Education and training requirements for pharmacy support staff

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Education and training requirement for pharmacy support staff
By: Anonymous | Published On: 2/07/19 1:31 am

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is seeking views on changes to its education and training requirements for pharmacy support staff.

Pharmaceutical support staff play an important role within the pharmacy team and its is important that their education and training is such that they continue to have the necessary knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to provide safe and effective care to people using pharmacy services.

To this end, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is proposing changes to the education and training requirement for pharmacy support staff to ensure that it:

  1. makes sure these courses cover all the things patients, the public and employers think are important and support safe and effective pharmacy services- for example, more emphasis on non-technical or ‘soft’ skills like communication
  2. reflects the different roles performed by support staff and the range of settings in which they work. This includes future-proofing our requirements as new kinds of roles and settings emerge
  3. accredits courses in line with modern principles of regulation and up to date legislation
  4. considers whether the exemption that MPharm students and pre-registration trainees currently have from being required to complete training if they are employed in a support staff role is still safe or appropriate, or whether it should be amended or removed.

What is being proposed?

  1. Amending exemptions - Students on a MPharm or OSPAP programme and pre-registration pharmacist trainees are currently exempt from having to complete training when employed in a support staff role.  The GPhC are proposing to amend the exemption to introduce an additional safeguard by requiring them to undergo assessment of their further training needs.
  1. Areas of competence - The GPhC have set out generic learning outcomes that would apply to staff working in any support role and also expect them to acquire the technical skills specific to their role through their training.
  1. Accreditation criteria - The GPhC are proposing to use revised accreditation because it thinks the existing criteria are no longer suitable and do not cover some key areas, such as equality, diversity and inclusion, or raising concerns.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will continue to require pharmacy support staff working in dispensing and supply of medicines and medical devices to be competent in their role to the equivalent level of an RQF L2/SVQ L5 qualification.

However, the consultation is seeking views on changes to learning outcomes and accreditation criteria for pharmacy support staff to ensure the training remains relevant and meets the criteria set out above (1-4 above).

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) have confirmed that pharmacy support staff who are already enrolled on a course that has been accredited against our previous standards will not be required to re-start training and are permitted to complete their existing course to meet our requirements.