The GPhC has launched a consultation on draft initial education and training (IET) standards for pharmacy technicians. These draft standards, the first major change to IET for technicians, aim to reflect their current responsibilities and to prepare them for new responsibilities they may take on in the future. In addition to developing core knowledge and skills, the standards focus on decision-making skills, professionalism and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

The draft standards also acknowledge that certain elements that were once seen as advanced practice for pharmacy technicians are now seen as key to the role, including:

  • Accuracy checking
  • The requirement for newly qualified pharmacy technicians to be able to understand core safety concepts, such as clinical and corporate governance and audit.

The first part of the draft standards sets out learning outcomes for pre-registration trainees, while the second part provides standards and requirements for course providers.

The GPhC consultation is also seeking feedback on proposed changes to the criteria for registration as a pharmacy technician, including:

  • Trainee technicians may be supervised by either a pharmacist or a qualified pharmacy technician – currently, only pharmacists may supervise their training
  • Removing the option for pharmacists to register as a technician automatically.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “It is vital that as the regulator we use our powers to ensure that the whole pharmacy team is equipped to provide services for patients and the public. We recognise that the role of pharmacy technicians has grown and is likely to continue to grow, and these standards are intended to help ensure pharmacy technicians are prepared for the future.”

“We hope to hear from as many people as possible through this consultation, to help us develop the final standards.”

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