Newly launched standards for the initial education and training (IET) of pharmacy technicians “reflect the changing needs of patients,” the GPhC has said. The regulator also announced changes to the registration criteria for technicians.

The standards were agreed on in principle at a recent Council session. They are designed to ensure technicians “have the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate their professionalism and deliver person-centred care from day one of practice,” the regulator said.

Technicians’ learning and on-the-job experience should be integrated to give them a solid grounding in core concepts such as communication and teamwork, according to the new standards.

IET courses reflecting the new standards are expected to be introduced from 2019. Trainee pharmacy technicians can enrol on and complete existing courses until that point. 

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “We believe these new standards reflect the changing needs of patients in today’s healthcare environment and support the delivery of person-centred care, [as well as the] professionalism of the pharmacy technician role.

“They should also provide assurance that pharmacy technicians are receiving the right education and training to prepare them to provide safe and effective care from their first day on the job.”

The September Council meeting also saw the regulator agree changes to the registration criteria for pharmacy technicians. In the future, it will be possible for pre-registration trainees to be supervised by either a pharmacy technician or pharmacist (at present only pharmacists may supervise their training), and registered pharmacists will no longer be able to register as a pharmacy technician automatically.

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