • Understands how to effectively manage a patient’s medicines by ordering, receiving, maintaining and supplying those medicines and other pharmaceutical products

Behaviours

  • Always act in a manner supportive of the regulatory standards
  • Always act with integrity, openness, honesty, especially when things go wrong.
  • Be reliable, supportive and reflective
  • Respect all individual’s values and confidentiality
  • Value diversity and respect cultural differences – making sure that every person is treated fairly and with respect

Entry Requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Duration

Duration (months): 24

Professional Qualifications/Recognition

Level 3 Pharmacy Technician qualification

Regulatory body: General Pharmaceutical Council

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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